Peter Homola


Based in Austria, Peter covers Eastern European auto makers and markets.

Renault-Nissan Alliance Expands Southeast Asian Footprint in Indonesia 
Indonesia is among the top emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, with a population of 250 million. The country, which has 36 vehicles for every 1,000 residents, is seen as one of the world’s most promising passenger-vehicle markets.
Ukraine’s Bogdan to Add Great Wall Assembly 
While other vehicles assembled by Bogdan are built from complete-knocked-down kits, the Great Wall project will start with semi-knocked-down assembly in the first stage.
Fiat Poland Plant Ahead of 2013 Production Forecast 
Plans call for about 290,000 builds this year, which would be 17% below the 2012 total of 348,503 but ahead of earlier predictions of about 255,000.
Volkswagen May Build Light-Commercial Vehicles in U.S. 
The auto maker will offer European-based models if it decides to enter the U.S. market. Candidates include the VW Caddy, a vehicle in the Ford Transit Connect segment.
Chinese Auto Maker Qoros Opens First European Dealership in Slovakia 
Sales will start in Slovakia with the top-of-the-line Elegance FWD model, powered by a 156-hp turbocharged 1.6L 4-cyl. gasoline engine that meets Euro 5 emissions standards
Suzuki Launches Production of New SX4 in Hungary 
The new CUV was unveiled at this year’s Geneva auto show. It will be exported to the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
Taiwan’s Luxgen Launches SUV Production in Russia 
The Russian assembler plans to build about 1,500 units this year, reaching monthly volume of 450 units by 2014.
Opel Nears End of Transmission Production in Bochum 
The Bochum facility manufactured 176,726 F13 5-speed transmissions in 2012. Plans for this year call for output of about 120,000 units.
Finland’s Valmet Launches Mercedes A-Class Output 
Valmet engineered and constructed a completely new body shop, with 200 robots and 90%-plus automation, to build the small car.
Opel Launches Output of Facelifted Insignia Range
The brand’s revamped flagship models will debut at the Frankfurt auto show that opens to the media Sept. 10.
Bogdan Launches JAC Assembly in Ukraine 
The auto maker, which assembles old Lada models and the previous-generation Hyundai Tucson, hopes to increase utilization of its CKD facility with the help of Chinese cars.
Volkswagen Brazil Phasing Out Kombi Van After 60 Years 
More than 1.55 million Kombis were built in Sao Bernardo do Campo between September 1957 and July 2013. Starting in the 1970s, the van was exported to more than 100 countries.
Russia’s UAZ Launches Updated Patriot SUV 
The Patriot is expected to be manufactured until at least 2020, however the auto maker is developing an all-new CUV based on the underpinnings of a foreign partner’s model.
German Sports Car Maker Wiesmann Files for Insolvency 
The auto maker says it will maintain operations while it works to “successfully complete” restructuring and recapitalization.
Hyundai Russian Plant Builds Half-Millionth Car 
St. Petersburg-made Kia Rio and Hyundai Solaris models are a significant part of both brands’ success in Russia. Kia and Hyundai rank third and fourth, respectively, in the country’s light-vehicle market.
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