Peter Homola


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

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.
Skoda Starts Assembly of Third-Gen Octavia in India 
Sales in India climbed 14.2% last year, but the VW affiliate is not satisfied with the way its sales and profitability are developing in the country.
Report: Daimler-Renault Dispute to Delay Smart Models 
The two auto makers reportedly are not on the same page when it comes to financing joint development and the quality level needed for the next Smart and Twingo.
Redesigned Skoda Yeti to Debut in Frankfurt
For the first time, Skoda will make available two distinctive exterior treatments, a city look and a more rugged outdoor design, with the main differentiation the front and rear bumpers.
Subaru Puts Russian Assembly Plans on Hold 
Subaru Motor’s executive director, Kazushi Yoshida, says the importer is focusing on creating a 5-year development strategy in the country.
Adam to Be First With New Opel 1.0L 3-Cyl.
The powerplant delivers 115 hp and 122 lb.-ft. of peak torque all the way from 1,800 to 4,700 rpm, generating more torque throughout its operating range than equally powerful, higher-displacement engines, the auto maker says.
AvtoVAZ Plans to Build Own Automatic Transmission 
The automatic gearbox will be the first produced by the auto maker, which has built cars including the perennial best-selling Lada brand since 1970.
Hyundai Czech Plant Launches Refreshed ix35 SUV 
One of the most significant upgrades for the ix35, known as the Tucson in the U.S., is the replacement of the 2.0L Theta II gasoline engine with Hyundai’s Nu 2.0L GDI powerplant that produces 166 hp.
Mitsubishi Expects Higher Sales in Russia Despite Weak Market 
The distributor sold 37,575 vehicles this year through June, up 16.6% from like-2012, while the Russian market was down 5.8% overall. A target of 150,000 units for 2015 could mean adding local assembly of a B- or C-car.


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