Archive for psa

Compressed air hybrid

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Car conception, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , on 28/01/2013 by Alexander

hybrid-air-1PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s fortunes have been dismal lately. They’ve posted one of the biggest losses of European car makers for 2012, and continue with alarming operating costs on a daily basis. This makes me very worried, because I’m a big Citroen fan, and I hate seeing them this way. However, PSA has recently announced a new type of hybrid system for their smaller cars,developed in conjunction with Bosch, that uses cylinders of compressed air instead of batteries. You can see a video of it here. The main aim of the system is for city driving, which as we know, is by far the most fuel-consuming part of a car’s use (unless you’re one of those lead.footed wankers). PSA say the compressed air will account “60 to 80 per cent of the time in city driving,”, and improve fuel efficiency by some 45% and range by 90%.

The system adds about 100kg to the weight of a traditional ICE powered small car, which is around half that of a conventional hybrid system. PSA claims it uses very simple, serviceable parts, with no rare metals like lithium-ion. The goal is to develop a ‘global’ system that’s cheaper than existing hybrids to appeal to China and Russia as much as European markets.

This is definitely an excellent idea, and any and every possible technological path that leads to lower fuel consumption must be explored. The problem is the release date: 2016. That’s very far down the line. Both PSA and the world at large need this sort of tech in showroons yesterday.

The demise of the European car market

Posted in General opinions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16/10/2012 by Alexander

Europe’s worsening economic situation is reflected by many things: unemployment, social unrest, tight national budgets and so on. Because this is a car blog, what matters here are new car sales, and this year they’ve been appallingly low. All the big European car manufacturers are posting record dips in sales, except for one: BMW, who have seen a 10% increase in cars coming out of their showrooms.

Renault have sold a staggering 29% less, Fiat are 19% down, Volvo slumped 17%, General Motors and Ford lost around 15%, and curiously, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, a group in the news lately for their poor financial performance and their dubious alliance with GM, lost just over 8%, practically the same as that of the VAG group of brands owned by Volkswagen. Daimler-Benz, of which Mercedes is a part of, saw nearly a 7% loss, most of which can be attributed to the slump of Smart.

In the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association report, the reader can note an odd tendency: there’s a tendency for European-based manufacturers of more affordable cars such as superminis and family hatchbacks to have registered a heavy loss (GM and Ford may be American, but their European models are conceived and built here). On the other hand, Audi was up 1.4%, Jaguar Land Rover rose a staggering 13.2%, and as mentioned, BMW got an extra 10.5%. Really shows who’s suffering and who’s benefiting from the current recession!

In the long term, I’m worried this could mean Europe’s non-German car-makers disappearing altogether. It doesn’t seem to matter how well traditionally widespread brands like Fiat and Renault make their cars, they just can’t compete with the badge-conscious, overpriced German offerings. If these sorts of brands go under, anyone who wants a frugal small car will either have to buy a bland Japanese vehicle or a Volkswagen in one of its guises (Seat, Skoda, etc.). Or we could see a BMW-owned Citroen for example, since the only real small car the Bavarians make is the Mini and all of its bastard sprogs.

Either way, dark days are ahead for everyone on the Old Continent.

Volvo and PSA looking for partners

Posted in General opinions with tags , , , , , on 25/01/2012 by Alexander

Volvo is looking for a partner to develop small cars. PSA Peugeot/Citroen are open to an alliance with another car maker.

Can anyone guess what I’m hinting at here?

Many carmakers aren’t interested in having dealings with Volvo, because it’s owned by the Chinese. Citroen however, is betting heavily on the Chinese market, with models developed exclusively for China. Volvo would benefit from Peugeot and Citroen’s expertise and platforms in the small car arena (even though the French brands’ legendary cars are large things like the 504, the CX and the DS, what they’re really good at is selling 206’s and Saxos and such), while the French would be able to use Volvo’s higher-end platforms and delve into more premium segments. Well, I’m no market analyst or such, but hey, this is what blogs are for, to spout out prattle to anyone who reads it, even if it makes no sense to the experts.