BMW says its Mini and Rolls Royce factories in the U.K. will halt production for maintenance during the Brexit period next year to avoid any supply repercussions from the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.
There will be a 4-week stoppage at the Mini plant from late March, when Britain officially exits the EU, and a two-week pause at the Rolls Royce factory.
BMW’s chief salesman, Pieter Nota, says the German manufacturer is hoping for a smooth Brexit but adds “we are also getting prepared for worse options.”
The factory halts are not expected to affect production targets. The halt at the Mini plant in Oxford is being moved forward from its usual summer slot.
Speaking Tuesday at the Paris auto show, Nota said that’s meant to avoid any Brexit chaos and “to really make sure that during that period we don’t have the need for, say, massive flows of goods.”
Asked if BMW could move production out of the U.K. entirely, Nota said: “That is certainly not planned but of course the circumstances need to remain favorable.”
Ferrari says its new Monza SP1 and SP2 supercars will cost 1.6 million euros ($1.9 million) each for the 499 people lucky enough to be invited to buy one.
The clients must have multiple Ferraris already and a long history with the brand.
They can choose either the one-seat Monza SP1 or the two-seat SP2, neither of which have windscreens and are open to the elements. For their money, they also get one or two helmets, bespoke drivers’ overalls and shoes.
The cars have the most powerful naturally-aspirated V12 engine ever produced by Ferrari, delivering a white-knuckle 810 horsepower. Ferrari, which displayed the cars Tuesday at the Paris auto show, says the new models take just 2.9 seconds to get to 100 kph (62 mph) from a standing start.
The price is based on the tax rate in Italy and will differ slightly in other markets, depending on their sales tax rates.
Renault is displaying a new subcompact urban electric vehicle aimed at China, the world’s largest car market, during the Paris Motor Show.
Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, unveiled the K-ZE, praising China as the country where the government is “putting the most incentive to support electric cars.”
Ghosn’s push into electric dovetails with his diesel reduction strategy. He told a forum ahead of the show that Renault is cutting by fifty percent its diesel offerings and Nissan will completely exit diesel.
“This is the end of it” he said, adding, “today the trend is absolutely not in favor of diesel.”
The K-ZE will be manufactured locally by e-GT New Energy Automotive Co, a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group.
Mercedes-Benz is showing off a new version of its GLE luxury SUV that’s bigger and offers new driver assistance technology and creature comforts.
Assistance systems in the vehicle, which went on display Tuesday at the Paris Motor Show, can recognize traffic jams ahead, slow the vehicle if the driver doesn’t respond, and assist with stop and go driving.
Daimler AG’s luxury brand added 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) to the vehicle’s wheelbase.
And the company says an interior assistance system will sense if you’ve leaned over to get something from the passenger seat — and turn on the light.
The vehicle will be introduced with a six-cylinder, 367-horsepower gasoline engine, prices to be announced this autumn, market launch in early 2019. Diesel and hybrid versions are also planned.
BMW says drivers will be able to use their smartphones to unlock and start the engine of its new Series 3 models.
The German manufacturer has unveiled the latest iteration of the 3, its best-selling model that has sold more than 50 million units, at the Paris auto show.
BMW says the car is 55 kilograms (121 pounds) lighter and more aerodynamic than its predecessors, has far better fuel efficiency, and has a revised interior and a digital key operated by the driver’s smartphone.
This item has been corrected to show the model will have a digital key, not keyboard.
All-electric vehicles with zero emissions are among the stars of the Paris Motor Show — rubbing shoulders with the fossil-fuel burning SUVs that many car buyers love.
Volkswagen’s Audi and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz both on Tuesday showed off battery-powered SUVs for affluent customers.
Mercedes also had a new, bigger version of its conventionally powered GLE sport-utility, while BMW offers a new version of its X-5 SUV that has been a pillar of sales and earnings.
The model mix at the show underlined the contradictions pulling at the industry. The European Union and China are pushing for more electric and hybrid vehicles to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution, while consumers like SUVs and remain reluctant to buy electrics due to cost and range limitations.