Volvo brings its XC40 to the Brussels Show…and meets avid buyers.

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On the introduction of the XC40 at the Brussels Show, Managing Director of Volvo Belux, Wim Maes, commented on future plans and commercial results…

In November last year, the production of Volvo Cars’ first ever small premium SUV started off at the Volvo Cars plant in Ghent. The car is meeting great interest, and indeed orders are streaming in by the thousands already.

With the XC40, Volvo completes its SUV line-up, and gets a firm foothold in the fastest growing segment of the automotive industry. Together with the XC60 and de XC90, Volvo has a strong set of cards indeed in this segment…

We saw the XC40 for the first time “in the flesh” here, and indeed it looks pleasing and well balanced.

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At the presentation of the XC40, managing director of Volvo Belux, Mr. Wim Maes, commented on the car and the commercial results and perspectives of Volvo both globally and for the Belgian market, together with the Managing Director of the Ghent plant, Eric Van Landeghem.

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Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Brussels Motor Show 2018: witnessing the European Premiere of the BMW X2…

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Needing some extra photos of BMW people we interviewed, and of which you will read much more soon on these columns, we took the occasion to witnessing the remarkable premiere of the BMW X2 on the Brussels Show.

It was a stunning spectacle, and we just show you here the photos we took, just to let you get a “feel” of what was happening on the BMW stand on January 15 at palace 7 of the Show.

Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Already since the press day, on Wednesday 10 january, the countdown to the premiere was started off, by pushing a red button by Jean-Philippe Parain, Senior Vice-President Sales Europe BMW (left) and Peter Henrich, President and CEO of BMW Group Belux.

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We show you here also the last minutes and seconds of the countdown, where already two all white painted male dancers took centre stage,

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with an enormous spider-mannequin tucking discreetly behind the curtains of the stand, to prepare his performance…

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A dancer all painted in gold then entered the central stage, wrapped also in a long gold curtain, awaiting the last seconds, and then with a baseball bat virtually broke the windows so to speak, to reveal the blue and yellow colored BMW’s.

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But before the final curtain fell, there was still a performance act with the long legged enormously impressive spider-mannequin and the two white painted dancers.

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A stunning show, which amply reveals how much care and attention automotive brands invest in presenting their products…

Right after the introduction, the automotive press assailed the BMW PR people, and here Corporate Communications Manager Christophe Weerts is answering questions…

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Soon we will report further on what was to be seen at the Brussels show, alongside with the interesting interviews and talks we had, as we announced you in the previous post.

So stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

A range of interviews with a focus on BMW and MINI… its cars and its (electric) future.

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On the Brussels Salon, Dr. Peter Henrich, President and CEO of BMW Group Belux presented us the new i8 roadster, and his dynamic PR Team arranged for us a range of interviews…

The Brussels Salon was an excellent occasion this year to make some very interesting interviews and have some in depth face to face talks and discussions with the people who are shaping our automotive future and individual mobility.

At the 2018 edition of the Brussels Show we focused on BMW and Mini, last but not least thanks to the very dynamic and pro-active PR team of BMW Belux, notably Christophe Weerts, Corporate Communcations Manager and Saschia De Rudder, Corporate Communications, who kindly invited us to have talks and interviews with their important people who visited the Brussels Show.

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Dr. Peter Henrich greeting here Jean-Philippe Parain, stepping here out of the brand new facelifted BMW 2 series Active Tourer…

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Jean-Philippe Parain presenting the many qualities of the BMW 2 series and lifting a veil on the forthcoming novelties, like the X2, which will presented on January 15… 

So we had an interview met Jean-Philippe Parain, Senior Vice-President Sales Europe BMW, zooming in on the BMW sales results in the European market outside Germany,

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Sebastian MacKensen showed us the new MINI’s and a prototype of its full electric version…at the Brussels Show. 

then we had an in depth discussion with Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice-President MINI, on the MINI brand and its (bright) future, and we concluded the day with Armin Hultzsch, Head of Project BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer, Marcus Tauchen, Project Management Office BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer and Pascale Goudvis, Product Management BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran Tourer. There the 2 series bestseller(s) took centre stage, and we discussed the many challenges involved in designing, developing and producing these impressive BMW’s which represent for some 70 pct of the buyers a first acquaintance with the brand.

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Dr. Peter Quitus, on the left of this picture, in discussion with us, together with Dr. Peter Henrich on the right…

To deepen out things further, we were also invited to participate in two round table discussions, one with Peter Quintus, Sales Manager BMW M GmbH, and secondly but last but not least a long discussion about BMW’s electrification successes, and its future plans and projects in this field, with Robert Irlinger, Senior Vice-President BMWi.

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Dr. Peter Irlinger, discussing with us the electric future of BMW…

Soon you will be treated in these columns to the full interviews and the many interesting insights which were developed here.

Needless to say that the subjects will form an interesting platform for further discussions, and we will deepen them further out over the year, widening them throughout our automotive world.

Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

 

We drove the Lexus RC300h: stylish and sporting refinement …

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The Lexus brand truly stands for refinement. They drive smoothly, and are truly awe-inspiring in their hybrid form. But that is not all, they come now also with style. And this coupé has plenty of it. Bold, inspiring shapes, both inside and out.

We drove this coupé in hybrid version, and this is where Lexus truly shows superb state of the art mechanical know  how. Many Lexus buyers won’t have it otherwise. And we understand them. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Mercedes GLC 250d 4Matic: the (b)right star on all your roads…

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When the oldest car manufacturer in the world brings out a compact SUV, or any SUV for that matter, you can expect something truly special. The GLC proves again the case, admirably. This three starred gem is to be seen as a direct competitor to the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3, and the competition is heating up as the X3 has been revamped completely quite recently. Our test car came with the more powerful 204 HP version of the trusted 2,1 liter Diesel engine, and was stealing admiring looks in its iridium silver livery. And it had a lot more up its sleeve, just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Koleos dCi 175 X-tronic 4WD: French flair on any road…

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Renault has given the latest generation Koleos bold new curves. But besides the good looks, it received a thorough make over in cabin design, with of course also a further rejuvenation in electronics and mechanics. We described already in an earlier report the new Koleos at its introduction, and now we were able to drive the dynamic and lively 2 liter 177 HP Diesel version. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Kia Optima SW PHEV: the joys of clever propulsion…

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They are coming our way in increasing numbers: the plug in hybrids, and rightly so. They bring the environmental friendliness of “pure” E power, combined with the unlimited action range and economy of a hybrid, with the added bonus of charging through the grid. The Kia engineers also decided to have a go, and put forward the stylish Optima, also in the estate version. We truly enjoyed it, just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Renault looks back to a good year, is present at the Brussels Show and drives the future…

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At the press conference, director general Jean-Paul Renaux first commented about the presence of Renault and Dacia on the forthcoming Brussels Motor Show

Renault Belgium has always something special in store for the Belgian press at the end of another successful year.

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This month they invited us to the premises of the Brussels Bozar, where we could enjoy a fascinating Margritte exhibition, before telling us more about the commercial results, its presence at the Brussels Salon and its (bold) plans for the future…

Just read further!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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BMW Group Belux strengthens leadership in premium segment in Belgium…

 

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The i8 Roadster will be seen on the forthcoming Brussels Show, and was also to be admired amidst a fashion show at BMW’s Brussels Brand Store… 

At the posh suite 101 of its stylish BMW Brand Store in Brussels, we saw smiling faces. And with good reason:  BMW consolidates further its no1 position in the Belgian premium market, while Mini confirms its strong stance in the compact luxury car segment. BMW Motorrad has become this year absolute overall Belgian market leader. On the forthcoming Brussels Motor Show, world and European premieres are to be seen…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4: plug-in hybrid power in a heart winning package…

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Don’t we all just love the iconic Mini. It comes to us now in many versions, all breathing this unique Mini style and personality. The BMW group has indeed developed a talent in declining the classic and iconic Mini character in many totally modern and up to date cars. This Countryman version amply proves the point: state of the art plug in hybrid technology has been put into this Mini, which makes it the car to have and cherish for the coming decades…

Just read further!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “We drove the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4: plug-in hybrid power in a heart winning package…”