June 2017

President Donald Trump pledges to stop German car sales in the U.S.

Here we are getting into the holy month of Ramadan, which started on Saturday, May 27th and will last for almost one month. To all of you we wish you "Ramadan Kareem"; stay safe and eat healthy after the fasting.

What's the shocking story of the month?

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump has expanded his focus on the automotive industry beyond U.S. and Japanese carmakers, and now appears to be targeting the Germans. While attending a NATO summit in Brussels with a host of top EU leaders, Trump was reported to have lashed out at Germany and suggested he will attempt to stop German-built vehicles being sold in the U.S.

"The Germans are bad, very bad... Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US. We will stop this," Trump said. It is impossible to say precisely how Trump aims to decrease or completely stop German cars being sold in the U.S. but his proposed tax of 35 percent on imported cars could go some way towards limiting sales and encouraging German manufacturers to build more of their vehicles locally. BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen all have manufacturing facilities in the United States, with BMW's Spartanburg factory being its largest, as well as the one responsible for building most of its SUV models.

Another interesting story is that Audi is planning to launch a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021. Audi held its annual general meeting and the company used the event to discuss a handful of future models, its plans to embrace electrification and the latest developments in autonomous driving technology.

The company revealed it has taken the leading role in developing autonomous driving technology for the Volkswagen Group. The 2018 Audi A8 is slated to offer Level 3 autonomous driving, but the company is already working on "driverless vehicles" which can be used in urban environments. Audi declined to go into specifics; however it did say the fully autonomous driving technology would be ready for use in a "small series of cars" by 2021.

Besides talking about autonomous technology, Audi reaffirmed the Q4 and Q8 will be launched in 2019. The four-ringed brand also confirmed plans to launch three battery-electric models by 2020. Audi will then "gradually electrify models in each of its core series." The company has high hopes for these vehicles as it expects fully or partially electric models to make up a third of its sales by 2025.

What do we have in our June issue?

Our cover story has been divided for the all-new 2017 Honda CR-V and the all-new 2018 Lexus LC.

Jaguar has unveiled from the SVO department the most powerful ever Jaguar XE SV Project 8 - delivering 600 horsepower!

In our Editors' Choice section we tested in Dubai the facelifted 2018 Nissan Pathfinder, Cadillac CT-V and Toyota Land Cruiser Xtreme. In Beirut we tested the Infiniti Q30 1.6T, Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe V6, Fiat Tipo and Nissan Altima.

We had a one-on-one interview with Britta Seeger, Daimler AG Board member during Shanghai Motor Show. An epic event took place in Pit Stop Karting in Beirut for the launch of the all-new 2018 Camaro ZL1.

I leave you here for now. Drive safely and don't forget to check out our social media platforms from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel.



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