July - August 2015

Ramadan is ten days earlier every single year. This year, it began around June 18 and will end around July 17-19. I wish you all a Happy Eid Fitr full of joy and happiness!

What's new in the auto industry? The story that really caught my attention was Volkswagen Group splitting into four holding companies. A major restructuring is said to be on the way for the world's second largest carmaker, the Volkswagen Group. According to three sources from within the company, cited by Reuters, the automotive giant will be divided into four holding companies in a move aimed at boosting profits.

Apparently there will be one holding company for mass market car brands (VW, Skoda, Seat), one for trucks and commercial vehicles (MAN, Scania, VW Commercial Vehicles) and two for premium brands - one headed by Audi, which would also include Lamborghini and Ducati, and the other led by Porsche, which would include Bentley and Bugatti.

The sources said former BMW manager Herbert Diess may run the holding company for mass market starting July 1. The Audi division would be run by Rupert Stadler, while Porsche boss Matthias Muller would manage the other premium division. As for the trucks division, it is likely to be run by Andreas Renschler.

According to company sources, VW's aim with the restructuring is to boost regional sales operations and make decision-making quicker. Each division would have the power to decide which models it sells and in which markets. In May, the VW Group's overall sales fell for a second month in a row for the first time in more than five years.

In our combined (July-August) and well-packed issue, we have carefully chosen what to bring you. In Milan, we attended the world premiere reveal of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia with 510 hp!

We featured some nice car reviews such as the fastest 2016 Viper ACR and the fiat Aegea launched in Istanbul, mainly for the emerging markets such as Lebanon and Jordan.

In our global drive section, I drove the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar in Sweden. David drove the new Ferrari 488 GTB and Philip laid down his hands on the new 2016 Audi Q7. In our regional drive section, Hisham had an adventurous safari in Dubai onboard the Nissan Patrol.

In our editors' choice section, Ershad drove both the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS and Mercedes AMG GT in Dubai. I personally drove the 2016 Mazda2 in Beirut.

We wrote a nice piece about the top 10 collectible cars in 2015. One day, those cars will make it into the classic era. In our spoil your ride section, it was dedicated to a motorbike enthusiast and tuner who owns a Ducati Panigale 1199.

We covered the one and only Lebanon Motorsport and Tuning Show 2015 held at Platea, Jounieh, Lebanon. We had a short interview with Gilber Ibrahim, Protuning LB owner, specialists in tuning all genres of vehicles rolling on Lebanese soils. Check that out!

I leave you here. Enjoy your summer wherever you are until we see you in September.  

- Issam Eid, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar

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