x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Week in Motoring: Fiat withdraws from Iran amid nuclear row with West

Plus, Lotus chief suspended over 'conduct'; Nissan plans to expand operations in Russia; and Ford launches perfume that smells like a new car.

Fiat and its subsidiaries last week became the latest car manufacturer to halt sales to Iran amid the ongoing international dispute over the country's nuclear programme. The Italian marque, which owns Chrysler, and the rest of the auto industry have been under pressure from anti-nuclear lobby groups to withdraw business from Iran. In a statement Fiat said it "supports international efforts for a diplomatic solution" to Iran's nuclear issues, adding that its sales in the country were "totally immaterial". Fiat follows several other car manufacturers that have withdrawn from the country in recent months, including PSA Peugeot Citroën, Hyundai and Porsche.

Lotus chief suspended over his 'conduct'

Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar has been suspended from his Dh6.9 million post over his "conduct". The controversial boss who was in the middle of his five-car company overhaul was temporarily suspended last week by parent company DRB-HICOM, which bought Proton earlier this year, and it's been reported that his laptop has been seized and his email account suspended. A spokesman for DRB-HICOM said: "Group Lotus plc can today confirm that, following an operational review, chief executive Dany Bahar has been temporarily suspended from his role to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct." The motoring world waits with bated breath for more news on the situation.

Nissan plans to expand operations in Russia

Japanese marque Nissan is aiming to expand its brand in Russia by increasing its market share from 5.9 per cent to 10 per cent by 2016. That means Nissan will have to shift half a million more vehicles a year than it currently does. Sales for 2011 were just 161,000 units. The car maker plans to beef up its production line in St Petersburg so it produces five models - the Qashqai, Teana, X-Trail, Murano and a revived Datsun fitting in, too.

Ford launches perfume that smells like new car

There is a multitude of perfumes out there but very few that would want to claim to smell like a new car. Yet Ford Spain has put its name to a perfume called Olor a Nuevo (which means "smells new"). The perfume is in collaboration with Ogilvy Madrid and aims to make used cars smell like new. Let's hope no misguided Spaniard men buy their better halves a bottle or they could find themselves living out of their car.