New front-drive BMW to get M Sport upgrades while Dongfeng secures a PSA Peugeot Citroën rescue deal and Bugatti launches a new ownership package

BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer will be available with an optional M Sport package. Featuring a beefed-up appearance thanks to 17 or 18inch alloys, skirts, chrome exhaust tips and sporty seats, the first front-wheel-drive BMW will also receive a raft of suspension upgrades, sharpened handling and a lowered ride height - which will be by about 10mm.

China’s Dongfeng Motors has signed a rescue deal with struggling PSA Peugeot Citroën, securing a much-needed cash injection for the French car maker.  The Chinese and French Presidents oversaw the deal, the latter agreeing to match Dongfeng’s 14 per cent stake in a £2.5 billion capital increase.

The Renault-Nissan partnership celebrates its 15th anniversary today. As the most successful partnership of its kind in the motoring industry, plans for increased sharing across several sectors, including engineering, manufacturing, and even human resources, should help ensure costs across the partnership are cut by a substantial £3.5 billion in 2016.

A plan to build a test facility for autonomous vehicles has been approved by the University of Michigan. The facility, which will occupy 30 acres of the university's research complex, will simulate an urban environment covering some three miles of road, and include junctions, pavements, signals, simulated buildings, lights and obstacles. The testing ground is planned to be finished by the end of 2014 and will cost almost £4m.

Bugatti has launched a new customer care programme. The 'Bugatti Certified' scheme will see each car serviced and fully updated prior to its sale if necessary, be it new or used, and its warranty extended. “We want to give owners the assurance that their vehicle meets our highest quality standards over the long term," said a Bugatti board member.

Additional reporting by Lewis Kingston, 28 March 2014

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31 March 2014
I think the term 'rescue' is over-used. PSA aren't struggling as much as Mitsubishi in Europe. They're selling cars and making vastly better products than those they were launching 10 years ago.

"Work hard and be nice to people"

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