Southern Group Happenings: December 2023

While the Christmas period usually signals a quieter time in the automotive industry, with nearly all brands shutting down for the festive period, this didn’t faze the Southern Group membership, who had another prolific month. 

The month of December started with a bit of an automotive surprise with the arrival of the Tesla Cybertruck. Yes, the space-age stainless steel electric truck of the future that was first revealed four years ago, the one that some said might never arrive, has finally started production with the first customer deliveries taking place in North America. 

PR Stars, Top Cars, Recognised in 2024 SGMW New Years Honours

In other automotive happenings last month, a Nissan Ariya EV became the first car to drive from the North Pole to the South Pole – taking 10 months to cover the 18,600 mile distance – and the new Ferrari movie, a biopic on Enzo Ferrari, finally made its cinema debut in the UK. 

The final month of the year meant plenty of activity for the SGMW too, with the group’s annual Christmas meal, an event that was attended by 30 members, and the lead-up to our 2024 New Year Honours awards, which were revealed at the start of the New Year.  

Here, we run through what the SGMW members got up to in December 2023. 

SGMW Digital Round Up:

Alpine A110 R 2023 review – Tim Pitt

After describing it as one of the “cars worth getting up early for,” Tim Pitt gets behind the wheel of the Alpine A110 R to find out if the most potent variant yet is the one to have. 

Read the full review on Motoring Research here

The ULEZ Files – Shahzad Shiekh

In his debut novel titled The ULEZ Files, Shahzad Shiekh (aka Brown Car Guy), tells the story of Max Turner, a motoring journalist and YouTuber, as he uncovers a deep-rooted conspiracy intertwining green capitalism and draconian motoring restrictions. 

The ULEZ Files is available to buy on Amazon 

Coming Together – BYD E-Platform 3.0 – Rich Gooding

After BYD made a considerable splash in the UK electric car market in 2023 with an array of new models, Rich Gooding takes a deep dive into the scalable EV platform that underpins the Chinese brand’s cars for Tech Insider. 

Read the Tech Insider article here

Jaecoo J7 Is a Chinese Tech Focussed Luxury SUV Coming to the UK – Phil Huff

In 2024, the new Jaecco J7 will be launched in the UK as the latest entrant in a very packed market sector. But how does the newcomer stack up? Phil Huff breaks down all the details for Average Joe’s. 

Read the article on Average Joe’s here

Best Car Wrappers: Trinity Francis

For car enthusiasts who are considering wrapping their car to give it a new look but don’t know who to trust with the task, Trinity Francis runs through the very best car wrappers dotted around the globe.

Read the article on Fast Car here

SGMW social watch:

Tim Pitt ended 2023 exactly as he started it, with another car spot. This time though, the car in question is a V10-powered Audi R8 LMX, one of only 99 examples built. A high-scoring spot if ever there was one.  

Ending 2023 on a considerable high note was Tyler Heatley, who was very smitten with a very fast and very loud Nascar-spec Ford stock car.

Did you know the Peugeot 405 is still in production? Neither did we until Chris Rees revealed that an updated version of the classic 405 saloon is available in Iran of all places where it’s badged as the Peugeot Pars.

In countryside related news, Trinity Francis took to X (formerly Twitter) to celebrate the successful completion of an off-roading day in the Ineos Grenadier by standing on the roof to mark the achievement. 

If you’ve ever looked at a Honda ZR-V and thought it looked familiar, then Stuart Bird appears to have confirmed which model its front-end design was inspired by.