Currently reading: Autocar confidential: Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Ford, BMW
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s gossip from the automotive industry has news of autonomous advancements, new Peugeot pick-ups, Ford collaborations and BMW’s refusal to rival the Audi R8.

Autonomous Mercedes' coming soon

Mercedes-Benz Boss Dieter Zetsche has said his company’s drive to perfect autonomous driving is nearly complete. “There are still some issues when it is dark, wet or icy, but the basic challenge is solved,” he said.

However, he acknowledges that, like everyone else, Mercedes must wait for network infrastructures to be built and legislative frameworks to be changed before the dream of fully autonomous driving can be realised. 

Read more: Mercedes-Benz autonomous car spiedGoogle's Autonomous vehicle crash

Peugeot pick-up inspired by the 301 saloon

It is understood that the new Peugeot pick-up, announced by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares at the recent unveiling of his latest expansion plans, could be based on the 301 saloon (below) already sold in developing markets.

Peugeot boss Maxime Picat said he wants to build on the success of the 301, which sells around 100,000 units a year in China and developing nations. A 301 pick-up would be a recreation of one of Peugeot’s most successful developing-world models, the 504 pick-up. 

Read more: New PSA Peugeot Citröen pick-upPeugeot 508 RXH review

Ford’s collaborative efforts for new tech

Ford believes that working with external companies is the fastest way to develop new technology.

The firm, which partnered with GKN Driveline when developing the new Focus RS’s four-wheel drive system, wants to increase the number of collaborations it has in other areas of technology. 

Read More: Ford's glare-free high beamsFord's winter autonomous tech

BMW denies need for Audi R8 rival

BMW has rejected claims that it needs a mid-engined super-sports car at the top of its range to rival the Audi R8.

“Other companies may need one for strategic reasons, to prove they can make something truly ‘sporty’ – but we don’t,” explained M division CEO Frank van Meel. “Our business is elsewhere.”

Read More: Audi R8 review, BMW i8 Review



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