Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
23 August 2016

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of Audi's thoughts on Chinese emissions regulations, Aston Martin investments, Skoda's future in the US and the next generation of Renaults.

Audi's future in the Chinese market

Chinese emissions regulations are likely to become the most severe in the world, reckons Audi R&D boss Stefan Knirsch. For Audi to meet them, he said: “I’m not afraid, but we will have to work hard to find solutions.” 

Read more: Netherlands closes in on 2025 petrol and diesel car banAudi Q2 Edition #1 limited-run model on sale this September

Aston Martin's investments 

Aston Martin secured £700 million – £500m from its owners and £200m from City investors in 2015 – to build its St Athan factory and develop four new models (DB11, V8 Vantage, Vanquish and DBX).

Now boss Andy Palmer tells us: “Beyond DBX, we won’t ask for more investment. The £700m covers the first four cars, and then you’ve got incremental capital coming back.”

Read more: Aston Martin DB11 review, Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante revealed at Pebble Beach

Skoda considers the US 

Skoda boss Bernhard Maier has said the brand is considering entering the US market.

“The next three markets Skoda will enter are South Korea, Singapore and Iran, but America is the one that we don’t currently compete in with the biggest potential,” he said. “We need to do a feasibility study. If we do decide to compete in the US, we will have one chance to make a good first impression. We feel that if we were there now, the Kodiaq would be a home-run car.” 

Read more: 2016 Skoda Octavia 1.0 TSI S review2017 Skoda Kodiaq: official new teaser pictures and video released

Next-generation of Renault

Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker has said the styling of the next generation of Renaults will be evolutions of the models introduced during his tenure, which began with the current Clio.

There is relatively low awareness of the refreshed range, especially all-new models such as the Captur (which has awareness among only 11% of buyers in Germany, for instance) and the Kadjar.

Read more: Renault Clio review, Renault Kadjar review

Our Verdict

Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer

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23 August 2016
Skoda to the US would deflect some of the potential lost sales from the main VW brand which was tarnished after Dieselgate.

(Yes, they're the same platforms and engines, but the main VW brand seemed to be the one dragged through the mud).

While they wouldn't have had the image of 70s/80s communist era cars to overcome, they also would have little brand recognition. Some folks may recognise the vehicles from trips to Europe - as hire cars or taxis. The only place I saw the Skoda brand in the states was on a bus that converted from an electric underground metro to an overground diesel.

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