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

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of Seat's record-breaking profits, no regrets from Ssangyong's UK CEO, Audi's success with its new factory in Mexico, the Renault Trezor's craftmanship.

Seat's record-breaking profits

Seat is on track to report its highest profits ever, even before sales of the eagerly anticipated Ateca SUV have begun.

“Profit of €100m [£85m] in this industry may not sound much,” said boss Luca de Meo, “but when you have lost money for eight years, to be able to do that when many of your products are at the end of their life cycle is very encouraging.”

Read more: Seat Leon Cupra all-wheel-drive 300bhp super-hatch confirmed for 2017, Seat Arona X-Perience on the way

No regrets from Ssangyong's UK CEO

Ssangyong's UK CEO, Paul Williams, has no regrets about bringing the distinctive limited-edition Korando Sports DMZ pickup to the UK, despite unfavourable reviews in the motoring press.

“We used it as a way of shameless attention seeking,” he said. “When you’re small and you’re not known, you need to do that. But we’ve still sold most of them.”

Read more: Electric Ssangyong Tivoli to head firm's battery powered line-up, Ssangyong Musso EX auto review

Audi's succeeding in Mexico

Audi's new factory in Mexico will initially build 150,000 Q5s a year. However, as well as having the capacity to increase on that figure within the existing facility, there is also the space surrounding the plant to double it in size.

It has the potential to become one of Audi’s largest manufacturing sites, exporting a range of models around the world.

Read more: 2017 Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 190 Quattro S tronic review, Audi A4 long-term test review: interior niggles

Renault Trezor's quality craftmanship 

The Renault Trezor concept, revealed at this year’s Paris motor show, took 18 months from start to finish because design boss Laurens van den Acker insisted it was completed to the highest standard possible.

“We could have rushed it, had parts that didn’t quite fit or that were hanging on,” he said. “But much better that it is just so, so you can get up close and see and feel it.”

Read more: 2016 Renault Twingo GT review2016 Renault Megane Sports Tourer dCi 130 Dynamique S Nav review

Our Verdict

Ssangyong Korando

The Ssangyong Korando SUV is good compared to the company's previous models, but poor by class standards

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Comments
3

6 December 2016
Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ... Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ... Mᴀᴋᴇ $90 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $12000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ... Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ...

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fgg

6 December 2016
Didn't think SEAT's range was that old, but surprisingly the Ibiza has been out for 8 years!

Mii (rebadged VW UP!) 5 years, Leon and Toledo (the latter of which they never market for some reason) 4 years, Alhambra 6 years (which I think is getting replaced soon) and I think they quietly killed off the Altea last year after 11 years (!) - the last of the curved DeSilva era models.

They seem to sell well, given the amount on the roads, I struggle to see why they always seem to be in crisis?

6 December 2016
WallMeerkat wrote:

They seem to sell well, given the amount on the roads, I struggle to see why they always seem to be in crisis?

There must be a degree of fudging the books across the various VW Group brands, probably to increase the profitability of VW/Audi over SEAT and Skoda.

For example, who foots the bill for the platforms and engines that are shared by all? Unless costs like these are split evenly, or on a per unit sold basis, profits for each brand are inaccurate.

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