Currently reading: Autocar confidential: Bentley, Peugeot, Mercedes, Skoda
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 brings news of Peugeot's design plans, public reaction to the Bentley EXP12 Speed 6e, autonomous Mercedes' and the tactics of Skoda's customers.

Peugeot's design plans

Peugeot boss Jean-Philippe Imparato has vowed always to place design at the top of his wishlist when launching new cars. “Sophisticated design is the most important thing,” he said, lauding the 3008’s European Car of the Year triumph. “We must never compromise on style, inside or outside a car.”

Read more: Striking Peugeot Instinct shooting brake concept revealed, 2017 Peugeot 5008 review

Public reaction to the Bentley EXP12 Speed 6e

The next step in gauging reaction to the Bentley EXP12 Speed 6e electric sports car concept is to take it to Pebble Beach in America, boss Wolfgang Dürheimer told Autocar. He said so far customers had been “very positive” about the design but there was still a “question mark” over the implementation of an electric powertrain. 

Read more: Why the Bentley Bentayga needs more variants, according to boss DurheimerBargain Bentleys: why they're more tempting than ever

Autonomous Mercs

While the majority of Mercedes vehicles will offer autonomous systems, there may be some exceptions, according to the brand’s driver assistance systems manager Christoph von Hugo.

“We will have to see whether someone who wants a GT wants steering assist,” he said. However, he added that the systems will need to go in the majority of its cars to contribute to better traffic safety. “We will not affect overall traffic safety if we are just putting them in a few cars.”

Read more: Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ 2017 review2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class to front new engine line-up

The tactics of Skoda's customers

Skoda's head of research and development, Christian Strube, breaks the mould of most car execs by admitting his customers tend to buy rationally rather than emotionally.

“Our roots are in logical functionality – I certainly never want to leave that,” he said. “But in the past decade we have taken steps to appeal to people’s emotions, too.” 

Read more: Skoda launches innovative digital showroomSkoda Karoq 2017 review

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WallMeerkat 9 May 2017

Peugeot need to keep a

Peugeot need to keep a picture of their x07 range on the wall, as a reminder of what happens when they take their eye off the ball.

Skoda buyers are rational, but recent models the design has been modern and minimalist, appealing to a certain buyer, almost like Volvos of old.