Bentley's sales snub
Bentley is one of the few manufacturers not aiming for annual sales growth, according to boss Adrian Hallmark. “We’re not aiming for 15,000 or even 13,000,” he said, acknowledging that the firm has hovered around 10,000 units per year since 2007. Instead, Bentley will work to increase the profitability of each car it sells. The Continental GT already sells for 22% above list price on average.
Top of a class of one
Citroen says its new ë-C4 electric hatchback, set to be priced from around £30,000, will essentially sit in a class of one when it’s launched next year. At the moment, said UK product marketing boss Rob Clark, “customers are faced with left-field EVs, B-segment hatchbacks or more expensive premium cars, so this is a car that could attract a new audience”.
Kia deals in
It will be a long time before most manufacturers move away from physical dealerships and online buying becomes the norm, reckons Kia UK president Paul Philpott: “To spend the sort of money you do on a car requires confidence, and for most people, that comes from seeing and trying the car and talking to experts.”
Firms that locate their production facilities in the UK post-Brexit will still reap many benefits, SMMT chief Mike Hawes has claimed. He listed “a proven track record in R&D and innovation” and “a highly skilled workforce that comes out at the top of league tables when benchmarked” as two factors – but acknowledged that investors are “sitting on their hands” waiting for a deal between the UK and EU.