Currently reading: Autocar confidential: BMW design chief on Lagonda Vision Concept, Ferrari on Italian rivalry and more
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s snippets of automotive news include Ferrari's jokes about Italian rivalry, Bernie Ecclestone at Geneva, BMW design chief on Aston Martin's Lagonda Vision Concept and top execs having a nosey on rivals' stands. 

Ferrari on Italian rivalry:

Ferrari (and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) boss Sergio Marchionne was on good form at the show, jokingly refusing to admit to journalists that there was any Italian rival supercar maker (Lamborghini). “Rival? Italian?” he said, looking blank-faced. He also laughed off criticism of his fondness for wearing a pullover and no tie, regardless of whether he is meeting presidents or the press. “I do wear a tie sometimes, you know,” he said, laughing. “I retire next year. Maybe I’ll start wearing one then.” 

Bernie Ecclestone: 

The interest in cars of former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone clearly remains active as he was spotted touring the show. Among the stands he visited was Aston Martin’s, but it’s unknown if the 87-year-old billionaire was tempted to lay down a deposit on a Valkyrie AMR Pro

BMW on Aston Martin's Lagonda Vision Concept:

BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk wasn’t too busy to find time to admire the Lagonda Vision Concept. He told Autocar: “It looks like they finally let [Aston design chief] Marek [Reichman] off the leash. It’s really well executed, too. It’s like some of the concept cars you used to see at the Geneva show in the 1970s; it’s wild, but controlled.” 

Execs having a nose around:

Plenty of other top execs had a nosey on rivals’ stands. Bentley design chief Stefan Sielaff was seen on an early morning tour of the show taking a close look at the Range Rover SVAutobiography, while VW boss Herbert Diess was spotted checking out the updated Mercedes-Benz C-Class and GT 4dr Coupé

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