Currently reading: Autocar confidential: Car manufacturers' CO2 conundrum, Lexus's SUV sales spree and more
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry

In this week's round-up of automotive gossip, we survey the CO2 emissions landscape ahead of the EU's tough new regulations, talk SUV sales successes with Lexus, chat possible tech tie-ups with Volvo and more.

Emissions still rising as 2021 targets loom

The UK's average CO2 output for new cars sold this year will still count towards the overall EU figure targeted at 95g/km, but it won’t from 2021. Last year, the average CO2 emissions of a new car sold in the UK rose for a third straight year to 127.9g/km, leaving car manufacturers with a huge challenge to quickly cut emissions or face fines. No softening of this target is expected by the Government, either.

Lexus's SUV success

Lexus sold 87,000 cars in 2019 across 10 different model lines – yet more than 60,000 came from just three cars: the Lexus UX, Lexus NX and Lexus RX SUVs. Despite that, Lexus Europe boss Pascal Ruch believes the big range of cars is important for building the brand and its image and that absolute volume isn’t an issue for the models, because each contributes the sales it should do to be justified.

3 Lexus ux 250h f sport hero front

Volvo denies talks with Daimler

No talks have taken place between Daimler and Volvo on technical partnerships, despite the two sharing a common shareholder in Geely. Volvo boss HÃ¥kan Samuelsson said his firm was “interested in talking to anyone to agree in our interests” but added there was “nothing to comment on nor any discussions” with Daimler.

2 Geely logo and mercedes badge

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Kia's online sales snub

Kia has no plans to push online sales in the UK, according to boss Paul Philpott. “The complexity of products is increasing not decreasing,” he said. There’s more need than ever to speak to someone face-to-face.” He added that he’s seen no proof of success from other car makers that have pursued an online-focused sales strategy.

1 Kia xceed 2019 rt hero front


Lexus UX 300e: more details revealed for first Lexus EV 

Toyota and Lexus to launch three EVs by 2021 

Lexus LC500 Convertible will go on sale next year

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typos1 3 March 2020

The demonisation of diesel

The demonisation of diesel and the third consecutive rise of the average car's CO2 emissions are inextricably linked.

fellwalker 3 March 2020

Autocar is partly to blame

Autocar, along with all the other motoring magazines, keeps saying how wonderful gas guzzling SUVs, hot hatches, supercars, 7-seaters and pick up trucks are.

They skew the average consumption figures. 

Very few people need any of those things. Having read all the articles about how wonderful SUVs were, I bought one. It promised 60mpg compared to my old hatchback's 50. In reality it achieved barely 30mpg compared to my previous actual 40mpg.

It has gone. I'm back to A Golf Estate, which achieves far closer to its book mpg.


BTW Autocar. I had great difficulty with signing in to post this on my Android. Your scrolling advert for Suzuki had a hidden bar down the side that meant I kept being taken to their Web site. I had to use my stylus to hit the very end of 'in' on sign in. That really drives me further and further away from your site.