This week’s snippets of automotive news includes hybrid challenges at Ferrari and confidence for diesel at Daimler. Kia also reveals why it's going from strength-to-strength while Dacia denies that it needs a smaller model.
Ferrari's need to accommodate hybrid systems:
Ferrari continually strives to make its cars more compact, according to technical director Michael Leiters, but it is a challenge that isn’t getting any easier. Leiters pointed out the need to accommodate a battery and electric motor into series production hybrid models, the first of which will appear out of Maranello in 2019 or 2020.
Daimler on diesel:
Daimler won't stop investment in diesel engines because it sold more oilburners last year than ever before. Company boss Dieter Zetsche said that while the share of diesel across the group’s car brands reduced by 2-3%, overall sales were up: “[Diesel] still accounts for about 50% of our sales”.
Kia's brand image:
Kia boss Michael Cole said the company’s move away from its original status as a budget brand is reflected not just by the fact that the Sportage is its best-selling model, but also that 22% of Picanto city car sales are of the range-topping GT Line model. He added that Kia was working on being seen as “design-driven, innovative and sporty” and that the transformation in the brand’s standing over the past decade was proof of the progress it was making.
Dacia on smaller cars:
Despite the large size of the Sandero relative to the Ford Fiesta, Dacia has no plans to produce a smaller model to sit below the £5995 supermini. The brand did consider bringing the Kwid – a small SUV produced for emerging markets – to right-hand-drive countries. UK brand boss Louise O’Sullivan described the Sandero as the right product for Europe.