When asked if there had been concerns that a Ferrari SUV could dilute the brand, FCA Group boss Sergio Marchionne, in a moment of openness, admitted: “Yes.” Asked if he had any concerns now, with the so-called FUV (Ferrari Utility Vehicle) being developed, he was equally blunt, replying: “No.”
Interest in hybrid cars continues to grow apace, according to Ford Europe boss Steven Armstrong. Sales of the Mondeo hybrid are growing exponentially, albeit from a low base of around 1000 a year. “What’s more, a good proportion of them are Vignale spec. They are profitable and increasingly desirable,” said Armstrong.
Lexus LC Coupe:
Lexus recently put its LC coupé on display in a pop-up store at Westfield shopping centre for a month and observed with glee how it delivered a boost for all Lexus models. “The traffic to the UK website increased dramatically,” said European boss Pascal Ruch. “It spiked the interest in the LC, but what was most interesting was that online traffic to all our model pages increased.”
Cost of car production:
PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares has estimated that “regulatory inflation” – the inevitable costs of meeting industry standards such as safety – adds 5% to the cost of producing a car annually. As a result, he said that manufacturing plants must deliver the equivalent in productivity or savings every year in order to stand still. “It is the only way to build a sustainable business,” Tavares said.