Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
22 May 2018

This week's snippets of automotive news include news on the cost of car production, hybrid interest, the Ferrari SUV and Lexus LC Coupe

Ferrari SUV: 

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.”

Hybrid interest:

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.

Our Verdict

Ferrari 488 Pista 2018 road test review hero front

Ferrari's special series of track-honed road cars rarely disappoints, but is the 710bhp 488 Pista better than the McLaren 720S or Porsche 911 GT3?

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22 May 2018
Before, when I'd see some tanned and bejazzled asshat driving a Superfast with the only intention to display status, it would make me feel unhappy. They don't appreciate it like I would... if only... But now they will drive an FUV, not a Superfast, and it'll give me a great sense of schadenfreude! They paid even more for something less good. And the best bit of the joke is they think it's better. Whenever I see an FUV it will make me smile :).

22 May 2018

" of them are Vignale spec. They are profitable and increasingly desirable,"

desireabl ??  i don't think so. more like compnay car choice rather than ouright desireable ...


22 May 2018
Like all bubbles, the SUV bubble will burst.

When everyone has something, people stop wanting it.

It would be highly appropriate if this Ferrari nonsense, or the disturbingly mock-georgian Cullinan, marked that point.

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