Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
21 March 2017

This week's gossip from the automotive industry brings news of the farewell dinner for Bernie Ecclestone, Mercedes' safety reputation and BMW's thoughts on motor shows.

Are motor shows worth it?

Are motor shows the most effective way to reach an audience? Not all of them, according to Hildegard Wortmann, BMW’s senior vice president for product and brand. She wouldn’t name names but is clear that the pace of change in the world needs to be met.

“When you consider the cost versus the return, not all motor shows deliver,” she said. “A lot of our customers are at different events to motor shows, and we need to keep carefully reviewing what we do.”

Read more: BMW i8 Roadster: first pictures of prototype testingBMW iNext to benefit from £12bn autonomous car tech deal

Executives at the Geneva show

Visitors to the Geneva show might have noticed that there seemed to be more senior executives, and figures from the world of motorsport, around than normal on the second press day – by which point most have usually joined the Lear jet exodus.

One reason was an FIA-organised farewell dinner for Bernie Ecclestone on the evening of the second press day. Many of the car industry’s biggest beasts opted to stay to attend and others flew in specially.

Read more: Geneva motor show newsBernie Ecclestone: what F1 legacy does he leave behind?

Mercedes' safety reputation

Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche wasn’t fazed at Geneva when questioned about his firm’s safety recall of one million vehicles, but he wasn’t exactly bullish about Mercedes’ reputation for quality, either.

Asked how he reflects on his ‘back to basics’ strategy introduced in 2006, he said: “I don’t plan to write a history book on what I have done for Mercedes. I am focused on the future, not the past; on setting the right directions for the team. I think we have an excellent team, which is perhaps my most important accomplishment. Others have to judge the job that I have done.”

Read more: Mercedes-Benz CL (2000-2007): used buying guideUpdated Mercedes-Benz S-Class - first ride with autonomous technology

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
The C-Class shares a lot of its looks with the new S-Class, furthering its desirability

Can our perennial runner-up in this class finally reach the top spot?

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