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

This week's snippets of automotive news include Skoda customer loyalty, a harder Volkswagen Polo GTI, Mitsubishi's electrification struggle and Bentley's customers.

Skoda loyalty: 

Skoda customers show remarkable loyalty when it comes to replacing their cars, according to the company’s CEO, Bernhard Maier, and that’s helping to power sales. “It’s at 60% in some markets, which is remarkable for the industry,” he said. “The loyalty has been so consistent that we can now look to it to play a major role in our growth strategy.” 

Volkswagen Polo GTI: 

Volkswagen chassis development boss Karsten Schebsdat has hinted that a harder-hitting version of the Volkswagen Polo GTI could easily be produced because the “chassis can give more”. He said: “The car is so stable even in high-speed corners that there is definitely much more capacity [for a more focused version].” 

Mitsubishi's electrification struggle: 

Mitsubishi would have struggled to survive the switch to electrified, connected and autonomous cars on its own, according to the company’s executive vice president, Mitsuhiko Yamashita, but not so now it is part of an alliance with Renault and Nissan. “Mitsubishi was a million-car-a-year company. Now it’s part of a 10-million-a-year group. Only with group structures can you develop this,” he said. 

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Bentley customers: 

Bentley customers can no longer be pigeonholed into one age category, said boss Wolfgang Dürheimer. In China, the average age of a Bentley owner is 35 years old, whereas it is 55 in the UK. “We don’t have the same customers around the world any more,” he explained, saying that younger generations find the brand “aspirational”. 

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Comments
2

2 January 2018

...yes, this loyal Skoda owner ( Octavia VRS and Citigo plus many previous Skodas) would have liked to have seen a proper Yeti replacement. ( I loved mine)

But what do we get? A VAG clone devoid of character!!!!

This is NOT the way to keep your customers loyal Skoda.......

Steam cars are due a revival.

2 January 2018

Skoda should value and nurture this customer loyalty, but the Volkswagen group's autocracy is well documented, so unfortunately they will always have to what VW top brass tell them to do.

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Our Verdict

Volkswagen Golf

New 1.5-litre petrol engine promises to help keep the refreshed Volkswagen Golf ahead of rivals

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week