Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
12 March 2019

In this week's motoring gossip bulletin, we learn that Seat's got big expansion plans, Brexit might not be all bad for Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo's pushing onwards with diesel technology and more. 

From Barcelona to Beijing

Seat will launch its cars in China in 2021, design boss Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos confirmed to Autocar. However, there are no plans to launch its Cupra performance brand there. China has quickly become an automotive powerhouse and is expected to be responsible for 30% of global car sales by 2030. Sibling brand Volkswagen already leads the Chinese market, accounting for a 10th of total sales. 

An import-ant advantage for JLR

Jaguar Land Rover could have a home advantage over rivals if tariffs on cars built outside the UK are introduced in a hard Brexit, according to product planning manager Wayne Darley. “If there is a tariff situation, we will be ahead with our British-built cars such as the XE and XF, making them cheaper than rivals – and securing British manufacturing,” he said. 

Our Verdict

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Volvo won’t ditch diesel (yet)

Diesel remains an important part of Volvo’s portfolio, said Europe boss Lex Kerssemakers, even though it won’t be developing a new diesel engine. He said: “We are launching the next-generation diesel in June. They normally last three to four years. So perhaps in five or six years, we will not offer diesel any more.” In the UK, diesel accounts for 50% of Volvo sales.

Audi will be top of the range

Audi is not planning to continually increase the range of its future electric models, according to powertrain boss Siegfried Pint said: “There will be a limit for range development. I don’t think it makes sense to implement a 600-mile range. There will be a customer and technical driven sweet spot in future.” The newly launched Audi E-tron offers 249 miles of range.

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Join the debate

Comments
14

12 March 2019

Wayne Darley seems to have forgotten that tariffs will also make exported JLR products more expensive and less competitive. You’ll need to sell a lot of XEs and XFs in UK to make up for that... judging by the current sales figures and comments on these pages, that won’t be easy.

12 March 2019

Maybe to Europe but there is the rest of the world to consider.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

12 March 2019
xxxx wrote:

Maybe to Europe but there is the rest of the world to consider.

JLR already sell 120k cars a year there. No doubt President Trump will be telling them soon to build the cars in the USA or face a 20% tariff...

12 March 2019
NavalReserve wrote:
xxxx wrote:

Maybe to Europe but there is the rest of the world to consider.

JLR already sell 120k cars a year there. No doubt President Trump will be telling them soon to build the cars in the USA or face a 20% tariff...

Maybe but then you're guessing. Plus, there's more to the world than the USA and there's already Tariffs on inporting cars to the US (which isn't a guess)

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

12 March 2019
scrap wrote:

Wayne Darley seems to have forgotten that tariffs will also make exported JLR products more expensive and less competitive. You’ll need to sell a lot of XEs and XFs in UK to make up for that... ..

They only sell around 700 XF's a month across the whole of Europe, compare that to 2,500 BMW 5/6 series sold in the UK. So if that's just BMW who do you think gains the most from having no tariffs?

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

12 March 2019
scrap wrote:

Wayne Darley seems to have forgotten that tariffs will also make exported JLR products more expensive and less competitive. You’ll need to sell a lot of XEs and XFs in UK to make up for that... judging by the current sales figures and comments on these pages, that won’t be easy.

If I were a car producer, I think I would rather have an advantage in a market of 500 million people than in a market of 65 million people.

Also, EU producers will be able to sell in Japan without tariffs. Another 90 million people...

12 March 2019

Nice to hear that from JLR. Most of their sales are probably in the UK anyway. 

Don't really understand the statement from Audi. Surely the target is to give the electric car as good a range as an internal combustion engine. Good to hear it anyway, could help keep the engine around.

Overall, a very encouraging article.

JMax

12 March 2019

In terms of units sold, 18% of worldwide JLR sales were to the UK so far this financial year. For the same period, sales to the rest of Europe were 19% more than to the UK alone.

Happy motoring

12 March 2019

Encouraging news for car enthusiants nervous about the future and afraid off those cars that came out in the Geneva motor show last week, what we see from this is that brexit is going to bring more oppurtunities. 

JLR will be happy to hear that they still remain top of the charts and there car is one of the best for british. Its important for Volvo too not look too far ahead into the future. Not everyone likes electic!! 

We know that car production of the UK isn't going to end and it remains a major part of industry even if we going through brexit

dw04

12 March 2019
It seems that Audi are looking to a range of around 500 miles eventually. So anyone buying an e-tron now with a range of 250 miles will take a big hit from depreciation in a couple of years...

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