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Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry

In this week's round-up of automotive gossip, we chat 'small' cars with Jaguar Land Rover, get the lowdown on Mercedes' Nice (and nice) design studio and more.

La petite Land Rover?

Jaguar Land Rover's chief commercial officer, Felix Bräutigam, insists moving down into smaller segments is not necessary for the company. “We should not and will not drive down into segments just to get economy of scale,” he said, adding that the Evoque was already a small car by some definitions. “An Evoque is 4.37m and a Volkswagen Golf is 4.3m,” he said. “It’s Golf sized.”

Honda spies Honda CR-V hy(brid)

Honda's CR-V hybrid sales are lower than predicted in the UK simply due to supply, said sales boss Phil Webb. The model accounts for 55% of the CR-V mix but, from next year, when supply will be ample, he predicts it will push 80%.

Confids honda 2

Nice works nicely for Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz considered opening a new 50-head design studio in London recently, but instead opted to set up in Nice, in part due to UK property prices being too high. “It was a shame but, in the end, Nice was perfect,” said design director Gorden Wagoner. “It also has the nice symmetry of Emil Jellinek, the company founder, being from the area.”

Confids merc

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Red is the colour

Few colours are as synonymous with a brand as red is for Ferrari, but what’s the favourite colour of its design boss, Flavio Manzoni? “I like metallic reds, liquid reds to show the 3D effect of the cars,” he said, before breaking from the party line to add: “I love yellow as well. I’m not too keen on liveries – but it’s a strong trend. I don’t like decoration and cars are being decorated now.” Ferrari always ensures a designer sits with customers who are making bespoke colours and trims, though. “They are there to limit it!”

Confids ferrari


New hybrid-only Honda Jazz unveiled

Next-gen Mercedes-Benz C-Class to gain S-Class tech

Ferrari tech boss on EVs, V12s and next LaFerrari

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Tornadorot 12 November 2019

Mercedes-Benz don't know their own history

Karl Jelinek didn't found M-B, he was basically just the Nice dealer for the cars being made by the company founded by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach.

Mikey C 12 November 2019

Nice seems an odd place for a

Nice seems an odd place for a design studio, hardly the centre of the car industry there!

Nickktod 12 November 2019

Design studio locations

Don't want to go all Stephen Bailey here, but: Surely a design studio should be located close to the roots of the brand to absorb the culture, heritage and zeitgeist of the locality into its design ethos to more effectively channel it's heritage/values/brand into every facet of the final product. To me this would seem almost more important than where the vehicle is actually assembled. Surely a Mercedes design studio should be in Prussia/Swabia, Rolls-Royce in London, Renault in Paris etc etc?