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

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of Citroen's diesel sales, sales of the Nissan Pulsar and Land Rover's bid to stay 'unique'.

Are motor shows worth it for car makers?

The changing media landscape means motor shows must prove their marketing value to continue attracting manufacturers, according to BMW’s senior vice president of brand, Hildegard Wortmann. “As ever, it’s about cost versus return,” she said. “We have to review what we are doing, as some shows don’t attract the right audiences or give us the right opportunities.”

Read more: Read all of the news from this year's Geneva motor show here

Citroen's diesel sales

There has been a major decline in sales of diesel-engined Citroëns, according to the company’s boss, Linda Jackson: “Four years ago, 70% of the cars we sold in Europe were diesels. Now it’s 50%. That’s an enormous shift. It’s why we only offer an automatic on the petrol C3 Aircross, for example. We can cope with the shift.”

Read more: Citroen C3 Aircross to take on Nissan Juke in compact SUV class

Sales of the Nissan Pulsar

Nissan's Pulsar family hatchback has been less prolific than its closely related Qashqai sibling, but the company’s UK chief, Alex Smith, maintains that sales have been good. “It has met expectations. Market share in the last six months of 2016 was the best that the Pulsar has produced since launch,” said Smith. Sales for 2016 as a whole dipped by 19% year-onyear, though, to 6785. The Pulsar’s best-selling rival, the Ford Focus, sold 70,545 examples over the year.

Read more: 2018 Nissan Leaf confirmed with Propilot Park tech

Land Rover's bid to stay 'unique'

Land Rover wants to grow sales further but not to the detriment of “uniqueness”. Design boss Gerry McGovern said: “We need to grow in order to strengthen ourselves in the long run, but we don’t want to be at the scale of the Germans. If we become too volume-biased, you can become generic.”

Read more: Jaguar Land Rover shows first fully autonomous Range Rover

Our Verdict

NIssan Pulsar
Nissan's V-Motion grille marks the Pulsar out as a Nissan, but it's debatable whether you'd be able to name the car if this was covered up

Nissan's return to the European mainstream is hatched

Join the debate

Comments
8

11 July 2017
You are already becoming generic. Not just in your designs (admittedly the velar is stunning but the rest are blending into one homogeneous lump) and ubiquity of your cars. Evoques and Disco sports everywhere.

On the plus side, very good for British jobs and Indian profits. So it's hard to criticise in any way. Welcome the ubiquity Gerry, don't fear it. The big Germans still retain the premium brands even though there are millions of the damn things everywhere.

Spanner

11 July 2017
Spanner wrote:

You are already becoming generic. Not just in your designs (admittedly the velar is stunning but the rest are blending into one homogeneous lump) and ubiquity of your cars. Evoques and Disco sports everywhere.

The big Germans still retain the premium brands even though there are millions of the damn things everywhere.

Evoque and Disco Sport are popular, but not in the scale of Audi or BMW cars. 'Premium' is an overused word. The big German makes are no longer 'premium', they are 'typical'. A 3 series is a 'typical' exec sized car. What Gerry is saying is that for Landies and Rangies to retain their distinctiveness and strong residuals - which private cash customers benefit from, they cannot grow to BMW or Mercedes or Audi levels.

And that, for me, is a huge relief!

11 July 2017
“Four years ago, 70% of the cars we sold in Europe were diesels. Now it’s 50%. That’s an enormous shift. It’s why we only offer an automatic on the petrol C3 Aircross, for example. We can cope with the shift.

So, if I read this correctly, relatively more petrol sales leads to less choice in transmissions on petrol cars? And that is logical how?

11 July 2017
She means that if you want an automatic gearbox on the C3 Aircross, you can only get it as an option with a petrol engine, not a diesel.

289

11 July 2017
I think this can be read in two ways Klaz.....I believe she is merely saying they don't do an Auto version in Diesel, and that Auto is only an option on Petrol derivatives.

11 July 2017
LR has already started to lose its uniqueness by abandoning the purpose-built character of cars like the Discovery. The distinction between Range Rover and Land Rover has almost ceased to be. Which is stupid.
LR should be capable and ready for work
RR should be capable and luxurious.

11 July 2017
KlazTerp wrote:

LR should be capable and ready for work
RR should be capable and luxurious.

I would agree with you, but it is as a direct result of customer feedback that evolved the Disco '5' into the car it is. HSE and HSE Luxury are the best selling models. Standard 's' trim has barely shifted. Customers want the space, versatility, tech and spec in a single car, not a Range Rover AND a Defender, and I make a prediction that a new model sitting ABOVE HSE Luxury will be launched within the year.

11 July 2017
I fully agree with the comments that since Range Rover and Evoque were launched 5 or so years ago, the complete lack of design flair at Land Rover has already caused total ubiquity.

And I think Citroen are saying that they need a manual petrol C3 to meet the demand shift, and can do it.

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