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Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
Autocar
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2 mins read
21 February 2017

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of how Brexit affected Mazda, Hyundai's electric future, future Countryman models, Kia's thoughts on diesels and Honda's views on SUVs.

How Brexit affected Mazda

The biggest impact of the Brexit vote for Mazda has been the fall in the value of sterling. Mazda Europe boss Jeff Guyton said: “The vote has put all importers under certain pressure.” He added that “time would tell” if the election of Donald Trump as US president would affect Mazda and he hoped to “see a regime that supports free trade and a growing economy” when the dust settles.

Read more: Driving a V6-powered Mazda MX-5 Rocketeer2017 Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 160 UK first drive

Hyundai's electric future

Hyundai has confirmed it will have 14 electric vehicles in production by 2020. Its next EV after the Ioniq will be a compact SUV with a range of more than 200 miles. It’s also planning a new fuel-cell model with a greater range than the existing ix35 FCV.

Read more: Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell long-term test review: first report2017 Hyundai i30 1.0 T-GDi 120 SE Nav

The future of the Countryman

Don't expect any more Mini SUVs or a coupé version of the Countryman. Boss Peter Schwarzenbauer said Mini does not want to expand its portfolio too far. He believed the Countryman is “the perfect car for the market” in SUV terms.

Read more: Mini Countryman Cooper S v Nissan Juke Nismo RS v Audi Q2 Sport - group test, Electric Mini to launch as fifth 'superhero model' in 2019

Kia's thoughts on diesels

Diesel engines will continue to form a key part of Kia’s powertrain strategy, according to the boss of the company’s UK arm, Paul Philpott. However, Kia’s global boss, Thomas Oh, said: “Kia is well prepared for alternatively fuelled vehicles.”

Read more: 2017 Kia Picanto revealed ahead of Geneva motor show debut, Kia confirms development of hydrogen model due in 2021

Honda and the SUV

The popularity of SUVs will soon decline, Honda Motor Europe’s sales and marketing boss, Jean-Marc Streng, has predicted. “You [can] call anything an SUV and it sells. Soon the SUV market will be crowded – look what happened to MPVs,” he said.

Read more: 2017 Honda Civic 1.0 i-VTEC Turbo SR review2017 Honda Civic Type R Black Edition review

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WallMeerkat 21 February 2017

Here's hoping that Honda is

Here's hoping that Honda is right. Sick of market saturation of all models being SUVs. UK roads are now a sea of fat-a**ed metal. Difficult to style an elegant looking car when your brief is to copy a Qashqai. @xxxx - what are you on about hydrogen all the time?
TS7 21 February 2017

I'd like to have seen...

...a VW Touran with Golf R underpinnings. Might have bought one in fact.
DBtechnician 21 February 2017

That would be better than an S-max,,

Sounds good to me. Have your tried a Touran though ? they are a quite good at what they are designed to do and not a bad drive.
manicm 21 February 2017

If Honda produced more

If Honda produced more attractive SUVs they wouldn't make such a daft statement. MPVs died out cos they're deadly dull - except for the S-Max and 2 Series Sports Tourer. The new Scenic is highly desirable though - but at the expense of some practicality.