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Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry
Autocar
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2 mins read
17 December 2019

In this week's round-up of automotive gossip, we talk China with Mercedes, chat E-tron chargers with Audi, get the lowdown on the future of Toyota's Prius and more. 

Merc's Chinese prophesy

Mercedes is predicting the Chinese car market will grow again over the next five to 10 years, despite it dropping significantly in the past 18 months. “Of all markets, it remains the place we see the biggest growth potential,” said Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius. “We have been fortunate as we have not experienced a large fall, but for everyone I still see potential for expansion.”

No more Mazda doors

Despite the resurrection of the Mazda RX-8-style rear-opening doors on the new electric MX-30, there are no plans to introduce them more broadly across the range. Brand and design boss Ikuo Maeda explained: “The idea of the MX-30 is openness, and when you step out of this vehicle, these doors help you feel that. We haven’t decided if we will use these doors elsewhere but, for the MX-30, it was the best choice.”

Audi's wireless snub

Audi won't launch wireless charging in this generation of E-tron models, instead choosing to focus on class-leading fast charging. E-tron product boss Jens van Eikels said: “There is no standard in the industry [for wireless charging]. It’s not so easy to find a solution for both higher and lower level cars. Charging power is less consistent – and expensive.”

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Fully electric Prius not likely for Toyota

The Toyota Prius isn’t likely to evolve into a fully electric model, leaving a question mark over the popular hybrid’s future. “It’s not decided but probably unlikely,” said Toyota’s European VP, Matt Harrison. “It was the pioneer – our hybrid mix is where it is because of Prius – and it can still be the pioneer for new technology, but is unlikely to be full electric.”

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