Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry
18 July 2019

In this week's chat with the motoring industry's top dogs, we hear why Maserati wants to sell less models, how McLaren plans to build on its recent successes, and more. 

McLaren heads for the big leagues

McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt predicts another year of steady growth for the firm, up from 4800 sales in 2018 but still below 5000. He then expects to breach that landmark in 2020, ahead of growing to around 6000 annual sales early over the next five years. “It won’t be driven by new model lines necessarily, but more growing markets such as Russia, India and South America,” said Flewitt.

Ssang-ing diesel’s praises

Diesel has been “over-demonised”, according to Ssangyong’s new UK managing director, Nick Laird. “That’s what our customers tell us,” he said. “For them, value for money is very important. Many of them are rurally based and quite comfortable with diesel. I think for those kinds of people, there will be a market for diesel for a long time, particularly in larger cars.” 

Our Verdict

McLaren 720S

This is the first of McLaren’s new generation of cars — and what a way to begin it is

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High roof, low sales

Don’t expect a replacement for the VW Golf SV. Sales of the top hat-friendly Golf have dwindled and the firm is now unlikely to replace it, sales and marketing boss Jürgen Stackmann has revealed. “Cars like that will shift out of our portfolio,” he said, adding that VW was looking to simplify line-ups with fewer engines and trims.

Maserati wants to limit itself

Maserati boss Harald Wester says the firm is no longer chasing big volume growth and big sales targets and is instead focusing on quality and profitability. “If I could see 80,000 cars at 15% margin or 100,000 at 11%, I’d rather sell 80,000,” he said. The firm is looking to boost the number of customisable trim options on its cars, too, for a further boost to profits. 

Read more

The rise and rise of McLaren Automotive​

Maserati plans shake-up to combat sales slump​

Ssangyong Rexton review​

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