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

This week's snippets of automotive news include the latest on Honda's Swindon factory, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, French luxury brands and future Lexus models.

Honda's Swindon factory:

Does Honda's factory in Swindon have a future post-Brexit? Most definitely, according to the company’s big boss, Takahiro Hachigo. He said: “We would like to see clear rules and conditions when Brexit happens. Maybe we’ll make some small changes, but there’s no plan to drastically change Honda’s strategy in the UK.” 

Mercedes-Benz B-Class: 

The Mercedes B-Class will not be axed, the brand’s sales and marketing boss Britta Seeger has said, despite sales of MPVs declining in recent years as more buyers choose SUVs. “The B-Class is a very well-respected product,” she said. The B-Class outsells the rival BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in the UK. 

French luxury brands:

French luxury brands are among the most powerful in the world, said DS boss Yves Bonnefont, citing Louis Vuitton and Chanel, and the nation’s car makers aspire to be among them. “We want to be on that list, but I’ll probably be retired,” said the 50-year-old. Bonnefont estimated that building a credible luxury brand can take as much as 20 years. 

Lexus confidence: 

Lexus boss Yoshihiro Sawa has said that the firm has found its confidence with the launch of the LC sports car-cum-GT, and that the positive reaction will encourage it to be “braver and more challenging” with its new models in the future. “For a while, being new was enough to be exciting, but soon it became quite boring,” said Sawa. “We don’t have the heritage of our rivals and we now know we must be different from the others in order to stand out.” 

Read more 

Honda Civic review 

Mercedes-Benz B-Class review 

Bugatti Veyron review 

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Comments
8

19 December 2017

"Does Honda's factory in Swindon have a future post-Brexit". or to put it another way "Does Honda's factory in Swindow have a future post massive Honda car sales flop in Europe?"

DS, I love the idea but once the slow selling DS4, DS5 and the aging DS3 are dropped and you've realised the DS7 is proving a sales diaster across Europe you've got pretty much nothing left to sell.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

19 December 2017

I've often wondered this about French car brands.

For luxury fashion, perfume, jewellery etc. people often think of Parisien chic, Champagne region gave it's name to the luxury sparkling wine, however for luxury cars people think of Germany (or Italy for Ferrari / UK for Aston Martin etc.).

Why have the French never been able to successfully apply their ability for creating luxury items to their big cars?

19 December 2017
WallMeerkat wrote:

I've often wondered this about French car brands.

For luxury fashion, perfume, jewellery etc. people often think of Parisien chic, Champagne region gave it's name to the luxury sparkling wine, however for luxury cars people think of Germany (or Italy for Ferrari / UK for Aston Martin etc.).

Why have the French never been able to successfully apply their ability for creating luxury items to their big cars?

 

 

The French pre war had 2 of the most luxurious car brands. Renault and Bugatti. They were comparable if not superior to Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz. 

19 December 2017

What, no love for Delahaye or Delage? They were real luxury marques.

19 December 2017
WallMeerkat wrote:

I've often wondered this about French car brands.

For luxury fashion, perfume, jewellery etc. people often think of Parisien chic, Champagne region gave it's name to the luxury sparkling wine, however for luxury cars people think of Germany (or Italy for Ferrari / UK for Aston Martin etc.).

Why have the French never been able to successfully apply their ability for creating luxury items to their big cars?

 

 

The French pre war had 2 of the most luxurious car brands. Renault and Bugatti. They were comparable if not superior to Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz. 

19 December 2017

Surely most of Honda Swindon production is currently exported, outside Europe? So Brexit might well improve things for them.

19 December 2017

An honest man there - except DS will never attain this as much as they would like. Their previous prestige cars have casued the makers to hemerage financial losses like a burst water main. No one expects and no one really wants because there are names out there which will always be better from a humble Audi to a Massa or Merc Jag etc. All of which have a history and a name. He wont just have retured buy will have passed a long time before the French can get even close. Yes it is a shame as I once owned a Citroen Massa which was one of the finest cars I have ever driven and gave me pleasure just looking at it. Pure stroke of genious. Maybe they could do something with a Ferrari? lol - Meanwhile the Koreans will be there long before them making it much more difficult to fulfill their wishes

what's life without imagination

19 December 2017

An honest man there - except DS will never attain this as much as they would like. Their previous prestige cars have casued the makers to hemerage financial losses like a burst water main. No one expects and no one really wants because there are names out there which will always be better from a humble Audi to a Massa or Merc Jag etc. All of which have a history and a name. He wont just have retured buy will have passed a long time before the French can get even close. Yes it is a shame as I once owned a Citroen Massa which was one of the finest cars I have ever driven and gave me pleasure just looking at it. Pure stroke of genious. Maybe they could do something with a Ferrari? lol - Meanwhile the Koreans will be there long before them making it much more difficult to fulfill their wishes

what's life without imagination

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