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

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of Bentley's future in China, Skoda's replacement for Josef Kaban and the way the Chinese buy their cars.

Bentley's future in China

Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer has said China will become the firm’s biggest market in a few years, overtaking the US and Europe for sales.

He said: “We regularly test in China for different climates and in city traffi c conditions.” He added that strict emissions regulations in China made it the perfect test bed for reaction to its recently revealed EXP12 Speed 6e electric sports car concept: “We want to see where Chinese opinion lies, to see if they believe this could be an opportunity.”

Read more: 2017 Bentley Continental GT Supersports review

Skoda's replacement for Josef Kaban

Skoda's search for a replacement for its BMW-bound design chief Josef Kaban has taken another twist. The usually high-profile Kabaň is on gardening leave until he joins BMW in the summer and wasn’t present at any Vision E briefings in Prague or Shanghai.

A few weeks ago, the appointment of “an inside candidate” looked imminent, but the rumours in Shanghai suggested the search has been widened to include talent from outside the Volkswagen Group.

Read more: 2017 Skoda Karoq review, Skoda Vision E concept revealed in Shanghai

The way the Chinese buy their cars

Chinese supercar buyers rate aesthetics over the way a car drives, according to McLaren boss Mike Flewitt.

Some nationalities want to drive a McLaren or read reviews before committing to it, but for Chinese customers, it is seeing the car in the metal that helps seal the deal. Showing the 720S for the first time in China, Flewitt said it was about raising awareness of the marque in the country, through events and having a larger network of dealers.

Flewitt also said the 720S is sold out for a year, with 1400 orders taken.

Read more: 2019 McLaren F1 to feature new hybrid tech, McLaren 720S officially revealed at Geneva motor show

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