Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
31 May 2016

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of Toyota's hybrid successes, Ghibli and Quattroporte updates, car sharing's importance to Mercedes-Benz and Cirtoën Dispatch updates.

Toyota's hybrid success

Growing hybrid sales at Toyota mean it is finally achieving serious economies of scale with hybrid production, according to Karl Schlicht, executive vice-president of Toyota Europe. As a result, this should finally start to bring hybrid prices into direct competition with those of diesel-engined rivals.

Read more: Toyota Prius review, Toyota Yaris Hybrid review

Maserati updates 

Maserati will update the Ghibli and Quattroporte with the more advanced infotainment system of the Levante early next year. It will also replace all three cars’ hydraulic power steering with an electrically assisted system. Besides saving fuel, electric power steering allows for self-correcting lane keeping, self-parking and other features. The EPAS was not sufficiently developed to be introduced on the Levante.

Read more: Maserati Ghibli review, Maserati Quattroporte review 

Mercedes-Benz car sharing

Car sharing is becoming a bigger area of focus for Mercedes-Benz, according to sales and marketing boss Ola Källenius. “We do believe that sharing will play an increasingly important part in market share,” he said. “Although car sharing has exploded, we’re not selling fewer cars. Instead, fewer people are using public transportation. If you look at a shared car business model, the marginal additional cost for luxury versus volume shrinks. So it’s a big business opportunity for luxury.” 

Read more: Four new Mercedes-Benz EVs by 2020, Mercedes-Benz S Class review 

Updates on the Citroën Dispatch

The new Cirtoën Dispatch van doesn’t have the Airbumps technology pioneered on the C4 Cactus, because buyers favour “low costs and practicality”, according to Citroën CEO Linda Jackson. “We are free-thinking enough to appreciate that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution,” she said.

Read more: Citroen C4 Cactus review, Citroen C5 review

Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Toyota’s hybrid tech rolls out into Europe’s biggest market segment in the shape of the Yaris, but is it a wholesome alternative to humble petrol engine?

Join the debate


31 May 2016
I would much rather have a ropey 'infotainment' system and keep my hydraulic power steering. Are driving down a motorway and parking really that difficult anyway?

1 June 2016
eseaton wrote:

I would much rather have a ropey 'infotainment' system and keep my hydraulic power steering. Are driving down a motorway and parking really that difficult anyway?

Why settle for a 'ropey infotainment system'? Would you settle for badly placed controls and dials that you can't see, or heating controls that you can't use on the move?

"Work hard and be nice to people"

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