You’ll have noticed, I hope, that despite lockdown the flow of car news and reviews hasn’t entirely stopped. There are good reasons for this.

For one, it’s still possible to source test cars from some car makers in Germany so our man on the spot, Greg Kable, has been as busy as possible driving and writing. 

For another, the car industries of Korea and China are just starting to perk up again and this, along with the fact that we had a few tests and features in the pipeline, as it were, means we’ve got pretty watertight publishing plans reaching well into June. By that stage we calculate this virus thing might just about be abating. If not, as one colleague remarked recently in the 10am video meetings our team members now join from their homes, we’ll have to start testing Mini-badged fountain pens and Mercedes-Benz watches…

But there’s another reason why our mag and web pages are not simply displaying acres of white space. It’s because of the relatively cordial relationship that exists between the car industry and us. The two sides aren’t exactly matey: there will always be a degree of tension between a business that seeks to build a reputation by selling an expensive product in a very tough market, and another that takes licence to criticise it without fear or favour. 

But right now, each appreciates the other’s position. Manufacturers want to keep their names prominent; media outlets need material. Vauxhall, for instance, has been issuing pictures and interesting snippets about its greatest cars. Others have been punting stories about anniversaries and technical advances and whatever else they can think of. It has been an interesting cooperative effort. 

Carlton 1201