Autocar confidential: Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Honda's Swindon factory and more
Mercedes-Benz’s sales and marketing boss says the B-Class won’t be axed
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
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.”
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 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.”
Source: Autocar Online