Autocar confidential: the saloon's due a comeback, Mazda heads upmarket and more…

Nissan IMs concept

Nissan’s Detroit IMs concept predicts a resurgence in the saloon segment

Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s collection of motoring snippets reveals why Nissan sees a future in the saloon market, how Mazda’s heading upmarket with its new models, why utility vehicles are still the backbone of Ford’s line-up and more. 

So long, saloon?

While the popularity of SUVs continues to soar, the saloon might be due a comeback, according to Nissan’s US boss. Denis Le Vot said the firm decided to make its recent IMs concept a saloon after a survey found twice as many youngsters preferred them to SUVs.

More snazzy Mazzies

Mazda is aiming to move upmarket by designing cars with fewer feature lines. The firm’s European design boss, Jo Stenuit, said: “Premium brands tend to have very pure lines. I think we’re going more premium now because we’re trying to delete all the unnecessary lines.” 

Ford’s truckloads of profit

Ford’s North American arm celebrated selling more than one million of its F-Series trucks last year. In total, 1.075 million of the pick-ups were sold, an average of one every 29.3sec. That was enough to generate more than £38 billion of sales revenue. 

Porsche’s problematic pallet

Porsche’s quality control boss, Frank Moser, says one of the toughest tasks in building any car is matching colours for interior trim items. Moser noted that the 11 interior colours offered on the new 911 have to be matched across 16 equipment levels and 300 visible parts, made from 51 different materials from 76 different suppliers. 

Land Rover lands new customers

Around 60% of sales of the first-generation Range Rover Evoque were ‘conquest’ customers from other brands, according to Land Rover bosses. They are aiming to increase that figure with the recently revealed second-generation version and reckon the car’s greater interior space will be key to doing that.

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Source: Autocar Online

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