Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry
Volvo’s CO2 confidence
Volvo is confident it will meet its EU CO2 fleet average target of around 111-112g/km (95g/km is the industry baseline, but this is adjusted based on the average weight of models), thanks to the increased sale of plug-in hybrids and the launch of its first electric cars. So far, its PHEVs have typically been positioned as high-performance range-toppers but it will add more ‘standard’ plug-ins.
Kia’s also bullish
Kia also asserts it will hit this year’s impending emissions targets. UK managing director Paul Philpott said: “The scale of the fines and the reputational damage [for missing the target] for a relatively new brand such as Kia mean we have too much to lose.” Kia will ramp up its electrified mix this year to meet those targets.
Peugeot underlines design
“We put the design first,” said Peugeot boss Jean-Philippe Imparato in describing why Peugeot’s comeback has been so successful, with a string of recent sales hits with the 3008 and 5008 and now the Car of the Year award for the new 208. “On top of all the investment choices, I protected the design,” he said. “Then the brand image recovers.”
VW’s hot EV turnaround
Jost Capito, head of Volkswagen R, said he was sceptical when his division was tasked with developing a hot ID electric road car. “I always thought I’d be retired when electric cars became a thing because I’m a petrolhead,” said Capito. “But they’re fun to drive. At first, electric cars were something we had to do [for emissions] but now they’re something we want to do.”