Autocar confidential: five-digit EV sales still a way off for Jaguar, Seat finds a more premium audience and more

Jaguar I-Pace

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

This week’s selection of snippets from the automotive sphere brings news of Seat’s continuing rise towards premium status, a bright future for McLaren and Nissan’s worries that governments could be doing more for autonomy.

London longing for electric Jaguars

UK sales of the Jaguar I-Pace will double to around 3000 units in the next 12 months, according to UK boss Rawdon Glover, though he predicted that five-digit sales of the EV would be at least five years away. More than 40% of I-Pace sales are within the M25.

Seat not so simple any more

The Seat Tarraco and stand-alone Cupra brand are pushing buyers into higher, hitherto unseen price points for the firm, much to boss Luca de Meo’s delight. “We’ve been on a journey, first to get people to consider our cars for more than £20,000 and now more than £30,000. It is working. There was no future in selling our cars for 15% less than similar ones,” he says.

McLaren gives customers what they want

McLaren’s Special Operations department has tripled its business in the past two years, and CEO Mike Flewitt sees no reason why that trajectory won’t continue. “We’re seeing it again with Speedtail that people who buy exclusive cars want to make them individual,” he said. “Our bespoke content offering is hitting new heights.”

Governments make autonomy a no-go?

Peter Bedrosian, Nissan Europe’s product planning chief, says it’s government legislation, and not technology, that is slowing the advancement of autonomous vehicles. “It’s not the know-how holding us back – a lot of policy needs to change before we introduce level-three autonomy and above,” he said. “It requires a big change in legislation and infrastructure, because it profoundly changes cars. We’ll be ready for level three by 2019 and, depending on policies, 2020 for level four and above.”

Read more

McLaren confirms another record year in 2018

Jaguar J-Pace: design boss discusses 2021 flagship SUV

Seat to add six new models by 2021 after record 2018

Source: Autocar

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