In this week’s round-up of automotive gossip, Mike Hawes gives his thoughts on the Government’s ICE ban, Jag’s traffic light innovation and more.
Government will ‘struggle’ to push early ICE ban
The Government would “struggle to get support” from the motor industry for a ban on the sale of new combustion-engined cars if it were to come before the proposed 2035 date, reckons SMMT boss Mike Hawes. “The majority of the industry would just about make 2035,” he said, due to the immense investment required and the slow transition of sales to battery-electric and hydrogen cars.
Aston Martin is “restoring exclusivity” to its sports car range by “rebalancing supply and demand”, according to chairman Lawrence Stroll. While announcing its latest financial results, the firm noted that it had reduced its sports car stock by 869 units in the past three months. One of its biggest barriers to profitability in recent years has been dealers holding too many unsold cars.
Jag’s green light
Jaguar is using traffic sign recognition technology from its road cars to boost its fortunes on the track. Formula E team boss James Barclay said Jaguar uses the tech to monitor an on-screen graphic that shows how much charge each car has left, and that data is then fed into the software that’s used to calculate race strategy.
VW’s Covid-19 challenge
Volkswagen’s chief financial officer, Frank Witter, has labelled the first half of this year “one of the most challenging in the history of our company, due to the Covid-19 pandemic”. Vehicle deliveries fell 27% in the period and sales revenue dropped 23%. At the height of the European shutdown, Volkswagen estimated that it was burning through €2 billion (£1.8bn) per week.