Autocar confidential: Ferrari welcomes new rivals, Volkswagen gears up for mass EV production and more

Found in this week’s pile of Autocar writers’ scribblings is news of Volkswagen’s bespoke EV factory, Dacia’s success in 2018 and more. 

Maranello mimicry 

Is Ferrari concerned about a new wave of supercar makers arriving with competitors for its products, such as the new Aston Martin Vanquish and Pininfarina Battista? Perhaps not. “Imitation is the best form of flattery,” said Ferrari CEO Louis Camillieri recently. “We’re flattered.” 

V-Class MPV keeps Mercedes young

The Vito-based Mercedes-Benz V-Class large MPV might seem an unlikely choice to gain an AMG-Line version, complete with sporty styling tweaks. But the firm does so because of the V-Class’s customer base, which is the youngest of any Mercedes model. Around three-quarters of buyers are under 55, according to Mercedes. 

Volkswagen readies new EV home 

Volkswagen is currently converting its Zwickau factory in Germany from Golf and Passat production into its first home for making electric cars. The site should be ready for the autumn and in time it will build up to 330,000 electric cars a year for Volkswagen, Audi and Seat. The facility’s first model will be the Volkswagen ID hatchback, which is due at the end of this year. Three other ID models have now been signed off to follow it: an SUV, a saloon and an MPV, launching over the next three years in that order. 

Dacia celebrates success in 2018

Dacia sales grew by 10% last year, bucking the broader market. But Europe region boss Jean-Christophe Kugler said there’s even more room for growth and that the only limiting factor is production capacity. There are still no plans for an extended line-up.