Autocar confidential: Ford’s emissions hopes for electric transit, PSA’s china struggles and more

In this week’s round-up of automotive gossip, we talk electric van benfits with Ford, business plans with Gordon Murray, the Chinese car market with PSA and more.

Transit could help us breathe easier

Ford claims that if every Transit van sold last year was a fully electric E-Transit, there would be 30 million fewer metric tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. That’s a striking figure, although it doesn’t take into account any CO2 emitted during the electricity generation process.

No chasing volume for Gordon Murray

Gordon Murray is adamant that his nascent supercar brand will buck wider industry trends by not targeting expansion. “Whatever we do, we will not chase volume,” he insisted. “We will not do what other supercar manufacturers do. We’re going to be the ‘100-car company’.” Drawing inspiration from his experience launching the McLaren F1 in 1992, Murray added: “Once you chase volume, you have a risk that you’ll lose the close connection and the journey with the customer.”

PSA’s China problem

China was once the PSA Group’s largest market and it sold more than 700,000 vehicles there in 2014. But in 2019, the group shifted about 119,000 cars in the country, and this year it is likely to be fewer than 50,000. Sales for 2020 through to September were 31,239, 64% lower than the same period in 2019.

Dacia success not just down to price



Renault budget brand Dacia has achieved remarkable growth by offering some of the cheapest new cars in the market, but Groupe Renault sales boss Denis le Vot said its success is down to more than just low prices. “The secret sauce of Dacia is the right specifi cation,” he said. “We bring exactly what people need – no more, no less.”