Autocar confidential: Volvo backs SUVs, Stellantis boss opens up and more

In this week’s round-up of automotive gossip, Volvo backs SUVs to remain popular and become efficient, Tavares reveals that if opportunities arise in China the Stellantis group could add more brands and more

Volvo: SUVs can be efficient

Volvo sales boss Lex Kerssemakers believes SUVs will remain a popular choice with buyers in the future – and he says they can be efficient if used in the right way. “It’s still more efficient to drive in one car with six people than two cars with three people each,” he said. “We continue to see a market for bigger cars and SUVs. We just need to ensure they are properly powered with a range of batteries to ensure proper journeys.”

Tavares eyes new brands

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares is open to adding more brands to the 13 already in the group, if an opportunity arises in China. He expects the market to open up from next January to allow foreign investment and ownership of Chinese domestic brands. “But right now,” he said, “I have enough on my plate.”

Skoda sticks on entry level models

Skoda still plans to offer stripped-out entry-level models, but sales boss Martin Jahn said they won’t appear until the firm can increase production. Skoda has struggled to meet buyer demand in recent years and that’s been exacerbated by delays relating to the semiconductor crisis. Jahn said: “When we have a situation when production is bigger, we’re committed to these models.”

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Daymak’s Crypto EV

How’s this for combining bang-on-trend tech? Canadian EV firm Daymak says its new Spiritus, due in 2023, will be the first EV that can mine cryptocurrency while parked. It will also be available for purchase using various cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin and Bitcoin. No, we don’t really understand, either.