Audi, Geely and Morgan all gave our newsgatherers snippets of automotive info this week, but it’s PSA that leads with its plans to remind PHEV owners to top up on more than just petrol.
Lighting the way to sensible PHEV ownership
PSA boss Carlos Tavares has insisted on fitting a blue light illuminating in the rear-view mirror to signal EV mode on its plug-in hybrids. This is to encourage PHEV owners to plug in, rather than rely solely on the engine. His colleagues didn’t want to do it, though. “I had to force it on them. It’s a sincerity test [for the customer],” Tavares said.
Screen with care when planning for the future
Audi Design Chief Marc Lichte isn’t a fan of iPad-like displays in cars. “We integrate our displays into the dashboard,” he said. “In 10 or 15 years, when everything is augmented display or voice control, everyone will say: ‘Remember when everyone put an iPad in their car?’ I don’t want to do this. I want to create timeless products.”
Hands off approach working well at Volvo
Geely, which bought Volvo in 2010, has kept its word by letting the Scandinavian car maker run its business autonomously, says Volvo European boss Lex Kerssemakers. “We run extremely independently and I think that it has been a strength of Geely,” he added. “I have not seen any sign that Geely wants to change that structure.”
New name, same way of thinking for Morgan
Morgan CEO Steve Morris says he is the man in charge despite the firm having new Italian owners in Investindustrial. “Yes, I feel in charge,” he said. “When we talked, I asked what it meant for myself. They said: ‘You’re the CEO, you run the factory.’” Morris said the stake in the firm all staff received as part of the deal made him even more personally invested: “I’ve been there 36 years, my son and daughter work there; I’m looking at their futures.”