Autocar confidential: Subaru’s commitment to the UK, Jaguar XJ, Chinese car makers & more


Subaru Viziv concept

Viziv concept could preview next WRX, due around 2020

Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s snippets of automotive news includes Jaguar’s XJ, Subaru’s commitment to the UK, Chinese car makers and brand identity struggles.

Subaru’s UK commitment:

Subaru’s Japanese bosses have confirmed their commitment to Britain despite a downturn in sales. Subaru’s UK market share was just 0.10% last year, but product manager Lucy Holloway said the new version of the XV crossover is expected to help it achieve 3500 overall sales this year.

Jaguar XJ:

A 50th anniversary version of the Jaguar XJ will appear this year, ahead of the new model arriving next year. Design director Ian Callum said the special edition would have “detail work”, adding that the XJ is close to his heart. “1968 was when I decided this is the company I want to work for,” he said. “I will make sure the XJ holds true to its values as we work on the next one.”

Chinese car makers:

Non-Chinese car makers will have to work harder to establish their brand identities in the Chinese market if they are to fight off the challenge of rising domestic car makers, Citroën chief executive Linda Jackson has said. “The Chinese car makers are moving quickly, learning fast and perhaps taking more risks than we would,” said Jackson. “Some of their cars are very credible, and it will be crucial for us to emphasise our brand values to stand out.”

Electric car issues:

Maintaining A brand’s identity with an electric car is a big challenge, according to Kia design chief Seungbin Yim. “Traditionally the grille has shown the identity of a car company,” said Yim, whose firm recently launched a Niro EV concept. “The front of a car is difficult to define without a grille, but it gives you freedom and space. It’s a new opportunity to redesign an identity.”

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Source:: Autocar