“There has been a long process of consolidation within our industry. A few years ago, it was Fiat and Chrysler, and now it is two European firms. It’ll probably take two or three years before it starts to work — the life cycle of cars today is still six to eight years — so the fruits of it won’t be seen for a few years.
“The aim is to get economies of scale and that is a natural business decision. We’ve seen the benefits in the VW Group of working a number of powerful brands together with high-level co-operation. But the key is also to offer those brands a degree of freedom — and remember, it is brands that sell cars, not the group.”