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SKODA DEVEL­OP­MENT boss Chris­tian Strube is an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of CNG- and Lpg-pow­ered cars, be­liev­ing they can make in­stant im­prove­ments to air qual­ity given wide­spread adop­tion. “Let’s be­gin this now,” he said. “Many mar­kets are keen to dis­cuss. I want to be with peo­ple who want to do some­thing the en­vi­ron­ment can ben­e­fit from to­day.”

BENT­LEY DE­SIGN BOSS Ste­fan Sielaff has con­firmed the com­pany is work­ing on a Speed ver­sion of the Ben­tayga SUV, say­ing it will be a “big change” in de­sign over the stan­dard car on which it will be based. He said to ex­pect the “typ­i­cal” styling changes Bent­ley makes when creat­ing Speed ver­sions of its mod­els. More power for the W12 en­gine is on the cards, too.

THE NEW HONDA CR-V can ac­com­mo­date an elec­tric pow­er­train, but CR-V assistant project leader Tet­suo Mikasa said there are no plans to in­tro­duce a ze­roe­mis­sions ver­sion, be­liev­ing that the forth­com­ing hy­brid CR-V “brings the best ben­e­fit for cus­tomers”. Honda’s elec­tric ef­forts will fo­cus on its Ur­ban EV city car, due next year.

FORD OF EUROPE’S 2017 prof­its were wiped out by the post-brexit cur­rency swing – Ford said it cost the firm $600m – but boss Steven Arm­strong said new prod­uct launches, in­clud­ing new Fi­esta, Fo­cus and Ecosport mod­els, should en­able it to swing back into the black this year. “We will re­place or re­fresh 80% of our cars by sales vol­ume this year,” he said. “That’s al­ready hav­ing a hugely positive ef­fect.”

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