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Autocar confidential: Why car symbols are important, Renault at the limit and more

In this week’s auto gossip round-up, Carlos Tavares explains why cars have become a symbol of freedom after the coronavirus, Ford all but excludes a UK version of its F-150 pickup truck and more.

How cars protect freedom

According to Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, a huge increase in new car registrations after the lockdown cannot only be attributed to a need to catch up. “Barriers have clearly shown citizens the value of mobility and freedom of movement,” he said. “The best way to protect freedom of mobility is to own a car – a positive result.”

F-150 unlikely for the UK

Ford of Europe chief Stuart Rowley has said the company will build on its American heritage with future British models, but don’t expect the best-selling F-150 pickup to show up in dealerships here. “That’s a tough question,” said Rowley. “The physical size of these products alone could be a challenge on UK roads.”

Renault’s limited setback

Renault boss Luca de Meo was surprised by the reaction to his company’s decision to impose a 180 km / h (112 mph) limit on its future vehicles. “The response was bigger than expected because if you drive 180 km / h you usually get a fine,” he said. “The big decision we made was to sell cars with contextual adaptive cruise control to keep the speed limit by default. We decided that the car should obey the rules and then the customer can take responsibility. “

Chips are down for Merc

Not even the most expensive cars on the market can escape the ongoing shortage of computer chips. Mercedes-Benz boss Ola Källenius emphasized the “ironic” situation that a “100,000 pound sterling S-Class” is being held up by a “cent cost” part. “If they double, triple or quadruple the price, it almost doesn’t matter,” he said.

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