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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Autocar confidential: Bentley’s coronavirus recovery, why C3 has gas in the tank and more

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In this week’s round-up of automotive gossip, Bentley sees the silver lining in coronavirus, VW plugs its niche T-Roc Cabriolet, Nissan reopens its Sunderland plant and more.

Bentley’s post-Covid boom

Wondering how quickly buyers will return to luxury cars after Covid-19? Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark told us: “In China, we take about 300 orders a month. In the second week of April, we took 300 orders in a week. In May, orders were higher again. It’s not just back at a level; it more than doubled for two months. Maybe it’s just pent-up demand, and I’m not expecting 500 or 600 a month for the rest of the year, but wow.”

VW lifts the lid on useability

Franz Kaltofen, who oversaw development of the new Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, reckons the SUV is more practical and thus more appealing than a regular convertible. He said: “It’s possible to have this as an ‘only car’, due to the suitability for daily use offered by its large luggage compartment, enlarged wheelbase and trailer hitch.”

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Nissan gets back to work

Nissan reopened its Sunderland factory early last week after a near three-month shutdown and has had to review more than 5000 processes to ensure they comply with social distancing and hygiene rules. As well as obvious barriers, screens and PPE, it has even had to overhaul the break area and reschedule break times to minimise staff gathering in one place.

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