Exotic Cars Dominate In Geneva As Affordable Ones Go Missing – Forbes
GENEVA, Switzerland – Supercars are making the headlines at the annual car show here but that’s just another way of saying the industry doesn’t have much that’s very exciting for the real world.
The star of the show, or rather the preoccupation, was not a car at all.
The big takeover by France’s Peugeot of General Motors Europe’s Opel-Vauxhall caught all the headlines. A merger of two companies with bland, weak brands that are commodities that need to be sold on price, doesn’t bode well. Anyone telling you that merging these two companies won’t result in huge job cuts, probably has inside information showing the deal will fall apart soon. The industry’s track record on mega mergers is not good. Think Daimler-Chrysler and BMW/Rover.
This year’s Geneva Show also suggested a policy change in the use of female models to woo the media. This is usually a fixture of the show but not this year. World Woman’s Day came on the 2nd press day, and this may have been significant. The show’s organizers say this was not a change in policy, but is purely a decision made by the manufacturers.
As far as new cars were concerned there were no breakthrough mainstream products or nifty new technologies that normal people might buy. There was a notable lack of any progress with electric cars for the masses.
At the last big European car show in Paris last October, the abundance of battery-powered cars with improved range like the Renault Zoe and Opel Ampera E, led to claims the electric car age had started. Here in Geneva though, mainstream new electric cars were thin on the ground . The hype now has to catch up with affordability.
There were exotic new concept electric cars, including the Chinese Hybrid Kinetic Group’s Pininfarina designed H600. Another China concept was the Techrules Ren – a 3-seater hybrid, powered by a 25Kw battery, 2 front electric motors, 4 rear ones and a turbine range extender. The driver sits centrally.
New Exotica included the Ferrari 812 Superfast, the Aston Martin Valkyrie and McLaren 720S. Hands-down winner of the ugliest car award was the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet SUV.