The motor industry and automotive trade are a never boring source of information about technical innovation and market trends. In order to keep up-to-date, Pim attended the press days 6 and 7 March at the Geneva Motor Show, the press and VIP day of 21 March at the TechnoClassica Essen, the biggest classic car event with 2,500 cars on display, most of them for sale, and the annual reception with preceding press reception of CLEPA, the European association of automotive suppliers, on 27 March 2012.
(All images © VMP/PvdV)
The Geneva Motor Show
The ‘Salon International de l’Automobile de Genève’ is the only international motor show which takes place every year, and the 82nd Salon attracted more than 700,000 visitors. 11,680 journalists from 80 countries all over the world were accredited and this indicates the trendsetting character. Some 150 world and European debuts made their appearance in this year’s show.
Geneva is famous for the presence of automotive design houses, mostly from Italy, but also from other European countries and prominent place is also given to tuning companies, mostly from Germany. Some of them celebrated their 25th anniversary, which means tuning and engineering derivatives are here to stay. They are working on the successful models of the three premium manufacturers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The commercial successes of the German motor industry and its suppliers are one trend indicating that quality products find a ready market in growing automotive markets like China and other BRIC countries. It is their superior engineering which ensures high profits, high employment and high R&D spending. It is very difficult to keep pace with them although counterfeiting remains a major problem when dealing with huge markets like China and India.
Geneva sported a Green Pavilion with alternative power units and drive-lines. Test drives with CNG, biogas, electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid and electric drive with range extender attracted 10,000 test drives. Almost every motor manufacturer displayed their concept of electric driven vehicle but most attention went to ‘ordinary’ motor cars which show more innovation than ever in the field of fuel economy, low emissions and sustainability. More information at www.salon-auto.ch.
This annual event was held on 21-25 March 2012 for the 24th time. In those five days some 180,000 car collector enthusiasts visited this show which is considered the largest in the world in its field. More than 1,200 participants from 30 countries were admitted to the 20 halls, although 300 applicants had to be disappointed. The organiser S.I.H.A. ‘s pavilion displayed a record 21 Pegasos.
TechnoClassica covers a wide range of interests but most visitors are attracted to the car collector dealers who bring their most valuable and unique collectible cars because they are meeting buyers from all over the world – apart from Europe, also from USA, Australia, Japan, South America. The number of interested collectors from China and Russia is growing. Some of the trade exhibitors take part in the Mille Miglia, another meeting place for wealthy car collectors. Some 220 car clubs were present to meet classic car enthusiasts from all parts of society. More information at www.siha.de.
CLEPA press conference
Three speakers dealt with the subject “The competitiveness of the automotive industry: new challenges ahead”, Mr Peter Tyroller, CLEPA President and Member of the Management Board of Robert Bosch GmbH, Lars Holmquist CLEPA CEO and Jean Marc Gales, incoming CLEPA CEO. Apart from the transition of the CLEPA management from Lars Holmquist to Jean Marc Gales, the difficult access to vehicle repair and maintenance information by the aftermarket was a topic. More information at www.clepa.eu.