Autosalon in geneva should bring back the buying mood

Autosalon in geneva should bring back the buying mood

The industry is expecting a boost from the Geneva Motor Show. And this is also necessary: Last year, the number of newly registered vehicles in Europe fell by more than 8 percent to just 12 million passenger cars, according to industry association ACEA – the lowest level since 1995. The outlook for 2013 is not exactly rosy either: experts are expecting another significant drop in sales; in January, sales were already in a rapid decline.

The mass manufacturers Peugeot and Renault or Fiat in particular, but also Opel and Ford, are struggling hard with the slump. Thousands of employees will be laid off, plants will close for good, and in France government loans could flow in to prevent the worst from happening.

In addition, manufacturers from Asia are increasingly pushing into the mass segment. The Koreans from Hyundai and Kia have recently done much better than many of their European competitors. Qoros is another Chinese manufacturer attempting to gain a foothold in Europe; Qoros is also exhibiting its models in Geneva.

Coupés are in vogue

However, the total of 110 dull cars is to be put on hold at the Motor Show, and numerous new models are to demonstrate new self-confidence. About 260 exhibitors share the seven halls on the fairground Palexpo. The overall 110.000 square meters of exhibition space.000 square meters of exhibition space. The focus is on new sporty SUVs, elegant coupes, fuel-efficient city runabouts and, of course, the obligatory super sports cars.

Coupés are one trend this year. BMW is presenting several of these sporty, elegant model variants at once. The 3 Series Gran Turismo, or GT for short, is making its debut – a variant that is already available in the 5 Series. After the station wagon and sedan, this is the third body variant of the 3 Series to be launched on the market. The M6 will also be available as a coupe for the first time in its third version.

More from the automotive sector

– China wants to establish a car brand in Europe with Qoros – Hyundai sets itself more modest targets in Europe – The restructuring plan for Opel is in place – China wants to put more electric cars on the roads – Zetsche still has some work to do at Daimler – Kung-fu scandal costs Japan's auto industry billions – Five innovations that make driving easier – Jaguar wants to compete with luxury carmakers with luxury SUVs

The competition from Stuttgart will be represented by the CLA, a coupé based on the A-Class. The CLA is intended to further improve the dusty image of the completely revamped A-Class and attract young buyer groups in particular. It is the smaller and less expensive version of the CLS coupe, which is based on the E-Class.

In the past, sporty off-road vehicles have proven to be a guarantee of success. And this is likely to continue. Industry experts believe that compact SUVs will contribute the lion's share to the expected global growth of the industry in the coming years.

The mass manufacturers in particular seem to want to follow suit here. Peugeot sends the 2008 into the race. At the Paris Motor Show, the Captur was still a concept study, but it is expected to be in dealerships in early summer. Competitor Renault counters with the Captur compact SUV based on the Clio. Ford celebrates the European premiere of the Ecosport.

Cheap models from China

When it comes to fuel-efficient small cars, Europe's largest automaker Volkswagen is leading the way. With the Cross Up, which was already on display as a study at the IAA, the company wants to expand the product segment even further down the line. The small car is only 3.56 meters long and is expected to consume only 4.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.

In addition – and this is something that many people had not expected – VW will finally present the production version of the 1-liter car in Switzerland. The two-seater XL1 is expected to emit just 21 grams of CO2 per kilometer and require 0.9 liters of diesel to cover 100 kilometers.

In the subcompact segment, Opel is sending several body variants of the Adam city runabout to Geneva, including the Adam Rocks concept study – a crossover – and the Adam R2, a sporty variant.

Chinese manufacturer Qoros wants to be good and cheap. According to media reports, the GQ3 compact sedan will be available only between 12.000 and 14.000 euros and would thus be far cheaper than the low-cost Korean models. The big question, however, will be whether the car meets local safety standards; all previous attempts by Chinese carmakers have ended miserably in this discipline.

World premiere for Alfa Romeo 4C

But Geneva wouldn't be Geneva if there wasn't some real engineering and craftsmanship on display. Among others, the Ferrari F 150, successor to the legendary Enzo, is to celebrate its premiere. It can probably hold its own with the British McLaren P1. Happy to compete on the racetrack.

For its 50th. Birthday, Lamborghini is giving itself a present: With the Aventador LP 720-4 roadster. There are two premieres at Aston Martin: In keeping with the convertible season comes the Vanquish Volante. The revised Rapide S will also be on show. Porsche sends the new GT3 into the race, Rolls-Royce the Wraith coupe.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is not quite in this price range, but is at least as eagerly awaited. The mid-engine sports car was shown in Geneva two years ago, but then disappeared into oblivion. Now it is to have its world premiere as a production model. Subsequently sold initially in the USA. The sports car, which is only 1.18 meters high, two meters wide and lightweight, has the best prerequisites – it is manufactured by Maserati at its plant in Modena.

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