Geneva International Motor Show 2016 (Part 1)
PHVs and connected cars, Mercedes-Benz, VW, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, and more
Geneva, Switzerland played host to one of the largest annual motor shows in the world. While the Frankfurt Auto Show is held once every two years, this show in the neutral nation of Switzerland, which has no native automakers, has an established reputation of equal treatment for all exhibitors and a high-quality selection of exhibits.
(photographed by reporter)
While a chill wind was blowing from the Alps to the southeast that surround Chamonix and Mont Blanc, the elegant show opened festively to accompany the traditional welcome to spring on Lake Geneva. 2015 had been a year with numerous challenges including the crisis in Greece, a flood of refugees, and the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Even so, the scale of passenger car sales in the European region improved from 2015, and countries such as Spain, Italy, and the UK showed signs of recovery. In 2015, sales volume for Europe as a whole grew by 9.2% year-on-year (y/y). Sales volume in Germany, which leads the European market, increased by 5.6% y/y to 3.2 million units in 2015 (ACEA).
Owing to efforts by the automotive industry in Europe and the rest of the world, as well as strong buying interest and European enthusiasm for cars, 260 manufacturers, including 63 major companies, participated in the motor show, and slightly fewer than 700 models were exhibited. Palexpo, the show venue, is conveniently located next to an international airport and national railway station, and buses from the city, including those especially for the event, ran frequently from the city to the venue. Excluding the days for the media, visitors increased by 0.7% y/y to 687,000 people. In addition to Swiss people, the by country attendance ratio saw 30% of attendees come from France, 6% from Italy, 3% from Germany, and 10% from the rest of the world (Organizer).
The show was open from 10 am to 8 pm, allowing attendees to observe the vehicles at their own pace, and a long line of people waited for the venue to open each day. The Palexpo venue is made up of 7 halls (110,000 square meters), with 6 of them used for vehicles. Innumerable lights were attached to bare frames on the ceiling without pillars, as shown in the photo to the upper-right. These lights, like glittering stars, illuminated the booths of the exhibitors equally and produced an atmosphere unique to the Geneva Show.
Overview of the Show-1: PHVs and connected cars
1) Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi Motors exhibited many green vehicles including hybrid vehicles (HVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), and electric vehicles (EVs). Toyota Motor Corporation exhibited HVs and a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. displayed EVs, and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. showcased its FCV. Coachbuilders and tuning specialists displayed many concept EVs.
2) Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and other OEMs exhibited "connected cars" that utilize IT to make the various uses of vehicle in daily life more convenient and presented models equipped with information systems.
3) Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were displayed by various automakers, but Ferrari and other luxury car manufacturers also exhibited crossover utility vehicles (sports coupes combined with wagons) and SUVs.
4) Simple yet high quality vehicles built by Alfa Romeo, Skoda Auto, and Adam Opel were shown for the first time.
5) Models from Japanese OEMs like Toyota and Nissan that had been displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show or the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) made their European debuts.
6) In response to European users' sports-spec preferences, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Isuzu Motors Limited, Ford Motor Company, and Dodge exhibited pickup trucks that can also be used for work.
7) Famous coachbuilders from countries like Italy used to display unique concept cars that gave the Geneva International Motor Shows a flamboyant atmosphere until the beginning of the 2000s, but their presence has become low-profile. They have been replaced by high quality concept cars from automakers and tuning specialist exhibits.
8) Many exhibits were of a three-piece set comprised of a freely accessible vehicle, bare engine, and body-in-white. Although Bugatti's and Aston Martin's engines were touchable exhibits, Mazda Motor Corporation's Skyactiv engines were ostentatiously displayed inside sturdy acrylic cases.
Overview of the Show-2: Key exhibits from major OEMs ~ premiere cars, etc. (by country)
|Especially notable models||Especially notable models|
|European (world) premieres/
production models, etc.
|European (world) premieres/
production models, etc.
|Toyota||C-HR, Prius, Proace||Mercedes-Benz||Convertible & PHV models|
|Lexus||LC500h, LF-FC||VW||EV/PHV models, T-cross, Tiguan|
|Infiniti||Q30, QX30, Q60||BMW||EV/PHV models, M760 Lix Drive|
|Honda||Civic Hatchback||Porsche||718Boxster, 911R|
|Mitsubishi||L2000, ASX, eX concept||Opel||Mokka X, GT-concept|
|Suzuki||Baleno, S-Cross||Ford||Vignale series|
|Subaru||XV concept||smart||Fortwo series|
|Isuzu||D-MAX Pick up||SEAT||Ateca|
|Rolls-Royce||Black Badge series|
|Land Rover||Evoque Cabrio||Renault||Scenic|
|Jaguar||F-Type SVR, F-PACE||Citroen||Space Tourer, E-Mehari (EV)|
|Bentley||Mulsanne, Bentayga||Peugeot||2008, Traveller|
|Aston Martin||DB 11||Bugatti||Chiron|
|Lotus||Elise Cup 250|
|Hyundai||ioniq-EV, PHV, HV|
|KIA||Soul-EV, Niro, Optima||Fiat||Tipo, 124 Spider|
|Dodge||Viper, Rum-Pick up||Lamborghini||Centenario LP770-4|