Monday 1 May 2017

Take Six from Geneva... the trends that shaped a show that didn't shine

The world's press get a close look at all the new models for 2017 at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Photo: Getty Images
The world's press get a close look at all the new models for 2017 at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Photo: Getty Images
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

This year's Geneva Motor Show can, I think, be summed up with six words.

They are: 'Takeover', 'SUV', 'Autonomous', 'Facelift', 'Hybrid' and 'Electric'.

And despite all that appearing to provide a sumptuous menu of metal, it was short on truly outstanding cars.

There wasn't the sort of car here you'd talk about, tell people back home about, remember vividly when away from the gala and the glitz.

So here are the props that shaped it and my memories of Geneva 2017.

TAKEOVER: The show was, of course, dominated and to an extent overshadowed, by the news of PSA's takeover of Opel/Vauxhall - a seismic development for the business and all concerned in both companies.

The takeover makes the new alliance the second largest in Europe after Volkswagen.

On the stands it was difficult to gauge the mood of what it will all mean. Everyone is being ultra cautious; most are saying it is too soon to know what the medium term will produce. There are fears and there are hopes.

Overall, though, it has been a good few days for PSA (Peugeot and Citroen), and more particularly Peugeot as its 3008 SUV, just arrived in Ireland, was voted European Car of the Year.

As well as that PSA, to their credit, has just published 'real-world' fuel consumption figures for 1,000 Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars. In totaly 58 models were involved. They are asking people at the show to log on to their country's respective websites so they can check their average consumption.

The web-based application lets you view the data for your model.

So far this is possible only in France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and Switzerland but we'll all get it over time. And about time. Others please copy, as they say. The days of fantasy MPG are nearing an end.

SUV: Everywhere you look there is an SUV of some, shape or size. And if they are not SUVs they are crossovers or coupes/estates/hatchbacks trying to be crossovers.

There is no stopping the trend. We're going to buy more and more and more of them for a long, long time.

Autonomous: I was surprised some of the cars didn't drive themselves to the show such was the talk and exposition of autonomous drive elements highlighted at nearly every second stand.

Facelift: I've seldom come across a show that had so many 'revised' models as opposed to brand new. It can happen that a generation of cars hit mid-life around the same time.

Hybrid: These are the 'bridge' cars to an electric future in many people's eyes. And there are lots of them here from small to large, such as the Lexus LS 500h.

Electric: A modern carmaker can't afford to be without an electric car of some sort or shape, be it concept or imminent.

A few appear to be trailing a little but Jaguar's I-Pace electric SUV shows just how much of a role electric power will play. I thought there would be more - Volkswagen had a good show of strength on that front - but I'm certain lots will arrive next time.

Overall, however, the show didn't ignite the sort of enthusiasm I expected.

We've come to expect so much from cars now that we're disappointed at anything less than spectacular.

Indo Motoring

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