The optimism is still required for the European automobile. The market rebounded after the 2008-2013 crisis, becoming in 2015, thanks to the slowdown in China, the engine of global growth in the sector.
The 86th Geneva Motor Show, prologue in which the new Opel Astra was crowned Monday “ European Car of the Year ” promises “ more than 120 world premieres European and “and does not detract from his reputation as a showcase for sports and ultra-luxury cars.
At the height of extravagance, Chiron Bugatti Veyron successor to the rank of one of the most powerful series of automobiles, the fastest and most expensive in the world, some two million euros.
Another sign of “ supercars ” Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini, shows her Centenario, which Aston Martin replica with a DB 11 tapered and Jaguar a more muscular version of its F-type coupe
and if the French Renault finally decided not to come to Geneva a prototype foreshadowing the revival of Alpine, DS (PSA) is shown a futuristic coupe concept, the power E-tense.
Closer to the series, urban 4×4 (crossover or SUV) are once again came in numbers on the show. This segment has gained more than 22% of the European market in 10 years of existence.
The new Kia Niro, Toyota C-HR, Ateca Seat, Skoda and Audi Q2 visions have in sight the sales stars, the Renault Captur and Nissan Qashqai. As for Maserati (Fiat-Chrysler), it is the Porsche Cayenne with its first SUV, the Levante.
Renault, which already developing a range of “ crossover “, will this year against the current trend by presenting the fourth generation of its compact van Scenic and break Mégane . New breaks also enthroned on the Volvo stand (V90) and Kia (Optima).
– The diesel on the spot –
After an increase in sales of 9.3% to 13.7 million units last year, the European market is expected to exceed 14 million in 2016, according to the consensus of experts.
“ The consumption is supported by low interest rates, rising real income and employment as well as a cheap fuel ,” said Monday the President of the German automobile Federation VDA, Matthias Wissmann, saying tackle the Geneva show with “ trusted .”
Stefan Bratzel, German car expert, predicted a “ positive atmosphere throughout the living room, despite the theme of scandal Volkswagen .”
The German giant with twelve brands, which dominates nearly 25% of the European market, wipes a global storm since it acknowledged in September knowingly faked diesel engines to make them pass US standards.
On Monday night, his boss Matthias Müller called “ learn from past mistakes ” and promised that “ 2016 (will be) the year during which we expect to solve the problem of our diesel engines to our customers and refocus the group for the future . ”
VW still risk heavy penalties, and the matter is spreading on the entire sector, attracting the attention of the authorities on diesel vehicle emissions, beyond tests approval.
These standards during cure after a green light from the European Parliament last month. Clean-up costs will increase, which is expected to reduce the share of diesel market, currently over 50% on the Old Continent.
“ for years known as diesel pollutes, but it did not interest people so much ,” says Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the RAC research center in Germany.
Mr. Wissmann, VDA, said meanwhile that “ diesel is not the problem but part of the solution to environmental protection because it emits less CO2 ” that gasoline.
The exhibition organizers are banking on between 650,000 and 700,000 visitors until March 13 at the Palexpo center where gathered 200 exhibitors from 30 countries.