In this year's Paris Motor Show, the automobile industry's future seems to swerve along the trenches of electric cars, if the biennial auto show proves any legitimate consumer forecast. In Paris where the show was held, electric vehicles occupied a large foreground space, more than that of luxury cars and diesel-fueled vehicles.
Much of the hype surrounding this year's Paris Motor show accounted to car models latching onto the trend of green energy, which is a more efficient, non-pollutant solution for those who who wish to avail a car while trying their best to avoid straining the environment because of carbon emissions. That said, the auto show almost likened the diesel cars as bit players in the midst of news coverage of the event, which tightened its focus substantially on electric cars.
"Crossovers and vehicle electrification are again expected to be key reveals at the event," said Ian Fletcher, principal analyst of U.K. based financial services company IHS Markit. He noted that the trend is a conflation of consumer demand in proportion to the number of crossovers being unveiled, and zero-emission factors.
Despite notable no-shows this year, several carmakers are using the auto show as an opportunity to show off their new automotive electric cars.
Volkswagen yanked its lineup of luxury cars from the auto show as a cost-cutting attempt after its emissions scandal and is set to unveil a compact smart electric car as part of its ongoing shift to develop more electric models. It has vowed to release more than 30 all-electric models by 2025, and to sell 2 to 3 million of them annually. Its new electric car is touted as the company's breeding ground and base design for electric cars it plans to develop in the future.
Mercedes-Benz is also expected to showcase a new SUV that will directly compete with Tesla's Model X. Tesla, Elon Musk's electric car company, is not exactly disrupting the industry with record-breaking profits, but it has garnered enough notice and popularity among consumers and carmakers alike, noting that many customers opt for a Tesla. Mercedes-Benz will also show the AMG GT R, AMG GLC43 Coupe, GLC350e Coupe, AMG GT and GT C Roadster. Additionally, it's set to showcase an electric vehicle concept it calls "a concrete vision of a totally new generation of vehicles with battery-electric drive."
Opel, a subsidiary of General Motors Co. has the Ampera-e to show off, the European counterpart to Chevrolet Bolt that delivers an all-electric range of about 383 kilometers (238 miles).
BMW will also show its 3 Series Gran Turismo four-door and its new electric models, named i3 and i8 Protonic Dark Silver special edition model. It's also set to show an X2 concept SUV, expected to go into full production in late 2017.
Here is a comprehensive list of key debuts:
- Audi Q5
- Audi A5 coupe, A5 Sportback
- BMW i8 Spyder, i8 coupe
- Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta
- Ferrari GTC4Lusso variant
- Honda Civic hatchback, Civic Type R
- Hyundai i30
- Infiniti QX50
- Kia Rio
- Land Rover Discovery
- Mercedes-Benz E-class All Terrain
- Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster/GT C
- Nissan Micra
- Opel Ampera-e
- Porsche Panamera, Panamera
- Smart ForTwo EV
- Smart ForFour EV
- BMW X2
- Lexus UX
- Mercedes-Benz electric crossover
- Mitsubishi GT-PHEV Concept
- Volkswagen EV
With companies skipping the Paris Motor Show altogether, the prolific dominance of electric vehicles in this year's auto show harks back to the general significance of the auto show in this era where we have the internet as a primary tool for carmakers to disseminate information, building hype for a cost far less than that involved in the logistics of participating in a show. It's a question of the auto show going beyond a stereotypical luxury frenzy for rich consumers into an innovative showcasing platform, where even the uninitiated can participate and learn all about what's the next thing for cars.