2018 Paris Motor Show: Last tango in Paris?
Auto manufacturers are taking a serious look at international motor shows looking for a way to justify participation on a large scale and finding it increasingly difficult to make a case for having a presence. That trend is affecting all the major shows including Paris, where there will be no Ford, Volvo, Nissan, Infiniti, VW, Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini.
Among those makes that do show up, there will be preponderance of crossover SUVs, electrics and combinations thereof. While auto shows will not become extinct since dealers understand it’s a great way to get their products in front of potential customers in a low-pressure environment, the manufacturers themselves are questioning these exhibitions as viable news events to introduce new products. Rising costs and a desire to control the narrative has led to many makers opting to showcase new vehicles away from the major shows. As a result, many of the big international shows are less about the industry meeting among its peers on a global stage and more about moving the iron in local markets.
Paris is at that crossroads. There still will be some major introductions, like Mercedes which will show its new 2020 GLE SUV and the 2020 EQC, its first pure electric SUV. BMW will show its much anticipated 3 Series, while Lexus will showcase a facelifted RC Coupe, which will soon be on sale here. The European debut of the Suzuki Jimny may make us nostalgic about a simpler time when the company sold its Samurai here, but also Paris will showcase some rather interesting wagons primarily for the European market. With wider acceptance, some of these intros may have implications for the U.S. somewhere down the road.
While the pickings may seem slim, check back in between now and the early October press days as we cover what’s new from the City of Lights.