• Switzerland's news in English
Geneva Motor Show 2015
Optimism stokes this year's Geneva car show
Journalists thronging car show. Photo: Geneva International Motor Show

Optimism stokes this year's Geneva car show

Estelle Péard/AFP · 3 Mar 2015, 10:16

Published: 03 Mar 2015 10:16 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 85th edition of the show, one of the auto industry's biggest and most diverse events, features 900 shiny new vehicles.
And with 90 sleek never-before-seen machines set for their world premieres in Geneva, the show appears to be revving up to be one of the most spectacular on record.
The some 220 manufacturers showcasing their new beauties in Geneva are expected to be in high spirits as the long-suffering European car industry looks poised to swerve into the fast lane.
After being dogged by malaise since crashing into the economic crisis in 2008, European car makers finally emerged from the red last year.
"We are optimistic for the European market" this year, Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn told reporters on the eve of the event.
Among the eagerly awaited newcomers are Renault's cross-over SUV Kadjar, aimed at taking on Nissan's popular Qashqai, as well as a new version of Skoda's flagship Superb sedan and a new Ford Focus RS.
But such family-oriented cars will as always need to battle for attention with the latest generation of jaw-dropping luxury vehicles.
Ferrari is launching its new 488 GTB supercar, while Austin Martin will unveil its new race car-inspired Vantage GT3.
And the front end of McLaren's brand new P1 GTR resembles a knowing smirk, a pointer perhaps towards the racetrack-ready motor powering this $2 million (€1.78 million) dream car.
"Green" cars, boasting next-to-no emissions, and concept vehicles looking towards a driverless future are also expected to draw crowds.

 'Recovery could accelerate' 

"The mood in Geneva will be largely upbeat," predicted German car expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.
With sales in Europe up 5.7 percent in 2014 and swelling 6.7 percent in January, there is finally something to get excited about.
And last month, France saw sales grow another 4.1 percent, while they were up seven percent in Germany and a full 26.1 percent in Spain, helped by an ongoing government subsidy programme.
The European Automobile Manufacturer's Association (ACEA) has, meanwhile, predicted a cautious two percent growth for the European car market in 2015.
Others, however, were more upbeat.
"We can see that the recovery that we noted last year is continuing, and could even accelerate in early 2015," said auto market analyst Flavien Neuvy of Cetelem credit company.
But the European car industry still has a way to go before fully returning to pre-crisis sales volumes.
Last year, only 12.5 million cars were sold in the European Union, compared with 16 million in 2007.
And the recovery remains uneven, with southern European countries like Spain, Italy and even France facing a particularly steep climb.
The European divisions of General Motors and Ford are also still struggling, hit by the implosion of the Russian market amid the raging conflict in Ukraine.
But after being forced to undergo painful and dramatic restructuring processes during the crisis, French car manufacturers are finally able to be more optimistic.
PSA Peugeot Citroen, which almost plunged off a cliff a year ago, said recently it had slashed its losses by three quarters and posted its first operational profit in three years.
Renault, meanwhile, announced it would create 1,000 permanent jobs in France this year on the back of a strong growth in profits in 2014.
Despite their recovery, French manufacturers are still trailing behind German carmaker Volkswagen, which with its stable of brands like VW, Audi and Skoda, alone accounts for a quarter of the European market.
The German behemoth, which appears set this year to take the lead in global auto sales for the first time, if it manages to overtake Toyota, on Monday saw its new Passat crowned European Car of the Year.
The 85th Geneva Motor Show, which opens to the public on Thursday and runs to March 15th, expects to draw some 670,000 visitors.

Story continues below…

For more information check here.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Estelle Péard/AFP (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Wawrinka aces his way into Basel quarterfinals
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The home favourite returns to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors for the first time in five years.

Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available