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What Geneva Had To Tell Us About The Auto Industry

By raccars Published

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The Geneva Motor Show is one of the most important events in the automotive calendar. This year's show has just concluded and featured the usual mixture of eyebrow raising concepts and sleek new production models. The major manufacturers go to some considerable effort to try and produce the best new product displays, but what is really interesting about the show is what it tells us about the direction the auto industry is taking.

Exotica reigns

In terms of sales rations, mainstream cars dramatically outsell hypercars. However at events like Geneva, you'd be forgiven for thinking that manufacturers aren't interested in volume, as all were pushing their most exotic metal. Names such as Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and McLaren got all the attention - even though most buyers will never get anywhere near to owning one of them. Even mainstream brands, such as Audi, Ford and Honda, focused on the likes of the R8 and RS3, the GT and Focus RS and the Civic Type R respectively, rather than the solid but staid moneymakers.

Aston Martin still knows how to amaze

There are few secrets within the motoring industry. However at this year's Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin managed to surprise everyone - including its own staff, apparently. The British luxury sports car firm, which has battled financial turmoil over the last few years, drew the dust sheets off an unexpected and unheard of crossover concept, called the DBX. The DBX looked as sleek and luxurious as befits any car wearing the Aston Martin badge, but displayed definite crossover features, including an elevated ride height and muscular frame.

Cars getting connected

Despite plenty of hype, genuinely internet connected cars are still few and far between. However, examples of how manufacturers are integrating internet connectivity could be seen on every stand. The technology is certainly desirable but throws up a number of questions about brand loyalty - in the near future, will buyers choose their car based on their preference for a particular operating system? Or would a dedicated Google Android user switch to Apple for the sake of the car they wanted?

Autonomous driving tech marches on

New cars feature increasing amounts of autonomous driving technology - emergency braking systems, lane departure assist and various other active safety systems are all short form versions of autonomous driving. While all the manufacturers are determined to be the first to bring driverless cars to the mainstream, none is quite ready yet to commit to a date when drivers will be able to relax with a crossword while their car takes charge.

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