By on September 17, 2019

Thousands of people amassed in Germany over the weekend to protest the automotive industry. Ground Zero was in Frankfurt, with an estimated 15,000-25,000 people marching past the Frankfurt Motor Show holding signs condemning the internal combustion motor and promoting environmental awareness. Dozens of people also made it onto the trade show to demand the event be shut down or reformatted to focus entirely on eco-friendly transportation.

Sport-utility vehicles and crossovers were also a focal point of activist ire. Many called for their banishment from German cities after four pedestrians, including a three-year-old boy, were fatally struck by a Porsche Macan earlier this month in Berlin. However, the segment’s slightly higher dependance upon fuel was also a sore spot for many activists.

“Such tank-like cars do not belong in cities,” Stephan von Dassel, Green politician, bicycle enthusiast, and mayor of Berlin’s Mitte district, tweeted in German. “They are ‘climate killers’, even without accidents, every driving error becomes a life-threatening danger for innocent people.”  (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2019

As we get older, whole sections of our lives are mentally distilled into a handful of standout moments, accompanied by the broad strokes of shared experiences. Among them is the middle school dance, which really isn’t so much a dance as it is an opportunity for people to stand around wishing everyone would couple up and get the party started. Everyone’s hunting for a partner, but few will see that dream realized, leaving them to stand by their closest friends while they mumble “it sure would be nice to find someone to dance with” into their fifth cup of punch.

The Geneva Motor Show looked a lot like that this year. With car sales cooling, emission controls tightening, and ambitious mobility projects eating into automakers’ profit margins, many companies believe the industry is evolving. However, no one’s certain what the future holds, so they’re dabbling in everything. That’s not a sound business strategy, especially if there’s no one around to help you share the financial burden.

As a result, auto executives spent quite a bit of time in Geneva hinting that they could use a dance partner.  (Read More…)

By on February 5, 2019

It’s the Chicago Auto Show this week, but some manufacturers are already teasing models for March’s Geneva International Motor Show. Despite many automakers taking a powder on next month’s event, Mazda just announced plans to unveil a new compact crossover in Switzerland.

Our best guess is that this is a preliminary concept for something that could eventually morph into the next-generation CX-9. However, there’s also an equally good chance Mazda may be testing the waters for a return of the CX-7 or possibly delivering an updated version of the CX-4 that’s only available in China right now.  (Read More…)

By on November 21, 2018

Volvo has decided not to bring any vehicles to AutoMobility LA, the tech-focused preamble to the Los Angeles Auto Show. The reason? The brand says it’s not an auto show, despite the word auto being in the title. Volvo claims the industry is changing and so are the expectations of the people who use them. While this may be true to some extent, many people still expect carmakers to promote their cars and aren’t likely to swayed by mobility jargon or a rotating centerpiece that solidifies Volvo’s narrative.

Earlier this week, we mentioned Volvo’s launch of a social media campaign that includes a photograph of a phone displaying text reading “this is not a phone.” The gambit effectively built intrigue for the show, but the campaign will continue in LA — resulting in a display featuring “a number of interactive demonstrations of connectivity services, such as in-car delivery, car sharing, [and Volvo’s] vision for autonomous driving.” But no cars. (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2017

concept-i

Automotive trade shows serve as a wonderful opportunity for manufacturers and suppliers to showcase upcoming products to the people most interested in them. However, carmakers understand that you have to take time to feed the global hype machine, which usually means tossing a few concept vehicles into the mix. While some of these designs serve as tantalizing preludes to real-deal automobiles, others are fantastical fabrications — representing little more than an interesting idea that will never reach production.

This year’s Tokyo Motor Show saw plenty of vehicles straddling the line between faintly tangible and utterly incorporeal in terms of future production. Sure, we know not every prototype will accurately represent subsequent real-world models. Subaru’s Viziv may not be a dead ringer for the next WRX, but it at least gives us a sense of where the design team is heading. The same is true for Honda’s Sports EV or Mazda’s incredible-looking Vision Coupe and Kai concepts.

However, for every concept car earnestly trying to convey a new design language or highlight upcoming features there is also something so implausible that it leaves you wondering why the manufacturer wheeled it out in the first place. Which brings us to today’s question: are these over-the-top automotive prototypes meaningful or a complete waste of resources? (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2017

IAA trade show

Frankfurt is the real deal when it comes to trade events. Germany’s International Motor Show is the oldest and, frequently, the largest exhibition of new vehicles and automotive engineering on the planet. However, some important automakers are deciding not to bother with it this year.

The event’s organizer, Germany’s VDA industry association, has confirmed that several automakers have cancelled on the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung in September 2017. While there will still be over 50 individual brands from Europe, Asia, and the United States, a few of the heavier hitters are following the trend of taking their marketing money off the floor and rerouting it back into digital advertising.  (Read More…)

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