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SMMT Looks to Break New Grounds, as Big Names Miss Out at 2016 Paris Motor Show


Vision Mercedes Maybach 6 Concept: a head-turner at the biggest motor show on earth

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s the Mondial de l’Automobile 2016, also known as the Paris Motor Show, got under way, some of the most notable names in the global auto industry are not on parade at the event known to be the most glamorous auto show in the world.

Jaguar Land Rover at Paris Motor Show 2016
Jaguar Land Rover at Paris Motor Show 2016

Generation EQ Concept
Generation EQ Concept

Even though, big auto manufacturers like KIA, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and Renault as well as LandRover, Ferrari, Volkswagen, Honda, including Skoda Kodiaq and General Motors are already showcasing in the 16 days motor parade; the likes of Ford, Mazda and Volvo as well as luxury brands Rolls Royce and Aston Marti, Bentley and Lamborghini, both Volkswagen-subsidiaries, all opted out of the biennial auto appearance, in Paris.

The Paris Motor Show, which was first held in 1898 on yearly basis now takes place once every two years, alternating with the equally high-profile Frankfurt Motor Show, in Germany.

Traditionally, the auto show provides an opportunity for manufacturers to wheel out their gleaming new models, indulge their engineers’ flights of fancy by producing outlandish and futuristic concept cars, and generally bask in the media spotlight.

On why the likes of Ford could decide not to be at the world’s biggest motor show, while Motoring World International correspondent is still making efforts to get words from the auto maker, auto industry analysts are divided in opinion. Some believe  the development could be connected to global economic melt down, because, according to Jude Priest, a Dublin-based industry analyst, “to appear in such big event require plenty of expenses and possibly, opportunity cost may be playing out.”

“Accurate figures of participatory expenses for such shows are hard to come by,” viewed Frank Boyede, Motoring World’s contributing editor. “But it is assumed that the big brands should be able to spend millions in an effort to upstage their rivals.”

Notwithstanding, Ford, which put in spectacular appearance at the Beijing show, earlier in the year, is probably giving Paris a miss, because it feels it can spend its money better by waiting to host its media event in Cologne, late November. And besides, the American car manufacturer seems to be focusing more on its driverless car technology and redefining itself as an innovator.

New generation Kia Rio as unveiled at the ongoing Paris Auto Shor
New generation Kia Rio as unveiled at the ongoing Paris Auto Show

More so, despite large assembly of journalists at the show, which offers participating auto manufacturers  a great deal of competition for headlines at elaborate “media evenings” at exotic venues around the city, the missing auto companies might have considered other platforms as alternatives to showcase the brands.

Volvo for example moved away from car shows, preferring to focus on marketing its cars through online channels, as well as hosting its own events.

And let’s not forget that as the distinction between car and technology companies becomes increasingly fuzzy, more and more vehicles are being launched at tech fairs, like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Toyota also has introduced the Prius at Disrupt SF 16 as a podium to line up its new ideas and discoveries to the global auto world.

Most of these decisions might have been reached by the auto manufacturers, because they were looking for some kind of privacy for their new discoveries and technology and control.

Although to involve in such collective shows like the 2016 Paris Auto Show comes with a whole lots of competition among auto manufacturers and brands, the original concept was to provide motor industries with opportunity to display new concepts and production models. But also there is the possibility of losing privacy to transfer of ides and discoveries. Don’t mind, but it can mean giving out well thought internal technology for nothing.

With the declining population of participation in the 2016 Paris Motor Show, there is the tendency that more companies might pull out in subsequent editions.

In 2014, more than 1.2 million people are said to have attended the Paris Motor Show, making it the most visited auto show at the time.

Volkswagen’s decision to pull the Bentley and Lamborghini out of Paris Motor Show 2016 came earlier this month. The German car manufacturer believes that it is not in a good financial position in the aftermath of the emissions scandal. The company is said to need up to $18 billion to either repurchase or fix the affected vehicles.

So many Jobs were noted to have been lost as a result of VW’s effort to reduce spending and the Paris Motor Show was definitely an expense it could do without.

British-built cars make united presence and statements at Paris Motor show
British-built cars make united presence and statements at Paris Motor show

However, despite the mass pull outs of brands and auto manufacturers, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is not missing the opportunity to use the Paris motor show to demonstrate the strength and global appeal of the UK automotive industry, and so, it is live and direct at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and has erected its grand display below the Eiffel Tower, featuring eight British-built cars, namely the Honda Civic, Mini Cooper, Nissan Qashqai, Vauxhall Astra, Toyota Auris, Jaguar F-Pace, Aston Martin DB11 and McLaren 570s.

In the end of the show, SMMT is certain of a marvellous outing capable of relaunching its brands to a new international focus and patronage.

So, those missing out had better be careful and work harder.

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