Monday, 8 october 2018 | Redacción CEU
The event known as "le Mondial de l'Auto" celebrates its hundredth and twentieth anniversary. From the 4th to the 14th of October, Paris Expo Porte de Versaille will show the latest developments of an industry in full transformation. As usual, this biannual event, which every year take turns with the Frankfurt Motor Show, becomes one of the most important dates in the automotive world. This type of meetings do not only serve to show muscle to the competitors and impress, seduce and win over car enthusiasts, but they are also useful to understand where the firms are and what the general health of the industry is.
If the international automotive show of Paris 2018 has been characterized by something, it has not been by the break with the inertia experienced in previous meetings. The Parisian show has served more than anything to confirm the predictable direction towards which the automotive industry is heading: the commitment to electrification, SUV cars as the star segment and the paradigm shift in the celebration of this kind of events. All this has been seasoned with the industry's worries caused by the US tariff policies and the uncertainty that Brexit is generating, now that its arrival is so close.
The confirmation of the paradigm shift
Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Fiat, Ford, Jeep, Lamborghini, Mazda, McLaren, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo are the brands that decided not to participate in this year in the Parisian event. The absences of important firms in the sector are no longer a novelty, but a pattern that has been occuring again in the last years. The trend is confirmed. The major carmakers have stopped conceiving these famous automobile shows as key events on their calendar that they cannot miss.
Brands prefer to show their vehicles in personalized events which are aimed at their particular interests and that manage to capture the attention they need. The high costs which are involved in attending these types of showrooms and the lack of both media and economic returns which are proportional to the effort they made are the main reasons that seem to justify this change in the behavior of automotive firms.
Facing these international events, regional shows are growing (for example, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona). Manufacturers have realized that these "minor" appointments have also good visibility and they do not need to allocate such a high investment in them. On the other hand, events like the Paris Motor Show, which usually have the goal of making the product public as much as possible, no longer work in the same way as they used to. Most car lovers get to know the novelties and the new details about brands before these great events are celebrated. The digital era has brought about this scenario. Nevertheless, those interested still need to see the vehicles up close and try them. These regional salons are ideal to fulfill their wish.