Motor shows like IAA Frankfurt loosing impact
For this year’s edition of the IAA Frankfurt motor show starting September 12, ten car makers representing 20% of Europe’s car market, will not be present on the stands. Though the climate is still optimistic in terms of sales, car manufacturers feel the general public has changed the way it buys its cars and motor shows are loosing impact.
The movement started last year at the Paris Motor Show and continues at this year’s edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show. French brands Peugeot, DS Automobiles and Citroën will not be attending the event. Neither will Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Nissan, Infiniti and Nissan. Swedish Volvo and American Tesla will also be absent from the stands. Together, those 10 absent brands represent about 20% of EU new car registrations since the beginning of the year.
The number of missing brands from the show isn’t correlated to the market but can be explained by a new consumer’s approach to car purchase. “Clients have changed they approach to cars”, explains Bernard Loire, President of Nissan west Europe, “they have new communication devices, such as internet, that have shaken up the way they buy new cars”.
In the past, buyers would visit four to five dealerships before purchasing a new car but now they only visit one or two. “Motor shows don’t have the same impact anymore. We have other means to get to our clients”, adds Loire.
“Investment are unequal to our commercial presence in Germany”, explains DS marketing director Arnaud Ribault. It’s the same for Nissan: “For 2017, we have chosen to invest in only one motor show and it was Geneva”. The Swiss motor show is smaller and therefore less expensive. It also doesn’t give unreasonable space to local car manufacturers like Frankfurt of Paris.
EU market prognoses are good
For the EU market, 2017 should mark important sales progressions. During the first six months, sales have already increased by 4,7 %. “Oriental EU market will show a strong growth of more than 10% but for the west part, it will only be 2 %”, explains Maxime Lemerle from Euler Hermes.
“The reason for this small increase is to be found in one country’s sales: the UK’s”, he adds. Because of Brexit, the specialist foresees a decrease in terms of sales in the UK of about 5% for 2017 and 6% for next year.
Diesel in difficulty
Uncertainty on diesel is still very much part of the EU market. German car makers have been forced by their government to put up scrap incentives to accelerate the transition to cleaner cars. In other countries such as France, consumers ditch their diesel in the fear of not being able to go through cities with low emission zones (LEZ) anymore.
For their part, car makers are largely investing in electric mobility. Volkswagen foresees no less that 25% of its fleet to be electric by 2025. BMW will launch 12 fully electric models by 2025 and Volvo will not offer pure thermic engines by 2019.