The Frankfurt Motor Show opened in a paradoxical context between the optimism generated by the presentation of many electric vehicles, economic fears and the absence of many manufacturers.
For professionals, the Frankfurt Motor Show opened its doors before the general public can watch the new products until 22 September. In any case, the innovations of the manufacturers present. Indeed, many of them are now bypassing as is now customary, including for the Paris Motor Show. No Nissan, Toyota, Peugeot, FCA, Citroën, Dacia, Volvo, Kia, Tesla… and even Ferrari. Renault, for its part, was only present during the press days on Tuesday and Wednesday to present the new Captur. Enough to let the Germans take the full measure of the space, even if it means giving the impression that the Frankfurt show is becoming a regional show.
The German Electric Car Show
While BMW had a smaller stand than in the past, German manufacturers as a whole was leading a major offensive on the electric car in order to put a definitive end to diesel gate and despite the fairly large “pro-ecological” demonstrations announced on the side-lines of the show.
The fact is that by 2021, the ranges will no longer be expected to emit more than 95 g/km of CO2 under penalty of more or less salty fines. Since the European legislator (parliament + national assemblies) intends to convert us to electricity, more or less force, and German manufacturers are taking advantage of their domestic mass to present many new products. Opel e-Corsa (based on e-208), Volkswagen ID.3, Audi AI concept: TRAIL (electric off-road), van Mercedes EQV and of course the Taycan, the first production electric Porsche presented in the absence of Tesla.
The Germans were not be the only ones to offer new electrical products, but it must be said that the IAA lacks competition. Let’s mention the final version of the Honda e, the Hyundai 45 concept while Ford (back the Puma and the plug-in hybrid) should communicate on its common electric platform with Volkswagen.
At the moment, European sales of electric cars represent less than 2% of the total. This figure is still low but still on the rise to varying degrees depending on the country, as shown in this JATO Dynamics computer graphics. There is no doubt that with an expanded offer, the EV market should grow, to what extent?
What about the thermal?
In this context of an electric offensive, the internal combustion engine seems to be taking a back seat. Nevertheless, both Mercedes and BMW continue to focus on this, particularly on the M and AMG finishes. In addition, Land Rover unveiled the (much anticipated) new Defender. Let us also highlight the Lamborghini Sian concept or the Seat and Cupra productions based on SUVs.
Nevertheless, this 2019 IAA is opening in a context where the global automotive market is declining by 5% in the first half of the year (-1.83% in France). There is a particularly marked decline in China, which worries all stakeholders, whether they are present in Frankfurt or not.