Small Car Galore At Geneva Motor Show
Small car galore at Geneva Motor show
The world is catching up with the small car fever and car makers are rolling out new products to make the most of this trend. Industry analysts feel that A, B and midsize C cars would account for more than half of the global market by 2016. So, a plethora of new small and very small cars are being expected at the upcoming Geneva motor show. According to industry observers this inclination towards small cars is a result of the changing demography. With growing urbanisation, ageing populations in rich countries and demand from first-time buyers in emerging markets such a phenomenon is bound to happen. To add to this is the need to cut down emissions. However, manufacturing small cars is not really profitable for carmakers.
Upcoming small cars
Most major carmakers are expected to showcase compact car models at the Geneva Motor Show and each company would have its own set of answers to the small-car conundrum.
Audi's quirky A2 small car had received good reviews in 2000 but the car's lightweight aluminum construction made it expensive to produce and the company halted production in 2005. But Audi's new A1, the smallest car in its range, would set a new benchmark for carmakers. Audi A1 is expected to be loaded with luxury features like a navigation system with a high-resolution display and interior trim. The expected price of Audi's A1 would be around âÂ¬16,000 ($21,648) for the basic version and about âÂ¬25,000 for the top one.
Nissan is expected to showcase its all new Nissan Micra at the Geneva Motor Show, which is likely to hit the Indian roads soon. Nissan's new Micra would be available in 160 countries and produced at four plants in fast-growing emerging countries including India, Thailand, China, and Mexico. Nissan plans to build a sedan and a compact van on the same V (versatile) platform as the Micra.
Micra has a brand new engine and the fuel economy in expected to be constant for both mature and emerging markets. According to Vincent Cobee, programme director for Nissan's V platform, "We think developing and developed markets tastes are quite similar. There has been a tendency to dump previous-generation, depreciated vehicles into emerging markets but we would not compete like this."
The Geneva Motor Show is also expected to see the new version of Fiat's 500 developed by its Abarth performance sub-brand and the Renault Wind, a two-seat convertible just over 3.8 metres long.
Some other small carmakers like Ford Motor's Fiesta, Fiat's 500, and Hyundai's i10, are now offering standard and optional features ranging from state-of-the-art telematics to custom paint trim and parking assistance.
The aim of the carmakers is to improve the small cars and the new breed of small cars rolling out is much better than the cheap, stripped-down, no-frills small cars that were often mockingly called "econoboxes".