Why you shouldn’t go to the Paris Motor Show

Why you shouldn’t go to the Paris Motor Show

Finally ! Car fans are reassured. Four years after its last edition, the Mondial de l’Automobile returns to its quarters in the Porte de Versailles exhibition center. The emphasis on this being a historic event is obvious. The “Auto Show” (for Parisians) or “Paris Show” (for automobile professionals) actually dates back to 1898. Their history has only served their influence, which has become international. This show has established itself as the world’s most popular motor show, regularly attracting more than a million visitors since 1954, with a record 1,460,830 in 2004. But this revival marks the end of an era. By the menu, here’s why worshipers of the event are likely to quickly become disillusioned. We can only strongly advise them to stay at home.

First, the entrance fee, which has none did not lower his claims. It is possible to pre-book your ticket on the internet at a price of 16 euros. However, this requires the reservation of a time slot, which must be respected upon arrival. Ubuesk! The Paris Motor Show is not an art exhibition where all visitors follow the same route and risk traffic jams. And if you want to buy your ticket on the spot, it’s a stunner: 30 euros. Which badly digest the very small number of exhibitors and novelties, several warning signs of which announced the poverty of the edition.

A small minority of brands present

Take a look at the exhibitor list to realize that there isn’t much to see at the Paris Motor Show this year. In fact, the organization waited until the last moment to publish the plans of the exhibition halls and the list of the brands present. This could pass as a sign of desperation as registration for exhibitors is open until September 22nd… Less than a month before opening to the public on October 18th. Extremely late, while complex stand construction is usually planned months in advance. In the absence of successful negotiations, the organization saw that some manufacturers canceled their participation at the last minute. The Mondial could not convince Mercedes-Benz with a location worthy of the name. The star brand preferred to privatize the Rodin Museum to present its new electric SUVs EQE and EQS to the press.

We’re not talking about a few absentees, we’re talking about a real bleed. The last edition of 2018 already smelled like grimace soup. Many manufacturers, well over half of those selling cars in France, were absent. The 2022 edition is shaping up to be a disaster. This is probably why the organization took so long to present its program. There are only a handful of historic manufacturers: the Renault Group, Peugeot, Jeep and DS. That’s all and it’s very little. First of all, calling it a car show is very inadequate. Even less a “world”. Fortunately, newcomers have jumped at the chance, such as the Great Wall of China (with the Ora and Wey brands), BYD, Seres and Leap Motors, and Vietnamese Vinfast.

The end of the historical pavilion 1

If we bother to detail the plan, we also understand that the area has been excessively reduced. This is divided into just three pavilions (3, 4 and 6). Yes ! The historic Pavilion 1, the real heart of the event since it left the Grand Palais in 1962, is closed for the first time. A real heartbreak for the most avid visitors who surely have all childhood memories at the huge stands of the three French manufacturers that showed their complete range accompanied by spectacular concept cars.

This year we have to be content with the three small pavilions. Two if we exaggerate. Because Pavilion 3 only combines school and bank stands, an EVU test track and the press room. However, the perhaps too discerning visitors to the Mondial de l’Automobile come to… admire cars. Some are interested in the models that are about to be released, others prefer futuristic prototypes. Some of the visitors are also buyers. They come to see models that are already at the dealers and take the opportunity to see them all gathered in the same place. After all, some come to dream of exceptional cars, ultra-luxurious or sporty.

Renault regards the Mondial as a party, Stellantis despises the public

Yes, everyone will be disappointed. Actually real novelties from big manufacturers, there are only the Peugeot 408, Jeep Avenger and Renault Austral to see. It’s thin, very thin. Luckily, Asian brands are bringing a breath of fresh air. The BYD, Vinfast, Ora and Wey stands are worth a visit for their interesting cars. Better yet, these brands have all chosen to continue the tradition of activities and treats to amuse the visitor. The most surprising is undoubtedly the pétanque pitch in Ora.

Only the Renault group was involved in concept cars, while the diamond maker published a press release on October 17 at the press opening, which said: “We like car shows”. One can only agree by visiting the stands of the Group’s brands. There are new concept cars, all successful: Dacia Manifesto, Alpine Alpenglow, Renault 4Ever Trophy, Mobilize Duo… We thank the French group for maintaining the respect of the visitors and for still considering the Mondial de l’Automobile as a celebration . . .

The Missing Dream

The stands of Renault, Alpine, Dacia and Mobilize bring a breath of fresh air to Pavilion 6, which contrasts with the somber atmosphere of Pavilion 4, where Stellantis has set up shop with just three brands. The absence of Citroën is an incomprehensible disappointment, while the Chevron brand has just unveiled the Oli style study and the C4 X. DS and Jeep do not present any new prototypes. However, it’s Peugeot’s stance that most clearly indicates Stellantis’ disdain for the audience at the Paris Motor Show: the lion brand issued a press release on the opening day of the show announcing a future concept car called the Inception… Absent from stand!

Anyone who wants to see something other than the current news will also get their money’s worth. At Jeep there are only three examples of the Avenger (including a show car that heralds a 4×4 version), at Peugeot almost only 408. At Renault we are far from revealing everything there is: impossible, on board a Captur, a Clio or a Twingo for example. Only Dacia presents all its models. The prospective buyer will have no opportunity to estimate his future mount.

The end of abundance or the end of the World Cup?

But those who want to dream will be left behind the most. Which Worlds regular has never queued for dozens of minutes for the privilege of entering the Bentley or Porsche grandstand? Who hasn’t scrambled to see the last Ferrari hidden by a flood of people? This year all those iconic brands are missing. If the organization speaks of the presence of exceptional cars, then only of the presence of sixteen Ferraris, which by the will of the manufacturer are in no way present. These are cars from all eras that belong to different owners. The amount affects the pricing policy: to get these Ferraris you have to pay 5 euros (donated to the Perce-Neige association).

The organization seems to treat the visitor as a cash cow without paying the most basic attention. The event site asks not to come by car, shame for an automotive event surrounded by parking lots! Especially during a public transport strike. Equally surprising is the lack of changing rooms in overheated halls, which contrast with the frosts of autumn. Finally, for the first time, there is no carpet on the floor, revealing the bare concrete slabs between the neatly dressed grandstands. This adds the final touch to the somber atmosphere of what could well be the last Paris Motor Show. Because it’s hard to imagine how visitors who have paid their ticket in full, sometimes even before knowing the list of exhibitors, could be tempted to come back if there is ever another edition two years from now.

Volvo, dynamite of car shows? With much guile, we could accuse Volvo of finally killing the Mondial de l’Automobile. By focusing on its sole novelty, the XC90, during the 2014 edition, the Swedish manufacturer has filled a gap into which many brands have fallen. The motor show was only a showcase for the brand’s innovations and no longer a means of presenting its range to visitors. From this point on, only current events made it necessary to rent a stand. After that, Volvo never returned to the Mondial and manufacturers gradually left the shows. The health crisis finished them off. Canceled just days before its 2020 edition, the Geneva Motor Show didn’t make it through. In 2023 he will emigrate to Doha, Qatar. Also leave the Frankfurt Motor Show, which has been moved to Munich in a very light form. The past gigantism of Germanic events has given way to an astonishing sobriety. The Paris Motor Show acts as a survivor.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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