The barometric annual Paris auto show opened 10-4-14 amid a European market which has spiked sales of German cars but leveled off on the more profitable brands. This dichotomy has been called a financial blow for the European partnerships of PSA Peugeot/ Citroen and Fiat/Chrysler, which resulted in their recent tieups with China’s Dongfeng.
Global automakers like AGM, Ford, BMW, VW and Daimler-Benz are relying on the Europe market to regain sales goals over the inroads made in the 2014-15 markets.
To buttress the global markets, automakers in the U.S. and Europe played up diesel and “100% safety” models at the Paris show. “More for the money” “fancy grilles” and the turbo engines are prominent at every exhibit, as are splashes of new colors like lime and copper.
Not to be outdone at the Paris show is a “forever”-titled Lincoln MKC sedan based on the turbocharged veteran Escape SUV body. It boasts a base price of $33,995 and higher prices on top-selling Lexus’s SUV, the RX at $41,705 (which adds a host of amenities for a 2015) backup camera, new LED fog lamps , 3 flash turn signals and triple split 5-spoke wheels).
(Toyota cements its “Lexus” brand “forever” name together with “Toyota brand” stand-alone dealers dating from 1990 and challenging Nissan and Infiniti, a strategy being deployed by VW/Audi and Porsche, and Fiat with Chrysler.
Finally, the China market is aiming to match the dealer approach dictated by North America franchise laws and keeping “forever” names alive.