Little sign of the crisis on the stands at the Geneva motorshow with hundreds of new models jostling for the buyer’s attention.
Except that not many are ordering. Motor manufacturers are clamouring for help from the state from Detroit to Dresden: While some new models have found favour and restored fortunes for their brands, others makers appear all but doomed. Even the luxury segment of the market is now starting to feel the pinch. As it does not benefit at all from government’s stimulus offers, a two and a half thousand discount on a Rolls Royce will not even buy the ashtray. Their market has held up better, but is now slumping, and will be the last segment to emerge from recession, when that comes. Aston Martin or Saab, Jaguar or Volvo; other prestigious names have been sold off or are up for sale as the big carmakers shed their boutique purchases of the turn of the century. The future lies elsewhere and, despite our troubles, with us said Opel with the unveiling of its electric car, the Ampera, the star of this Geneva show, and on which much of Opel’s fortunes ride.