Auto addicts are on the grid as the Paris Motor Show gets into gear.
Despite the glitz the industry is in trouble.
The debt crisis and sluggish growth has hit the motor trade hard and the prospects for the year ahead look gloomy.
Manufacturers expect the European market to shrink by 8 per cent this year, which will result in huge production losses.
Ralph Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “It’s quite clear that the economic situation is a challenge for all of us. But we also have to see our limits. We have to be very, very agile in order to overcome this kind of situation because we are not really powerful enough to change the economy in Europe at all”.
All major carmakers operating in Europe are in the process of cutting jobs. Renault claims that the priority for the year ahead is survival.
Our correspondent, Giovanni Magi, in Paris at the show concluded: “The automobile trade is in crisis, but some manufacturers are trying to turn things around by launching new models and here is the ideal place to do so.”