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"My top 5 takeaways from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show"

"My top 5 takeaways from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show"

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Malte Lindberg, Head of Arval Consulting & Corporate Vehicle Observatory at Arval Switzerland: "my top five takeaways from the 2018 International Motor Show held in Geneva".

1. It’s the car of the year, but is it the car of our hearts?

The Volvo XC 40 is 2018’s car of the year but what is more interesting is that it is an SUV. So, it’s clear that this segment is still enjoying great success. The segment share grew from 5% in 2004 to over 35% in 2018 for EU-7 True Fleets, which is impressive. However, it is this writer’s opinion that the Car of the Year, 2018 – when considering the future of the industry and what is going to be suitable for our customers – is the Hyundai Kona Electric. It deserves recognition and a bigger platform: it is an electric vehicle suitable for everyday use that offers the same level of comfort as “normal” cars.

 

2. NEDC and WLTP

WLTP will become a reality as of September 2018.  But what does this mean? Did car manufacturers show the old NEDC and the new WLTP their CO2-values at their booth? No. Almost no information is given to the visitors, explaining whether a car’s CO2 values are based on NEDC or WLTP. However, two OEMs are taking the lead and sharing a bit more of information: Volkswagen has produced a factsheet explaining what WLTP is and what its impact will be, while BMW already has WLTP values for some of its cars. From a fleet perspective, this situation of limited transparency regarding upcoming changes is unsatisfying because fleet managers need to know why, for instance, employees cannot order the same car just because the “new” CO2-values are higher, and why the car is no longer allowed under the car policy. To be able to implement changes in car policies, they have to act now. And to do so, they need to be informed.

 

3. Electric vehicles are coming out of the shadows

Wherever you look, Electric Vehicles are coming into the spotlight. But I once again find myself asking the question: is going electric as a short to mid-term solution the best option? Shouldn’t we focus on existing technologies like CNG, which can help reduce CO2 and NOx, now? And by the way: CNG cars are available in large enough quantities to meet market demand. The production volume of EVs seems far too low at the moment, and delivery times are questionable. It appears that Skoda will be going in this direction, as they presented the Vision X vehicle with CNG, Petrol and Electric drive for the first time.

 

4. Mobility is about more than just cars

In one booth there was an installation with two of the future’s core technologies. A drone by Airbus and an Autonomous vehicle concept car by Audi. The idea is that the drone will bring the car to the driver just in time, when he or she needs it. That’s brilliant because it provides a solution to the problem of limited space in most big cities. Why waste space on parking lots, if you don’t need to park in the city?

 

5. Emotion

New and high range sports cars are all over the news. But it is the handcrafted cars of years gone by or smaller brands focused on design and quality, that really take people’s emotions to the next level.