Geneva may still feel like an odd place to hold Europe’s most significant annual motor show, but this year it feels like there’s a real buzz about the place (if ‘buzzes’ haven’t been outlawed in ultra-conservative Switzerland, that is).
Why? Because even seasoned hacks are offering the view that this is going to be one of the best Geneva shows in recent history. We’ve a new V12 Lambo. There’s a new Alfa sports car. VW has come up with a novel rethink on its original rethink of the Microbus. And there are half a dozen cars that embargoes still prevent me from mentioning that I can’t wait to see in the metal (sorry, but they tend to take such things very seriously these days).
The car industry knows it has been through a bad patch. But just as this year’s Detroit show allowed itself to display a little bit of self-confidence, so Geneva has taken that and built upon it. The manufacturers seem to think the worst could be over. So the fight has turned, perhaps predictably, from saving their own skin to coming up with innovative, attractive products that we, the consumers, will want to buy.
The evidence of that will be on stand after stand in the halls today. It’s going to be fascinating to see who grabs the most headlines at the end of it.