Geneva. Known for mountains, the UN, lakes, watches and a giant water spout. And for two weeks every March, it’s also home to one of the world’s largest and most influential motor shows. It’s the only annual motor show in Europe and, ironically, it’s held in a country that doesn’t produce a single car.
Every year, the world’s car manufacturers and motoring press descend on this Swiss city to showcase and appraise the latest metal before it goes on sale to consumers. Achieving standout in this melee of debuts is increasingly challenging as the various PR machines and glitzy ceremonies fight for airtime and attention. Nonetheless, there were some launches that stood out to the team at JJ.
Here’s a selection of our favourites from this year’s show….
Geneva Motor Show Marketing Round Up
Andi Holbrook, Account Director
My highlight of Geneva is the Noble M600 Carbon Sport. It’s not a ground up new car with the original M600 being launched in 2009. However, this latest version, festooned in eye-catching green carbon at Geneva is a glorious exponent of pure British engineering. Currently Noble produces around 12 vehicles per year, completely bespoke to the customers’ demands. There are plans for expansion to around 50 cars per year within the next five years but Noble are keen to protect the essence of their brand – hand crafted rarity and raw driving experience. Noble also produces a Speedster version for those wanting to hear more of the 4.5 litre V8 roar!
Amy Garrett, Marketing and New Business Manager
Small hatchbacks are my bag – so for me, it has to be the new Suzuki Swift. Lighter, more powerful, and more economical than its predecessor – it ticks all the right boxes. Arguably prettier than the leader of the pack: the Ford Fiesta (and far less ubiquitous!), and with an impressive list of options as standard – I’ll be front of the queue to take one for a spin when it goes on sale in the UK this summer.
Andrew Andersz, PR Director
My ‘star car’ from Geneva is the Alpine A110, recreating a motorsport icon of the 1970s resplendent in French racing blue. Combining the timeless Alpine principles of light weight, agility and performance, this mid-engined two-seater sports coupe is true to the spirit of its predecessors and in particular the A110 ‘Berlinette’. The A110 is equipped with a new 1.8-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine developing 252hp and accelerates from 0 to 62mph in only 4.5 seconds. Deliveries in the UK will start in 2018 – can’t wait.
Fergus Cable-Alexander, Client Director
Volvo XC60. Most will say the McLaren or the Ferrari. But I have kids so the Volvo appeals most from a practical perspective. It looks great too. Volvo is on top form at the moment. Also impressive is its ironclad approach to sticking to what it does best and not trying to copy the Germans. It is quietly yet effectively appealing to the masses who want a premium car that isn’t German. The current trend for ‘Hygge’, the rise of ‘Scandi style’ and values, superb product and consistent and innovative marketing is translating to record sales figures for the brand.
Mark Thomas, Creative Artworker
It’s all very well having a great car but due to congestion, you can often find yourself sat stationary, wishing there was another way to get to where you’re going. With the emergence of self-driving cars, autonomous drones, and the recent beginning of construction on Elon Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ in the US, may be a combination of this emerging tech could help us stick to our increasingly busy work schedules? Airbus and automotive designer Italdesign have come up with the electric powered ‘Pop.Up’ which does just that with a ‘multimodal’ system. With an ever-increasing population maybe this is the answer to avoiding gridlock in a varied autonomous travel network? Whatever your views, it’s an interesting glimpse into the impending, autonomously driven future.
Simon Hollis, Brand Designer
For me, whilst I am not usually a huge fan of estate cars, the star of the show has to be the new Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate. Basically because “It’s the worlds quickest wagon”, reaching 62mph in just 3.5sec, making it 0.2sec faster than its main rival, the Audi RS6 Avant. Using the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine as the saloon, the standard E 63 4Matic+ has 563bhp and 552lb ft of torque. The range-topping E 63 S 4Matic+ has added turbocharger boost pressure, allowing it to produce 603bhp and 626lb ft, and it even comes with a ‘Drift Mode’ setting…sounds like good fun. Not only is this a complete beast of a car, Mercedes have done marvels in the cockpit, I have never been overly impressed with their interiors, but with this model they have certainly upped their game…it’s a beautiful thing.
Fiona Spencer, Senior Account Manager
I love Italian cars and predictably my choice would be the Ferrari 812 Superfast. It is simply beautiful. Coinciding with the 70th Anniversary of the first Ferrari V12 and the company’s most powerful Ferrari road car of all time, Ferrari says the V12 has a sonic boom to match its heritage and that is something I can’t wait to hear.
Tom Hunter, Senior Account Manager
Like any petrolhead, I always look forward to the Geneva Motor Show. But this year, it wasn’t reveals from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani that got me excited – it was something far more practical. Perhaps I’m getting old, but for me, my favourite reveal was Land Rover’s ‘Project Hero’ Discovery – from its SVO division. Built for the Austrian Red Cross to assist emergency response teams, the TD6 features a sliding boot floor which doubles as a table, multi-frequency radios, power supply points, and last but certainly not least, a roof-mounted rescue drone (!) – providing rescuers with a bird’s-eye view of landslides, earthquakes, floods and avalanches. As if that isn’t enough, the drone is even able to launch and dock whilst the vehicle is in motion, through the use of self-centring and magnetic-retention tech. Great PR for Land Rover, and the perfect way to demonstrate the versatility and robustness of its vehicles to current and prospective customers. After all, if it’s good enough for the Austrian Red Cross, then it’s probably good enough for a school run …
Emily Bray, Account Manager
As one journalist at the Verge put it so well, Geneva is not a typical show. Rather than having a big tech focus (although we can’t deny that was in abundance this year), Geneva is more about automotive art. And that’s why my pick of the show has to be the McLaren 720S.
We may not be close to owning one, and it might not be as regular a sighting on the motorway as the XC60, but like high fashion couture shows, Geneva is just as much about unobtainable but glorious art as it is a car show.
More than just a thing of great styling, the 720S is an incredible work of engineering and sums up Geneva perfectly for me.