GENEVA: New technologies and hybrid vehicles will push up fuel efficiencies further. This is the theme around which this year’s Geneva Motor Show is tipped to attract bulk of its visitors.
Top names like DaimlerChrysler will display a lower-emission diesel engine and Toyota is all set to unveil its Hybrid X concept which marries an electric motor with a gas engine.
The 77th edition of the show comes amid stronger concern about global warming and the environment, and a debate about auto emission limits in Europe. Engines will now be more fuel-efficient and environmentally conscious.
DaimlerChrysler AG’s Mercedes brand will unveil its BLUETEC emission-control technology in combination with a consumption-optimized four-cylinder diesel, an engine that could lower emissions while increasing gas mileage.
“Our diesel strategy is an effective answer to the question of how to save fuel and, therefore, CO2 and how to further reduce all exhaust emissions,” said DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche.
Japanese automaker Toyota Corp. is also slated to have the next-step designs of its hybrid Prius models, which use electricity, batteries and a gas-powered internal combustion.
As it inches forward in an attempt to combat global warming, the European Union has set a goal of 130 grams of CO2 per km per vehicle by 2012, down from around 163 grams per km on average now.
Amidst all these big names, you have smaller and more fuel-efficient cars from China also being accorded pride of place at the auto show. Brilliance JinBei Automobile will unveil its first car aimed at European consumers, the BS 6, to be distributed through HSO Motors Europe.
Interestingly, small vehicles such as these will allow Chrysler Group brands to compete in segments in which the brands do not currently compete, and which are especially important in price- and fuel-economy sensitive markets.
Ford Motor Co., which is trying to stage a turnaround and make up for its recent losses, will also roll out its plans to develop a subcompact car for American consumers but one based on the platform it has developed with Mazda.
In all, more than 250 companies have signed up for the 11-day show, taking up nearly 77,000 square metres at the Geneva Palexpo. Organizers expect more than 700,000 visitors which will be open to the public from March 8-18.