This March, all roads lead to Geneva as the world’s car manufacturers gather in the Swiss city for some #GIMSSWISS action. When we say all roads, we really mean the huge E62 running from Nantes to Genoa.
But while dozens of carmakers pull the wraps off the cars you’ve already seen in a flood of pre-show ‘teaser’ images, some manufacturers will be at home enjoying a lie-in as Palexpo throws opens its doors for the 89th Geneva International Motor Show.
Last year, some big names decided against spending the best part of two weeks in autumnal Paris, but with the promise of dinner on the banks of Lake Geneva and an excuse to hit the ski slopes, fewer have decided to give #GIMSWISS a miss.
Here are some of the big names not attending the Geneva Motor Show. #GIMSMISS
Ford was one of the big names absent from Paris, but although the Blue Oval still considers Geneva to be an important show, it won’t be in Switzerland next month. “We looked at all the things we had to do in 2019, and we’ve got a lot of stuff coming,” a spokesperson told Autocar.
“Rather than go to Geneva with relatively small news, we would rather do something later that would give us more bang for our buck. I don’t anticipate this will be a regular thing, though,” he continued.
No doubt Ford will be using the time to prepare for the imminent launch of the 280hp Focus ST, with an all-new Kuga ST expected to land before the end of the year. The Mondeo is also due a facelift, while work is underway on a new Ranger.
“Hyundai will not be attending [the] Geneva this year,” a company spokesperson told CarBuzz, but it’s not about to let sister brand Kia steal the Swiss limelight.
In a press release, Hyundai has announced that it will unveil its first performance-themed SUV “in the near future”, with everything pointing to a Tucson N-Line. Not a full-fat hot SUV to rival the Cupra Ateca – there’s a difference between N and N-Line – but you can expect a variety of sporty trimmings.
Hyundai is also gearing up for the launch of the Nexo fuel-cell vehicle, with the promise of up to 400 miles of range from a hydrogen tank that will take a few minutes to refuel. We just have to hope that the infrastructure required for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles catches up.
Jaguar Land Rover
Fresh from announcing pre-tax losses of £3.4 billion and news that it would cut around 4,500 jobs from its UK workforce, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) could do with an injection of positivity.
In the past couple of weeks, Land Rover has shelved plans to bring the SVX concept and Range Rover SV Coupe to market, although the new Evoque has been given a pre-sales boost with CAP HPI giving it a glowing prediction in terms of residual values.
In light of flagging sales, Jaguar needs to decide what to do with the XE and XF models – a report in Autocar suggests they could be merged into one single saloon. Jag desperately needs the I-Pace electric SUV to live up to its undoubted promise, but it faces a challenge from Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
While Peugeot and Citroen will represent PSA in Geneva, there’s no place for Vauxhall/Opel. One could argue that an international motor show is an ideal venue at which to showcase a revitalised product line-up, but the French owners see things differently.
Which is a shame, because the electric 2019 Corsa has the potential to be a hugely important car for the brand, capable of reversing the recent fall in sales for the beleaguered brand. We’re not sure a facelifted Astra will have the same effect.
Volvo announced that it wouldn’t be attending the Geneva Motor Show last summer, saying it prefers more direct forms of communication, including boutique launches and intimate consumer gatherings.
“The ongoing change in the car industry is creating new audiences for Volvo Cars and new ways of bringing products to the market,” explained Björn Annwall, senior vice president of strategy, brand and retail at Volvo Cars.
“Automatic attendance at traditional industry events is no longer viable – we must tailor our communications based on how the options complement our messaging, timing and the nature of the technology we are presenting.”
Not that Volvo is in need of the exposure. Hardly a week seems to pass without the Swedish company picking up an award for one of its SUVs, most notably the XC40.
Furthermore, while the car industry appears to be swimming against a tide of falling sales, Volvo simply goes with the flow. Global sales grew 16.7 percent in January 2019, with European sales up 24.4 percent.
Other Geneva absentees include Alpine, Infiniti, Lotus and Tesla, but fear not, because we’ll be out there in force to bring you the latest news and scoops. That’s assuming there’s actually some new news to report on.