Regular readers of v-bulgaria will know that the Geneva Motor Show is generally the biggest automotive show of the year. It is where we see the biggest releases. The news that Jaguar Land Rover have pulled out of next year’s show will come as a surprise to many. They follow in the footsteps of Ford and Volvo who have both confirmed that they will not attend the Swiss show next year.
It is believed that Jaguar Land Rover have taken the decision as part of a plan to improve its cash flow following two quarters of loss, most recently between July and September 2018. It has seen a 13.2% decline in sales over the dame period last year. The news was followed later today by an announcement that S&P were to downgrade parent company Tata Motor’s ratings for a second time this year.
The performance of the British brand has been called into question as the uncertainty sets in over the future of diesel vehicles in Europe and off the back of ongoing Brexit drama. There have also been reports of weaker demand in Chinese markets which has led to Tata Motors seeking cost and cash flow improvements in the region of $3.2 billion over the next 18 months.
Land Rover recently released the new Range Rover Evoque which it will be hoping to see success with. On top of this, Jaguar is expected to debut a new Jaguar XJ in 2019 and a hybrid version of the Jaguar XE. Viewed from afar, the company doesn’t look too bad, having developed a hybrid and electric platform ahead of its German rivals. It remains to be seen whether this momentum can be followed through in the face of inevitable budget restrictions in coming years.
As for Ford’s excuse, it confirmed back in October that the timing of its 2019 product launches, the Ford Focus ST and Ford Mondeo, do not coincide with the March opening of the show. Expect these models to debut later in the year with the possibility of the Goodwood Festival of Speed being the venue. Volvo have also pulled out of the 2019 show citing a change in the car industry as part of its withdrawal from most major motor shows.
The withdrawals leave major gaps on the Geneva Motor Show floor. Ford’s display has traditionally occupied a large section of hall 5 alongside Volvo and Polestar. Jaguar Land Rover used to occupy a plot in the same area but moved last year to a larger area in hall 6.
The major motor show seem to have stumbled considerably over the last few months. The Paris Motor Show 2018 was noticeably quiet with no display from Ford, Opel, Volkswagen, FCA brands, Volvo, Mazda, Nissan, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and McLaren. The Detroit Motor Show 2019 has lost the attention of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW. It is understood that these manufacturers are diverting resources to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which happens during the same month.