The Geneva auto show is shaping up so far to be one of the best editions since the onset of the global financial crisis back in 2008, with numerous and spectacular introductions.
But the main “gossip” discussion could revolve around a car that actually might not see the light of day – Apple’s secretive “Project Titan” that calls for an electric car – currently resembling a minivan – with numerous autonomous features. The world’s automakers are converging on the neutral ground of the Switzerland venue to showcase their latest passenger cars, minivans and sport utility vehicles – with global uncertainties seen on the rise. The US recovery is a fact, the European one a feeble promise but elsewhere – especially in emerging markets – the trials and tribulations are growing.
The long-term worries actually surround the reports that panned technology giant Apple ready to build its own car, making the traditional automakers that have spent the past 127 years building the industry wonder if they will be the ones building the cars of the future. Technology companies and automakers are increasingly crossing their paths – making them rivals or reluctant partners – as computing power sees a growing usage pattern in cars, set to become just as connected as our smartphones. “Among the automakers there will be two camps: those who understand this space, and those who give outside technology companies access to the centre stack of the vehicle. Those companies will emerge in the next five years,” believes Thilo Koslowski, vice president automotive at technology market research firm Gartner.