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Tech (and mergers) is top talk at Geneva auto show

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 - 01:56

The auto industry is facing seismic changes with the rise of electric vehicles, automated driving and car sharing. As David Pollard reports, execs at the Geneva auto show say adapting to these will eclipse even big mergers such as PSA's purchase of Opel.

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BMW launches a new 5 series ... It's a big deal for any car show. If here in Geneva, the 2.2 billion euros deal to create Europe's second largest car maker is stealing some of the limelight. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUDI BOARD MEMBER FOR MARKETING AND SALES, DIETMAR VOGGENREITER, SAYING: "PSA and Opel are not direct competitors for us in the premium segment for us. But as you said, it's a clear signal for the ongoing way of concentration and consolidation in our industry." (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF SALES AND MARKETING AT BMW, IAN ROBERTSON, SAYING: "We are fiercely independent as a company. Having said that we are prepared to work with other companies ..... ." And could be a must .... The PSA Opel tie-up seen as unlikely to spark a secondary wave of mergers right now. But the industry still needing to brace for a wave of new challenges - with all the resources it can muster. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NISSAN CEO, CARLOS GHOSN, SAYING: "I'm not surprised that you have many people trying to use scale to increase their level of comprehensiveness ... We have so many areas in which we need to invest as a car maker. Not only in technology through electric cars, autonomous cars, connected cars, new levels of emissions which are stricter." But the scrutiny on Ford over possible job cuts at its plant in Wales touches on the downside. PSA has pledged to respect current guarantees for Opel and its UK subsidiary Vauxhall's workers. It may not be able to do so over the longer term. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES HUGHES, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, GKFX, SAYING: "Whenever you see these sorts of mergers, there are always cuts in certain areas and with 20 plants across Europe, and the euro zone not being in that much of a particularly strong area, it's a tightrope to walk on at the moment." With no safety net if you fall off. VW was showing off a fully self-driving concept car in Geneva - as it pushes into new technology .... And away from the diesel emissions scandal that's cost it billions in fines and compensation.

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Tech (and mergers) is top talk at Geneva auto show

Tuesday, March 07, 2017 - 01:56