The 2018 Paris Motor Show this week comes at a time when the European automotive industry is facing three major challenges: the introduction of WLTP, trade tensions in the US, and the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
How quickly the market continues to grow will depend on how quickly it adapts to the knock-on effects caused by these factors.
In the face of these challenges, car makers have been relying on the SUV boom to maintain growth, which is unsurprising given that SUVs have been the only significant driver of growth in the market for many months now.
And although there are concerns over the segment showing one of the largest discrepancies between NEDC tested and correlated values, carmakers are continuing to build their SUV offer by launching more affordable SUVs at the bottom of the segment, and lighter and sportier models at the top of the segment.
This report uses the latest JATO performance data to analyse the biggest new launches by segment but has opted not to include August’s registration figures in order to present a clearer and more accurate picture of the European car market’s current situation. Results from August 2018 were an anomaly, after being strongly impacted by the increase in consumer purchases ahead of the September deadline to register vehicles under NEDC testing procedures, before WLTP testing came into effect.
So, the 2018 Paris Motor Show, which is a key event in the automotive calendar, comes at an interesting time for the industry. The show will announce the arrival of the big premium car makers to the electric vehicle market, with particular excitement surrounding the reveal of the Mercedes EQC and Audi e-Tron.
In fact, the majority of the show’s launches will be from premium makers, giving them more visibility over mainstream counterparts. The show is also expected to confirm that the SUV boom isn’t slowing down anytime soon, as the segment will dominate the new presentations.