New Land Rover Drops Down, Other Scenes From The Auto Show

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Electric cars grabbed attention at this year’s Frankfurt auto show, but there was still plenty of other buzz on the floor. Here are the highlights.

Land Rover made sure massive SUVs weren’t overlooked at a show filled with EV debuts.

Land Rover marked the return of one of its most iconic nameplates, the Defender, with a crowd-pleasing stunt. He sent a helmeted climber at a rust-colored wall, then tilted the wall to reveal a gold-hued SUV, parked near the ceiling. The defender then slowly descended the wall at an angle of almost 45 degrees, surprising spectators.

“I return the new Defender to you, the best ever,” Jaguar Land Rover general manager Ralf Speth said on Tuesday, acknowledging that fans were taken aback when the company rolled back the previous version four years ago.

This latest off-roader, which will be available in multiple trims, will have a hybrid option and a retractable center seat up front, a feature designers believe is popular among teens and large dogs.

Byton presents an SUV with Monster Media Display

The M-Byte, from Chinese automaker Byton, has a 48-inch screen on the dashboard showing navigation, messages, music selections, photos and videos when the car is parked.


Photo:

Lu Yang / Zuma Press

The Chinese automaker Byton is indeed aiming to put a large screen TV in front of drivers when they move on the road.

The production version of the company’s all-electric M-Byte sedan features a 48-inch screen that spans the dashboard from driver to passenger.

Inside the new Byton M-Byte electric car, with a 48 inch screen on the dashboard.


Photo:

BYTON

The screen can show vehicle information, navigation, music selections, weather reports and family photos while driving, as well as videos and text messages when the car is parked.

Byton executives described the vehicle as a connected car gadget. The vehicle also has a 7-inch touchpad in the steering wheel and an 8-inch touchpad tucked between the front seats.

Byton plans to put the M-Byte on sale in China in mid-2020 and in the United States and Europe in the first half of 2021. The car would cost around 45,000 euros in Germany, or around $ 49,600.

Greenpeace wants even greener vehicles

Greenpeace activists filled a huge balloon with air ahead of the Frankfurt auto show. The balloon’s message is “CO2”, calling attention to car emissions.


Photo:

Lennart Stock / Zuma press

Promises from automakers about electric vehicles and a more sustainable future did not impress a handful of Greenpeace protesters who gathered outside the Frankfurt motor show.

Next to the media entrance, they inflated a 25-foot-high black balloon with 1,400 cubic meters of air, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted each year from the exhaust pipe of an SUV, a said Benjamin Stephan, one of the organizers. Even as automakers are adding more hybrid and plug-in models to their lines, they are also rolling out new SUVs that use more gasoline, protesters said.

“It does not go with their claims that they are now climate conscious,” he said. A larger protest is scheduled for Saturday, when the show opens to the public, Stephan said.

Trade fights and China’s slowdown dampen show buzz

Amidst techno music and glitzy new model revelations, show executives continued to worry about other pressures on the auto industry.

The ongoing trade struggle between the United States and China makes planning for the future difficult and has a disproportionate impact on Mercedes-Benz of BMW and Daimler AG, which exports US-built SUVs to China.

“It’s very difficult to know exactly what’s going on in negotiations around the world,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler. “So we started to look at it from the side again and at the same time weigh our options.”

China’s once-booming auto market is entering its first sustained slowdown in three decades, and industry CEOs say a near-term rebound remains uncertain. This is on top of the slowdown in sales in the United States and Europe.

Vincent Galifi, chief financial officer of auto parts supplier Magna International, said China’s weakness surprised many. For the top 30 vehicles it supplies parts to, factory production was lower in the first half of this year, prompting the company to revise its estimates downward for the remainder of 2019.

“But we’re starting to see things stabilize, so that’s a good thing,” he added.

New electric cars VW and Porsche steal the show

The Volkswagen ID.3, an all-electric car for the European market that aims to bring technology to the market at a more affordable price.


Photo:

sascha steinbach / Shutterstock

Volkswagen wish 5.24%

caused a stir at the show with two high-profile presentations: the new all-electric VW ID.3 car and the Porsche Taycan, the luxury sports car maker’s first all-electric model.

The ID.3 is the Volkswagen brand’s attempt to provide a more affordable electric car that can be sold in bulk, helping to broaden the appeal of the technology beyond niche buyers.

The car, already available for pre-order in Europe, starts at around 30,000 euros ($ 33,000). It won’t be sold in the United States, but a small SUV based on the same technology will make its public debut early next year and arrive at U.S. dealerships later.

The Taycan, a powerful four-door sedan that can travel over 200 miles on a single charge, will arrive at U.S. dealerships next year. Many in the automotive press were quick to view it as Tesla’s latest competitor, even though it would cost significantly more than the more expensive Tesla models, with a starting price of around $ 150,000.

Write to Eric Morath at [email protected] and Christina Rogers at [email protected]

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