Cars take Geneva by storm: March 3rd through the 13th, the Palexpo in Geneva will host one of the year's most influential motor shows. Swiss News takes a look at what delights await both car enthusiasts and curiosity seekers alike.

AuteurClinton, Kati

From across the globe car manufacturers will come to the 75th International Motor Show with magnificent new and current models in tow, catering to everyone from the racing and sports car enthusiasts to mothers and fathers whose priority is safety.

Hugely Popular

With over 1,000 automobiles on display, it's easy to see why Geneva hosts one of the most important and well received shows in Europe, attracting people from 80 different nations. Each year, the show has seen an increase in visitors, with last year surpassing the 700,000 mark.

Almost more notable than the sheer volume of visitors is that the statistics point to ever-growing numbers of female visitors. Over a quarter of the 700,000 spectators last year were women, which is up 28 per cent from 1986. That is one of the many factors that have resulted in a shift of emphasis for the show.

New Design Directions

Recent years have seen a changing face put on the Geneva show. The idea that a car can be functional, safe, and sporty or mid-sized, off-road and luxurious has really turned the industry on its head and sent manufacturers into overdrive as they attempt to give buyers what they want.

The increase in women visitors echoes the growing market trend of women car buyers, thus manufacturers have also begun designing cars geared towards a more feminine market. With new sleek lines and options for individual personalisation, companies are beginning to cater to an audience more focussed on manoeuvrability and storage capacity, than concerned with what is underneath the hood.

But just became the recent focus has turned to vehicles geared towards immediate commercialisation and away from fantastic concept and novelty cars, does not mean that there will be a lack of eye-candy. There will of course be experimental designs to confound the mind and dazzle the eye, however, visitors will also be able to walk away with a better knowledge of cars they might actually wish to purchase in the near future.

Industry Changes

Visitors can also expect to see companies placing greater emphasis on hybrid cars that use both petrol and electricity. Though electric cars are more expensive, they are considered by some to be the future of environmentally friendly cars.

Another change within the automotive industry, reflected on the showroom floor, involves the super car niche market. It is no longer monopolised by the likes of Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce. Competition is tougher than ever, which is...

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