In the September 28 edition of Thinking CAP, Martin Ward manufacturer relationships manager at Cap HPI discusses the Franfurt Motor Show 2017, his thoughts on the sixth gen VW Polo and Alpine spotting in Paris.
Tuesday: This was the first day of the Frankfurt motor show, but given many manufacturers and suppliers decided not to exhibit this year, the halls were fairly empty.
Gone are the days of pretty girls sat on the bonnet of the latest model, and now social media is so active that the need for an unveil at a show is becoming old hat.
Reliable sources tell me costs are getting out of control. The smallest of stands cost up to ¤500,000 (approx £444,000), when the rent, staff, transport, hotels, car parking, and hospitality are taken into account.
The big stands are up to 40-50 million (approx £35.5m-£44.4m) and are probably not cost-effective as visitor numbers decline. I expect the Geneva show, on the other hand, to remain popular with exhibitors and visitors.
Wednesday/Thursday: To Hamburg to drive the all-new sixth generation Volkswagen Polo, which is a revolution and not an evolution.
This five-door hatch looks brilliant, with some really crisp and cleverly engineered lines.
It is about the same size as the Mk4 Golf, so has grown quite a bit in size. The interior is very grown-up and looks like it is from a much larger car.
We drove the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol and it’s such a sweet, refined little engine.
We also drove the 1.6 TDI, but I guess sales of this engine will be limited. It’s a great little (or big) hatch: I couldn’t find any holes in this Polo.
Friday: In the Paris area for a meeting and I spotted a couple of the forthcoming Alpine A110 models, which are due in the UK in Q2 next year.
What a pretty two-seater sports car it is. Alpine started in 1955 in Dieppe and was bought by Renault in 1973.
Alpine achieved much success in motorsport, but hasn’t been an active brand for a number of years. However, it’s back now with a bang.