Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

FOCUS

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

Read more

ENCORE!

How a comedy dud became one of France's biggest box office hits

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Clashes at anti-government rally in Nairobi

Read more

WEB NEWS

ISIS leader challenged over expensive-looking wristwatch

Read more

  • Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Israel pummels Gaza in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • China’s first Tour de France cyclist chases his dream

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

  • Typhoon Neoguri turns deadly as it batters Japanese islands

    Read more

Business

Carmakers pin hopes on green technology

©

Video by Douglas HERBERT , Johan BODIN

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-03-04

The global auto industry may be in the doldrums, but its reps are putting on a brave face at the Geneva Motor Show, pinning their hopes on green technology, which for the first time is taking centre stage.

Car manufacturers are pushing their green credentials at the Geneva Motor Show in an effort to beat the downturn that is decimating the industry.

 

There is plenty of glitz and glamour at the show, with big names including Ferrari showing off their latest high-end sports models.

 

But there is more focus this year on low-cost and green technologies – which many see as the only way to reverse catastrophically plummeting sales.

 

For the first time, this year the Geneva Motor Show has a section devoted entirely to environmentally friendly technology

 

General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel has unveiled an innovative hybrid saloon, the Ampera, which will be released to the European market in 2011.

 

But the company made clear it is still in a desperate fight for survival.

 

Opel’s Vice President Alain Visser told FRANCE 24 that innovation was the only way to break through the industry’s stagnation.

 

"We're all going through a serious economic crisis. Demand for cars in Europe is down 20-30%," said Visser. "For us the best response is to come up with strong products."

 

As GE did in the United States, Opel has asked for an aid package. It wants – and expects to get – 3.3 billion euros from European governments.

 

The company’s sales volume has plummeted by up to 70% in some areas and is down 30% across the board.

 

Likewise, Ford has reported a drop of 48% in sales while Toyota’s sales in the US are down 37%.

 

In Japan, sales are down by one third compared to this time last year.

 

Like Opel, Toyota is pinning its hopes on green technology to boost its market share this year, with new versions of the Prius hybrid and Verson people carrier on show at Geneva.

 

The Indian giant Tata Motors, which will release its ultra-cheap Nano model onto the European market in 2010, showed its electric version of the Indica, which will be available in Norway from September.

Date created : 2009-03-04

Comments

COMMENT(S)