Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    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

COMMENT(S)