Europe’s major car shows – no longer as we know it

The Munich International Motor Show (or as they call it: Munich IAA Mobility 2023) takes place this week. As you’d expect, all the German car brands are supporting the home show, and the Chinese electric automotive revolution is also very well represented.

Other than this, there are major brands absent from throughout Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the USA.

The IAA Mobility 2023 website boasts of this being the world’s largest mobility event. If this is so, motor shows have changed a lot from the hundreds I have visited in the past three decades. However, it is not the organisers that should be blamed for the change.

Even before covid-19, many car manufacturers were rebelling against motor shows that were not in major population centres. Detroit, Geneva, and even the metropolis of Paris were disappearing from carmakers budgeting schedules. They were considered to be giving a poor return value for the massive investments in giant stands.

The figures added up for New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, but very few other destinations. Even before the switch from Frankfurt to Munich of this once great exhibition, this was the case.

Add in the pandemic and many European carmakers opting to start out on the road to a direct selling model as opposed to the traditional way through dealerships, and the waters got muddied further. But for the nationalistic attitude of the German brands to their own show and the hunger of all the new Chinese electric car brands to woo European buyers, this mobility event would be searching for a rebrand or at least of even less interest to the car buying public.

I expect this to be in contrast with the big aftermarket trade shows such as Automechanika Frankfurt, AutoPromotec in Bologna, which serve the aftermarket and attract the international buyers. Similarly with the national events such as Automechanika Birmingham and Ireland’s Auto Trade EXPO, which bring together the big and smaller brands to deal with all the auto aftermarket.

Another key factor is that all these major events now take place every-second year and are not in conflict for the great loyalty of attendees and exhibitors alike.

Brands that will be exhibiting in Munich this week and what we know or believe to be their major launches are listed here.

Brand reveals:
Audi New Q6 e-tron SUV / Q8 & RS-Q8 / Possibly new-generation A4

BMW Vision Nrue Klasse concepts ( – New 3-Series concept; New 7- Series + i7). New armoured 7-Series Protection model / and
the new production 5-Series (petrol & hybrid) + i5 models + M5.

BYD New Dolphin hatchback, Seal saloon + Seal U SUV, in addition to the previously launched in some European markets – the Han saloon and Tang SUV. BYD could also unveil the Seagull city car.

Also word of a Denza (upmarket brand developed in a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz) D9 seven-seater electric mpv.

Cupra Cupra DarkRebel Showcar / Tarascan EV crossover

Ford Open space stand – Mustang Mach-E GT and Explorer EV

Mercedes Benz New CLA concept / New E Class Estate All-Terrain / New CLE / (+ AMG) All-electric C Class concept. New AMG GT.

MG New Cyberster electric roadster / New MG4 XPower electric hot hatch / New Marvel R replacement concept.

Mini New Mini Cooper / New Countryman crossover (petrol and electric versions of both)

Opel / Vauxhall Experimental concept / Corsa Electric / Astra Sports Tourer Electric,

Porsche Porsche Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid / Mission X electric hypercar concept.

Renault New Scenic E-Tech electric / New Grand Kangoo / Latest Renault 5 electric supermini concept.

Smart The new and biggest Smart yet – the new Smart #3

Tesla Model 3 facelift / Latest Model S (including the wild Plaid model) / The Tesla Cybertruck Patrol should also be there.

Volkswagen New ID.7 GTX / New Passat Estate (not coming to Ireland) / Possible 1D.2 concept

Others down to be exhibiting in Munich this week include some established brands in Europe such as Honda and Lotus. However, it is primarily several Chinese marques, most of which are new to Europe: Avatr, Dongfeng, Leapmotor, Lucid, Vinfast, and XPeng.

Brands that it appears will not be exhibiting at the Munich International Motor Show this week include: Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, DS, Fiat, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover/ RangeRover, Lexus, Peugeot, Seat, Skoda, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volvo.

Also the following luxury brands appear to be absent: Aston Martin; Bentley; Bugatti; Ferrari; Lamborgini; Masserati; McLaren; and Rolls Royce.

On a positive note, some of the biggest brands that supply the auto industry worldwide will be there showing off their contributions to their future of the original equipment supply-chain to car manufacturers. Of course many of these are very familiar to us all as major suppliers to the auto aftermarket here in Ireland. They include Bosch, Continental, Schaeffler, ZF Automotive, Hella – Forvia, Valeo, Denso, Varta – Clarios, Mahle, Autel, etc.

Watch this space – our editor, Eoin Cuttle will have more news updates from Munich over the next few days.

Posted in New Cars, News