Frankfurt Car Show gets underway with 80 debuts

12th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 September 2005, FRANKFURT - The 61st Frankfurt Car Show got underway Monday, with more than 80 new models making their world debut at this international industry showcase.

12 September 2005

FRANKFURT - The 61st Frankfurt Car Show got underway Monday, with more than 80 new models making their world debut at this international industry showcase.

Around 1,000 car and component manufacturers from 44 countries are attending the event in the metropolis on the River Main. This week carmakers will be showing off their latest wares to thousands of motoring journalists at previews, launch parties and press conferences.

The exhibition throws open its doors to the general public on Saturday and runs from September 15-25.

Among the stars of this year's event are the Volkwagen Eos convertible - a four-seater replacement for the current drophead Golf. It is built in Portugal. The car features an innovative folding metal roof and goes on sale in Germany in 2006.

Audi is pinning its hopes on the Audi Q7 offroader which is also aimed at the lucrative United States market for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

A Q7 hybrid with its conventional engine augmented by an electric motor will be on show in Frankfurt as a concept, Audi boss Martin Winterkorn told journalists Monday. If demand suffices, series production could begin in 2008.

Also attracting much media attention is the luxurious new S-class limousine from Mercedes. The car is packed with safety features such as a braking assistant and radar system which scans the road ahead, highlighting potential hazards

Acknowledged as one of the most important events in the car calendar, the Frankfurt show comes at a time of spiralling fuel prices in Europe.

Many German manufacturers have announced that they intend to produce more frugal cars, including hybrids to rival models such as the Prius from Japanese maker Toyota. The Prius has proved a big success in the U.S. and is now on sale in Germany.

Manufacturers are also under enormous pressure to cut production costs, with Europe's largest carmaker Volkswagen considering whether to close loss-making plants or transfer production to countries where wages are lower.

Most carmakers will be hoping to ride out the crisis by widening their ranges to include "niche" models such as roadsters, minivans and SUVs.

The car sector is vital to Germany's economy and an estimated one in seven jobs in the country depends on the success of the industry.

Japanese and South Korean marques have made substantial inroads into the German car market in recent years, notching up record sales. This year China's car industry is represented for the first time with the brands Geely, Brilliance and Landwind.

Germany's car manufacturers' federation expects around one million visitors to attend this year's car show - about the same number as visited the event when it was last held in 2003.

DPA

Subject: German news

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