Post-Paris Auto Show Impressions...

...It's Saturday and I'm sitting in a French hotel lobby, realizing that my laptop's battery is getting depleted by the minute and I have absolutely no idea about what were the best qualities of the 2010 Paris Auto Show I attended these past couple of days.

Since all major car launches and premieres were stacked in the first press day, the beginning of the actual car show was as hectic as a hive full of bees on acid, so I didn't have time to think about just how disappointing was pretty much everything at first glance.

This was my first impression, actually - complete and utter disappointment. Almost the entire first morning was filled with feet-destroying runs from one manufacturer stand to another and then back to the press area to send every photo and info back to the autoevolution HQ, where an entire news-manufacturing facility had been established.

Speaking of which, no less than 35 (yes, thirty five) Paris Auto Show-related news, all of them with live photos, have been delivered by our team of news editors just in the first day of the show. I didn't yet have the time to check out all the other automotive websites and compare their coverage with ours, but I'm willing to bet no one even came close.

Let me explain the disappointment bit now. For example, albeit I realize a lot of people are looking for greener and greener vehicles these days, this doesn't have to be a leitmotif of every freakin auto show from now onwards. Apart from having a dedicated 'eco' hall, boring-as-hell bubble cars of the future took over almost the entire show. Or at least this is what I first thought.

Boutique manufacturers like Fisker, Lotus or Ferrari are somehow managing to keep most of a supercar's passion while delivering outrageously small carbon footprints, and they all proved this at the Paris Auto Show. Unlike most of the others, I must add. Lotus pretty much dropped everyone's jaws by unveiling not one, nor two or three new cars. They took everyone by storm by unveiling their entire 2013 model line-up, which, between you and me, would probably make Colin Chapman roll in his grave.

After letting everything sink in, I can honestly say that the 2010 Paris Auto Show has left me with a motley array of mixed emotions and impressions. I didn't like the fact that there wasn't a single hardcore tuner present, but I enjoyed the cojones of manufacturers like Lamborghini, for example, who had the “nerve” to present an old-school supercar like the Sesto Elemento Concept in a sea of bubbly electrics and hybrids.

I didn't like the completely unoriginal manufacturer stands but I did like the funkiness of the MINI premises or the out-of-this-world interactivity of the Citroen stand. Speaking of which, for the ones who will be attending the show in the next couple of weeks, you really have to try the 4D cinema at the Citroen stand, where you can pretty much experience what is like to be in a WRC car.

As far as the big dogs of the industry which were present during the press days, Daimler's Dieter Zetsche and Fiat-Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne stood out for two rather interesting bits.

First I saw mister Marchionne in his usual black sweater having a carefree smoke outside the main hall of the show, just a couple of steps away from me, and then throwing the cigarette butt straight on the sidewalk. It was as if he either doesn't have a lot respect for the environment, or, more likely, not a lot of respect for the cleanliness of French sidewalks. Either that or he just had a lot on his mind about the ever-increasing rumors of him selling Alfa Romeo to Volkswagen.

I also caught Dieter Zetsche taking a tour of the much-talked about Lotus stand, while seeming just a tad bit interested in what the British PR managers were informing him about their future model line-up. His facial expression was also implying that he's looking down on them, despite the fact that Lotus pretty much stole the entire show.

After two full days of auto show coverage, I can honestly say I've learned quite a bit. For example I now have much more respect for marathon runners, since my feet are killing me. Also, it's definitely a bad idea to try and attend every possible conference if you really want to fully cover an auto show, especially since most of them are cramped in the first press day and there are thousands of other journalists trying to do the same thing. Last, but not least, just throwing a cigarette on the sidewalk can have an almost unlimited number of explanations if you're the CEO of a very large car company.

In the end I can only say that I take quite a lot of pride in knowing that we had possibly the best coverage of the 2010 Paris Auto Show on the Internet, and anything good or bad I could possibly say about the show is pointless. I will have to leave you now, because I just noticed someone has stolen my wind-stopper, which had my wallet, my credit cards and driver's license in it...

J'adore Paris!
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Alex Oagana
Alex Oagana profile photo

Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories