New players are taking advantage of the ecological transition to conquer a rapidly changing market.
Promising start-ups, exotic builders or Chinese auto giants: who would have thought that illustrious strangers could take on such a light in a motor show? The automotive world is changing, with the massive arrival of electric propulsion, easier to approach technically, and this represents an unprecedented opportunity for new brands. And they take advantage of the (very) many absentees from the Paris World Cup to try to become new stars. But, within these contenders all targeting the French market, we must distinguish very different projects.
Among the major Chinese brands that have decided to enter our market in the wake of MG and Aiways, BYD is not the least: it is quite simply the world’s leading producer of electrified vehicles. Suffice to say that it takes literally the meaning of its name, Build Your Dreams (“build your dreams”)… It was also she who signed a contract for no less than 100,000 cars with the rental company Sixt. For its European launch, the brand is attacking the market with three models. The most likely to easily find its place is the Atto 3 SUV.
This compact 4.45 m model with the false air of VW iD.3 offers a consensual design on the outside and more playful in its very spacious interior. It is given for performance in the good average with its 204 hp engine and its range approved at 420 km. Its battery uses a blade architecture designed to be more efficient and stronger, with an LFP chemistry that is more resistant to repeated rapid charges. Special expertise at BYD, which is the original business. The BYmyCAR group is in charge of distributing this SUV, launched these days. It is joined by two otherwise more upscale models: the Han limo (€70,800) and the large 7-seater Tang SUV. Sold at the same price (70,800 €), these two models have a power of 516 hp and an 85 kWh battery (521 km of autonomy).
personality to find
The other Chinese giant officially present is the Great Wall Motors group, via two brands: Ora and Wey. The first is the most popular, with its friendly Cat model, with a face reminiscent of the VW New Beetle. This 4.23 m compact is launched this fall in Great Britain and Germany. For a price starting at around €30,000, the customer will have a vehicle with 5 Euro NCAP stars, a small boot (228 l) and a 48 kWh battery (range of 310 km) , which powers a 171 hp electric motor. As for Wey, he is more premium focused. Its Coffee 01 is a large SUV 4.87 m long, plug-in hybrid and equipped with a remarkable autonomy of 146 km WLTP, and 476 hp of total power.
Four years after its first appearance in Paris, the only Vietnamese manufacturer, VinFast, is now ready to enter the market with two high-end SUVs, VF 8 and VF 9, designed by the Pininfarina studio in a rather consensual style. The VF 8 is available from €62,200 for purchase or €46,050 with the rental battery, offering 82 or 87.7 kWh accumulators (420 to 471 km of autonomy) and between 353 and 408 hp of power , always with two engines. More original, the very large 7-seater VF 9 can carry a huge 123 kWh battery, giving a range of 594 km. The show is also an opportunity to discover two small SUVs, the VF 6 and above all, the attractive VF 7. All benefit from the brand’s impressive 10-year/200,000 km warranty: enough to reassure new customers. The Chinese brand Seres (Dongfeng group) is also involved, via its importer, with the Seres 3 SUV: 329 km of autonomy and 163 hp, for 33,990 €.
Without a dedicated stand but in the presence of its creator, Henrik Fisker, the new American electric SUV Fisker Ocean is on the eve of the start of its production at Magna, in Austria. A leisure-oriented model, very high-tech and design with its false air of Range Evoque, from €41,900 with 440 km of autonomy. Pre-reservations are open, but the delivery dates, yet to be precisely defined, in 2023.
The Paris Motor Show is an opportunity to take a closer look at two ambitious French projects for high-end hydrogen vehicles. The best known is the elegant Machina sedan, from Hopium, unveiled for the first time in a version close to the series. Production will begin at the end of 2025 in a new plant located in Normandy, near an area dedicated to the development of the hydrogen sector. Displayed from 120,000 €, the Machina will deliver around 500 hp and will offer more than 1000 km of autonomy, before refueling in 3 minutes. More recently, the NamX brand project tends towards SUV lines, sketched by Pininfarina. It is based on a technical originality: recharging by means of interchangeable hydrogen capsules making it possible to ensure up to 800 km of autonomy. The delivery target for the first vehicles is set around 2026. At the Motor Show, this HUV (H for hydrogen) reveals the design of its cabin, giving a more complete impression of the project.
Finally, even among the brands recently introduced on the market, some are absent subscribers, such as MG (only one copy is visible, on the Crédit Agricole stand) or Nio. The latter arrives in Germany with three models and battery exchange stations in 5 minutes, but should wait until 2024 and the launch of a second, less premium brand to invest in the French market. Variable geometry strategies to find the best way to penetrate the French market and create valuable notoriety.
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Motor Show: the debutante ball
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