Clean fuels a hit at Dubai International Motor Show
Clean fuels a hit at Dubai International Motor Show
The five-day event at the Dubai International Convention Centre has become the region’s most significant car show since its beginnings in 1991 and this year attracted more than 108,000 visitors.
There were more than 100 global and regional car premieres among the 550 cars on display.
Unlike at Frankfurt, no major company abstained from DIMS. Topping the luxury league was Rolls-Royce’s new Phantom, available to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) customers by the end of the year.
Bentley also revealed its Continental GT with a promising new design. The GT will be reviewed by international media, including Arab News, at the end of this month in Barcelona.
A high percentage of cars on display at the Dubai show are luxury and sports vehicles. This is reflected in the sales figures for a region that has the largest showrooms in the world for some of the brands on offer.
Despite political tension in the region, sales figures are steady, albeit at lower rates in some segments than last year’s. Unlike most motor shows, DIMS serves as a platform for sales to customers and most franchises participate through their local dealers.
Of particular importance to the region is the 4x4 and SUV market, which enjoys higher rates of growth despite fierce competition.
Ford led the charge this year with the new full-size SUV Expedition, favored by GCC customers for its interior space and pulling power. Alongside this were other popular Ford SUVs such as Explorer, Edge, Escape and EcoSport.
Lincoln revealed its Navigator, a premium SUV favored by many in the region. The Navigator attracted attention this year with a new design, a 450bhp bi turbo engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Jeep also displayed large collections of all-terrain vehicles, especially for desert safari trips. At the top end of the segment were Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne; both best-sellers for their respective companies.
The display of electric and alternative-fuel cars was noticeable at this year’s DIMS — a major shift from previous shows. It seems the region is mature enough to consider alternative fuels regardless of the affordability of gasoline compared to world markets.
Toyota revealed its new Mirai, which uses hydrogen fuel cells and is the first production car in the world to use this technology. The hybrid Prius was also on display.
Tesla was in Dubai to attract more customers for its Model S and Model X. The company opened its first showroom in Dubai last summer and has a small base of keen customers. The UAE is installing charging points at a steady rate, which will reach 50 stations by the end of the year.
Several other manufacturers revealed hybrid and electric cars, including the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid from Porsche and several models from Lexus.
Hyundai offered the practical Ioniq Electric car while Kia revealed a Hybrid SUV called Niro.
Other technologies being shown off included the Audi A8, with level-3 autonomous driving, and the BMW 7 Series, which can be maneuvered in and out of garages or tight spaces without anyone at the wheel. Mercedes-Benz revealed the “AMG-GT Concept” and “AMG Project 1,” both futuristic design ideas.
Range Rover revealed its Range Rover Sport for the first time in the region. It carries the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system on two 10-inch touchscreens, which form the centerpiece in a minimalist dashboard. Jaguar displayed its Formula E race car, and will join other big carmakers in a new all-electric car racing competition next year.
<b>Key facts about the Dubai International Motor Show
The Dubai International Motor Show (DIMS) is held biannually in tangent with the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). The show started in 1991 and built its reputation over the following 16 years.
• Now in its 14th year, DIMS is the largest international automotive event across the Middle East and North Africa
• This year the show displayed more than 550 new cars, of which about 100 were new reveals
• The show had 15 supercars and 10 concept cars on display this year
• More than 108,000 visitors from 70 countries, in addition to 1,000 global media representatives, visited the show this year
• The show was held on 85,000 square meters of space and featured more than 100 manufacturers
Chevrolet goes after Jeep Grand Cherokee with new Blazer
- GM on Thursday unveiled the sculpted Blazer in Atlanta
- At its peak in 1996, Chevrolet sold just over 246,000 Blazers
DETROIT: Because these days you can’t have too many SUVs, General Motors is bringing back the Chevrolet Blazer.
Only this time it’s not a thirsty and boxy truck like its predecessor, one of the original SUVs that was sold from the 1982 through 2005 model years.
SUVs based on car underpinnings, sometimes called crossover vehicles, are what buyers want these days, and the Chevy brand didn’t have a midsize one with two rows of seats to compete with the popular Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.
So GM on Thursday unveiled the sculpted Blazer in Atlanta, trying to capitalize on a well-known name that has a lot of equity, said Steve Majoros, Chevy’s director of car and crossover marketing. “There’s still a number of people that either have good positive feelings about that product or still have them in their driveways,” he said.
At its peak in 1996, Chevrolet sold just over 246,000 Blazers.
The new Blazer is far from a box. It sits relatively low to the ground and has futuristic creases on the sides and a low-angle windshield to give it a sporty look. Chevy says it will come standard with a 193-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with an optional 305 horsepower 3.6-liter V6. All models will have stop-start technology that shuts off the engine at red traffic lights, plus nine-speed automatic transmissions that will help gas mileage.
Gas mileage and price weren’t released by GM. Chevy hopes to take a chunk out of Grand Cherokee sales, one of the more popular and profitable vehicles in the Jeep lineup, in the growing midsize SUV segment. Last year Fiat Chrysler sold nearly 159,000 Grand Cherokees.
The Blazer, due in showrooms early next year, comes as American buyers continue their shift from cars to trucks and SUVs. This year trucks and SUVs accounted for about two-thirds US new-vehicle sales, with cars making up the rest.