PARIS — This year’s Paris auto show will look very different than the one that was last held in 2018. For one, it is being combined with the Equip’Auto exhibition of aftermarket supplies, in an effort to offer a broader experience for industry attendees. And there will be very few automakers showing their latest and greatest production and concept vehicles.
Despite that, Paris remains an important venue for a number of brands, some established and some hopeful of breaking into the European market. Renault, Dacia, DS and Peugeot will be there, as will Jeep. Several ambitious Asian companies, China’s BYD and Great Wall, and Vietnam’s Vinfast, will also be exhibitors. EV startup Fisker will show the Ocean SUV. And Mercedes-Benz will reveal a new model in Paris – but not as an official exhibitor.
The show at the Paris Expo center starts with a media day on Oct. 17, opens to the public the next day and runs until Oct. 23.
Here is a look at the brands that are set to be at the show:
The Renault stand will be centered on the Renault 4ever, a show car version of a small full-electric crossover that will go into production by 2025. The Renault 4 is a companion model to the coming Renault 5 small electric hatchback, and like the “cinq,” it will be built on the Renault-Nissan CMF-BEV architecture. Renault will also show a racing-inspired show car based on the Renault 5.
Renault Group’s mobility and finance division, Mobilize, will show the Duo, an electric quadricycle that is aimed at urban users and short-term rentals. The Duo is one of four dedicated electric vehicles designed for Mobilize, joining the Limo (for ride-hailing), the Bento (the cargo version of the Duo) and the Hippo (a small van for “last mile” deliveries).
Renault’s sports-car and racing brand is set to assume a larger role in the group, with an electric SUV and small hot hatch, and a replacement for the A110 sports coupe expected by 2025. At the Paris show, Alpine will show the lightweight A110 R and a concept vehicle. The A110 R, with 300 hp from a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine, will have a 0-100 kph time of 3.9 seconds and weigh just 1082 kg, 34 kg lighter than a standard A110.
A makeover of Renault’s successful low-cost brand includes a new “Dacia Link” logo and outdoorsy colors, as well as a rugged concept called the Manifesto. The Manifesto, a full-electric off-roader, is meant to be a “living lab” to showcase ideas for future production models as well as reinforce Dacia’s core messages of affordability and sustainability.
Peugeot, the flagship mainstream brand of Stellantis, is broadening its compact offerings with the fastback 408, which will make its public debut in Paris, although it was revealed this summer. The 408 follows the Renault Arkana, VW Taigo and Citroen C4 X in a growing category of swoopy versions of popular hatchbacks and crossovers. Peugeot says the 408 has a flowing and aerodynamic line that gives it a distinctive silhouette that sets it apart from mainstream models, and which the brand hopes will attract buyers who are tired of traditional SUVs.
The smallest member of the Jeep family, the Avenger, will also be the first full-electric Jeep when it is launched next year. The Avenger, which will also have combustion-engine variants, will be Jeep’s second entrant in the small SUV/crossover segment, joining the slightly larger Renegade. It will be built in Tychy, Poland, on Stellantis’ eCMP platform. Two other full-electric models will follow in Europe by 2025. Expect more details on the Avenger, and a first look at the production interior.
The Stellantis premium brand has facelifted its SUV lineup, with the DS 7 and DS 3 receiving exterior and mechanical updates – and dropping the “Crossback” designation. The DS 7 was the first model designed from the ground up for the brand, which was spun off from Citroen in 2016. The DS 7 will have a 360 hp plug-in hybrid performance package with larger brakes.
Mercedes says it will not have a stand at the show but will instead reveal the EQE SUV at the Rodin Museum in Paris on Oct. 16 (and also broadcast online). The large SUV will be based on the same EVA2 platform as the brand’s larger full-electric offerings, the EQS sedan and SUV, and the EQE sedan, which was launched this year. Like the larger seven-seat EQS SUV, the five-seat EQE SUV will be built in Mercedes’ factory in Alabama and exported to Europe.
Henrik Fisker’s California-based EV startup will show the Ocean, a midsize SUV that is slated to start production with Austrian contract manufacturer Magna Steyr on Nov. 17. The Ocean Extreme to be shown in Paris will be the most expensive of the three mainstream production trim levels offered by Fisker and will cost from 69,950 euros in France.
Vietnam’s only automaker has big ambitions for Europe, with a network of retail sites planned that will sell several full-electric models. VinFast plans to start delivering EVs to customers in Europe and the U.S. before the end of 2022 — and aims to be profitable within the next three years. The models due to arrive in the U.S. and Europe before year-end are the midsize VF8 and large VF9 SUVs, which are expected to be shown in Paris.
Chinese companies have started a major push to break into the European market, with EVs that are expected to undercut the competition on price but still deliver leading range and technology. By the end of this year, BYD, the second-largest global EV maker after Tesla, will start selling the Atto 3, a compact crossover, the Tang midsize crossover and the Han midsize sedan, and all three will be at the Paris show.
Another major Chinese automaker, Great Wall Motors, is aiming at the smaller end of the EV market with the Funky Cat from its Ora subbrand. The Funky Cat (as it is expected to be called in Europe) is a compact hatchback with distinctive oval headlights and a near-200-mile (about 320 kms) range. Sales of the Funky Cat compact are scheduled to start in Germany in the fourth quarter. The Funky Cat will be shown in Paris – but perhaps even more important, Great Wall executives say they will detail plans for European expansion for Ora and another brand, Wey.