Bentley Paris Shock News!
The news that Bentley has decided to withdraw from the Paris Motor Show next week has seen some very harsh comments from the automotive press, most of which we feel is unjustified.
Of course, it is true that there is bound to be some fall out from last year’s VW emissions scandal, as the parent company has had to cut a few expenses to fund their colossal fines, however, is that really the whole reason behind the shock news that Bentley have pulled out of next week’s Paris Motor Show? The rumour is further fuelled by their VW Supercar cousin’s Lamborghini, who have joined Bentley in withdrawing from Paris. So we think there is far for to it than this.
If VW were the only auto giant to pull out, then we would possibly agree with the tidal wave of dark commentary, yet household names like Ford, Rolls-Royce Mazda and Volvo are visibly absent from this year’s Paris line-up.
It is almost as if the Japanese, US, British and Italian automakers have had their Press departments join forces and agree almost identical press releases as they are all pretty much siting the same reasons for withdrawing their support of the show. All of those mentioned have more or less said that they will instead focus on smaller events that are less costly and provide less competition for attention.
Mazda were the most vocal in their complaints of the Paris even saying that the show is dominated by France’s Renault and PSA Group. This complaint was swiftly backed up with an official, on the record remark “The decision not to participate in the 2016 Paris show does not represent a change to our global motor show strategy,” while simultaneously confirming that they will be at the Geneva in March.
Car shows cost millions of pounds/euros or dollars, as famous marques strive to outshine one another. For the past couple of years there has been bubbling unrest at the Paris event, claiming that it is more of a media circus than a genuine show where cars are ordered or sold.
Prestige cars, like the Bentley Continental GT Speed would be on most millionaire’s wish list, however those with pockets deep enough are less likely to attend Paris. The British are more likely to pick up the phone to HR Owen and request a private audience. In Europe, the Geneva show is the only place to be seen, similarly the biannual Dubai Motor Show is a must for those with deep enough pockets. In reality, most buyers choose their cars at very exclusive events, many of which the mass media has never even heard of and are unlikely to be invited to.
However, the VW emissions scandal is a story which will not die any time soon.
Fanning the flames of speculation is the report that Chief Executive Matthias Mueller told a staff meeting in Wolfsburg on Sept. 14 “A crisis can lead to marginalization, but it can also mark the turning point for something better, for a real change of tack,???. Then went on to say “We need to rejig the group??? to boost profitability and catch up on new technologies.???