Paris Motor Show 2022: Self-driving cars with absent subscribers

Organized in Paris from the 17th to the 23rd of October 2022, this latest edition of the World Motor Show clearly contrasts with the previous one in 2018. With the full weight of the chip shortage, the European industry must face aggressive and more agile Asian competition. , with no heavy industrial heritage and which is entirely dependent on electricity.

After the funny war, the funny lounge? Having opened its doors this Monday, October 17, the Paris Motor Show 2022 is nothing like the previous edition of 2018. at Porte de Versailles (Paris) is an unmistakable sign. “It’s not a problem, besides he’s getting old,” a member of the organization slipped in as if to downplay the situation. The multiple crises (from Covid to the shortage of chips, including inflation and supply difficulties) naturally disturbed this industry with a direct impact on the number of exhibitors who underwent a true slimming cure.

Significant absences must therefore be reported for this edition of the Paris Motor Show 2022. Thus, the French Citroën and Bugatti (Rimac group) did not come, as did all the German manufacturers, which says a lot about the ambient gloom that hits the sector. Thus, no brand in the Volkswagen group has pointed to the end of its grid: Audi, Seat, Cupra, Skoda, Bentley, Porsche and Lamborghini, as well as BMW and Mercedes. In the Stellantis galaxy (fruit of the PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles alliance) several brands are also absent: Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati… Chinese and Vietnamese Asian manufacturers in particular are entering the French market. BYD, Ora Wey, or even Seres offer attractive vehicle models both from a performance and a price point of view. Without, however, today clearly responding to the problem of after-sales service and workshops to which national manufacturers respond without any concern, whose quality of the mesh of their network no longer needs to be done.

DS Automobiles (Stellantis group) introduces many vehicle models, including its E-Tense Performance concept car. (credit: DF)

No End to Component Crisis Before 2025?

On the side of French manufacturers such as Renault, the shortage of chips is, in any case, a concern and a source of concern in a context in which it should not be raised for many months: “it is very difficult to commit to an end date for the crisis”, explained a spokesperson for the automotive group. “We have adapted our product offering in some models to reduce the consumption of components. It is a very tense situation, but I don’t know if we can expect any improvement until 2024 or 2025. best we can in a context that is not simple”.

To continue meeting customer demand in the shortest possible time, Renault is reducing the number of components, such as replacing digital panels with good old analog needle-type meters. In any case, the Frenchman is not afraid of foreign competition: “The emergence of Chinese industry in Europe is quite new with electricity. For 40-50 years we are used to new Japanese and Korean participants. There is a danger, they develop quickly. But we have been in the electric for 10 years, we have a mature network, the ability to maintain and give a second or even a third life to our vehicles. It bothers us, but competition is healthy and makes us think more. But in terms of technology, we have nothing to envy them, we control our batteries, the engines we produce without rare earths and we have icons in our ranges”, continues the spokesperson. Renault also intends to continue to develop its partnership with Google Automotive Services on its future vehicles, based on very good feedback from its latest electric Megane and its new Austral. App partnerships to enrich this infotainment are ongoing with a generalization across all current models as and when future releases.


Present at Vivatech 2022, the prototype of Renault’s next Scenic is also passing through the French manufacturer’s stand at this Paris Motor Show. (credit: DF)

Asian manufacturers in force

Among the Chinese conquerors of the French car market, we find in particular the manufacturer ORA that currently sells its “Funky Cat”, an electric car offered in two versions (normal and TT) whose range varies from 300 to 400 km. For now, the group does not offer autonomous driving and prefers, according to a spokesperson for the manufacturer interviewed at the fair, to go to the market “step by step”. This city car is based on its own infotainment system with Here for mapping, bypassing American Google Maps. ORA also highlights the fact that it has developed and produced its own propulsion and transmission system (powertrain).


ORA’s “Funky Cat” electric city car apparently appeals to the target audience of female drivers and why not also Volkswagen Beetle fans? (credit: DF)

Vietnam is not just a land of postcards. Its automotive industry is also looking to capture market share in France, starting with Vinfast. Created in 2017, this brand presented three thermal vehicles in its national market. The group built from its factory in 21 months and accelerated in the electricity sector. Since the beginning of 2022, the group has announced five electric models and is preparing for the end of the thermal plants at the end of the year. “We are established in the US, Canada and Europe in France, Germany and the Netherlands,” explained a Vinfast spokesperson. “We will not go through dealerships, we will have our own network of branches with ongoing recruitment with a target of around fifty, including 6 in France this year and a dozen in 2023”. The manufacturer announces that it is working with the largest equipment manufacturers on the market for ADAS, connectivity (ZF, Bosch, etc.) for a charging point application combined with simplified direct payment in a single application. Angoulême SME Luxor Lightingpour was called upon for on-board lighting, as were European designers Pininfarina (VF 8 and 9) and Torino Design (VF 6 and 7). “We have many links with Europe to offer a vehicle that meets a very demanding request from our European customers who are familiar with the experience of domestic suppliers”, continues the spokesperson. The company also offers its own onboard navigation system, but it also indicates that it provides Google’s. A smart way to answer customers’ fears of being stuck with 100% Asian systems?


Chinese manufacturer BYD’s Han sedan wants to battle Tesla in the premium electric segment by betting on a discounted price. (credit: DF)

Hopium in hydrogen vapors

The Mondial de l’Auto is also an opportunity to get to know companies that do not lack ambition. French start-up Hopium is one of them. Betting on hydrogen for its car, which should be on sale at the end of 2025, the company counts on government investments in the fleet and charging stations to boost this non-existent market. In 2030, a network of a thousand stations is announced: is this really enough, despite a full tank announced in 3 seconds? In any case, Hopium does not feel against the current and even assumes its position as a pioneer with “a certain idea of ​​French luxury”. Convinced to play the next step trick by positioning itself on a credo complementary to the current trend in electric. “We have a big screen that represents our idea of ​​user experience which is above all an idea of ​​different ergonomics to have no hands on the screen but only buttons with haptic feedback”, one owner explained to us. Hopium word. The price of the dream? From €120,000, with technology similar to a Toyota Mirai but with much higher power: 500 horsepower, 230 km/h and a 0-100 sprint in 5 seconds. As far as the autonomous vehicle is concerned, the problem of norms and standards as well as the lack of approvals do not push the start-up to enter this field and it is positioning itself in terms of autonomous driving at levels 2-3. Regarding after-sales, the group indicates that it is thinking about the mesh of its network. “We are in discussions with all players,” the Hopium spokesperson explained.


French start-up Hopium made a big publicity stunt at the 2022 Motor Show: its model currently on pre-sale from 120,000 euros is not expected before the end of 2025. (credit: DF)

Tour of the show in photos

World Auto 2022

Busy aisles this Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at the Paris Motor Show 2022… (credit: DF)

World Auto 2022

but sometimes empty too… (credit: DF)


The YoYo: one of the rare autonomous vehicle models featured at the 2022 Paris Motor Show. (credit: DF)

World Auto 2022

What would a world auto show be without shiny, powerful engines? (credit: DF)

Peugeot 9X8

The 9X8 is the successor to the Peugeot 905 and 908, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and in 2009. (credit: DF)

Renault Alpenglow

The Renault Alpine Alpenglow concept car says goodbye to the fuel cell using hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water stored in two tanks on either side of the cockpit. (credit: DF)

Dacia Manifesto

The Dacia Manifesto concept car that plays a high-tech adventurer. (credit: DF)

Twins stake

Student association ESTACA Moto Tech has produced this Gemini hybrid vehicle equipped with a combustion engine coupled with light hybridization. Full electricity is still not everywhere for tomorrow… (credit: DF)

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