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(Updated) The Battle for Europe: Ford vs the world as Geneva Auto Show approaches

(Editor’s note: This post was updated 11 p.m. on 8 February with news about a new Ferrari to debut at the Geneva show.)

The big Detroit Auto Show was just last month. Now, the Geneva International Auto Show is coming up 3 March through 13 March, with a gaggle of fast and fabulous cars set to debut.

In the run up to Geneva, Ford in Europe in Europe announced last Friday it would completely realign its products and production on the continent. (See a related post on the cool cars expats can only buy in Europe here.) That includes new models and a concerted push into small SUVs and crossovers. Also, Ford executives plugged their $4.5 billion investment in electric vehicles and hybrids.



From the Ford news release:

After launching more than 30 new and refreshed vehicles since late 2012, and increasing market share in each of the past two years and boosting sales 10 percent in 2015, Ford of Europe will continue to strengthen its vehicle line with plans to:

  • Launch seven new and refreshed vehicles in 2016, including the Focus RS performance hatch and the new Kuga and Edge SUVs. Streamline core model line-up to eliminate less profitable vehicle lines over time.
  • Launch five new vehicles to compete in the SUV and crossover space in the next three years, starting with new Edge in the second quarter. SUVs remain Europe’s fastest-growing market segment, and Ford expects to surpass 200,000 SUV sales in Europe for the first time in 2016.
  • With the launch of Focus RS, joining Focus ST, Fiesta ST and Mustang, Ford of Europe expects record performance car sales in Europe in 2016 of about 40,000 vehicles.
  • Expand upscale Vignale line from one model today – Mondeo Vignale – to at least five Vignale models by 2017.
  • Introduce new plug-in hybrid, hybrid-electric and full electric vehicles in Europe by 2020 – part of Ford’s previously announced $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicle solutions.
  • Offer eight vehicle lines in Europe with sophisticated all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive technologies, compared to three models in 2012. Ford expects to sell about 140,000 all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles in Europe in 2016 – a 120 percent increase compared to 2014.
  • Debut a new Ford Ranger pickup with improved fuel efficiency, a new design and echnologies as it arrives in European showrooms in early 2016. The new model is launched as the Ford Ranger celebrates becoming Europe’s No. 1 selling pickup in 2015, with sales of 27,300 vehicles representing a year-over-year increase of 27 percent.


Of course, all the other automakers are going to do their best to eclipse Ford and its new 350 horsepower, 160-mph-plus Focus RS, and a bunch of new cars might – and we emphasize might – debut at the Swiss show including a new Ferrari. Bloomberg just posted that Ferrari will unveil its 690-horsepower GTC4Lusso  four-door “family car” at the Geneva Car Show. The new Ferrari – the first after the company went public – is a hotter version of the FF four-seater. The $300,000 FF has a mere 660 horsepower  compared to its replacement. Ferrari hasn’t released a price for the GTC4Lusso.

Here are more vehicles slated to make their debut in Geneva:

  • The long-anticipated Tesla Model 3, more affordable than other Tesla models, yet getting 200 miles on its charges.
  • Audi’s answer to the RS, its new RS Q3, which has 362 hp and a 168-mph top seed.
  • An Audi crossover, the Q2.
  • A limited-production Porsche 911R, of which only 600 will be built.
  • Porsche updated Boxster and Cayman models, both of which will adopt the 718 designation and get turbo-powered 4-cylinders, at least in Europe.
  • The McLaren 650S GT3 R. You can have your own 500-hp race car. Bring a million bucks.
  • GM will debut the latest Opel Mokka X crossover, which will be sold as the Buick Encore in the U.S. More than 50,000 Mokkas have been sold across Europe since it debuted in 2012.

The opening of the Geneva car show will including the Car of the Year 2016 for the fifth consecutive year.

The short list:

  • Audi A4
  • BMW 7 Series
  • Jaguar XE
  • Mazda MX5
  • Opel / Vauxhall Astra
  • Skoda Superb
  • Volvo XC90

The event itself is media only, but the public can watch it on the COTY website here.

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Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.

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