Will the Mondial de Paris take place as planned and how did you manage this rebirth?
Serge Gachot : The World Cup is happening! Besides, it will be the only motor show to be held in 2022 in Europe, because Geneva is once again postponed and moving towards other horizons. The Brussels show, which is based on a business model similar to the Lyon show, ultimately did not take place. To move Mondial in a context that has changed significantly in recent years, we have chosen to be open and to offer a positive approach to the challenges facing the automotive industry, with electrification and connectivity in mind. We know that motorists are a bit lost at the moment, especially in light of the energy transition, and we want to answer their questions. This must be done on an upbeat show that maintains the sense of joy and automotive passionthanks to several animations.
Against the background of the return of car bashing in certain circles and in a city in Paris, which crystallizes many tensions over the role of the car, do you benefit from documented political support?
We can count on political support, but it is not of the same nature as that enjoyed by the Munich show in 2001, that is, we do not receive financial support to deal with a troubled general context. But the tradition of the official inauguration and visits by ministers will be respected. If the Mondial is linked to motoring pleasure, it is also projected towards the mobility of the future. It will also host a summit on tomorrow’s mobility. On the other hand, we don’t want to dilute the car into new forms of mobility, that would be imprecise, even dishonest. In addition, Mondial presents itself as a showcase of French know-how.
“More leads and an innovative vehicle test facility”
When you notice at the exhibitor level that some manufacturers are absent from the show despite your efforts to contain costs, including French manufacturers, do you see the glass as half empty or half full?
Of course, I leave it to the absent producers to explain their choices, that is of course not my role. We in the organization are fully aware of this the situation is difficult for producers. War led by Russia, Covid rebound in China, shortage of electronic components, increase in energy and commodity prices, decline in the NV market in Europe…although they sometimes generate very positive economic results, it is clear that we have experienced more stable and favorable relationships. On our side, we have worked hard to improve our value proposition. By striving to reduce costs, but above all to transform them into a worthwhile investment. The stands will be smaller and simpler, but the wires will be more. The vehicle testing system, designed with the manufacturers, is also central and will undoubtedly be appreciated.
Do you want a luxury center via legendary brands or specialized distributors, in the style of automotive passion, which can attract visitors?
Some prestigious brands will not exhibit at Mondial, which is understandable, especially since some of them already know that they have sold their 2023 production. we made sure to exhibit exceptional cars, with a remarkable private collection of Ferraris and an agreement with a “made in France” sports car association. I can also mention Hopium, which will have a large stand and present Hopium Machina Vision. NamX, partnering with Pininfarina, and their SUV will also be an attraction at the fair, which has decided to give hydrogen a credit. This promising technology will also be carried by Hyvia, HRS, Hype, etc., a whole hydrogen ecosystem, which will also allow France’s strengths to be brought forward.
“From the angle of the energy transition, there is porosity between BtoC and BtoB”
With Hyvia, we switch to the perimeter of the VU. Do you allow yourself to go outside the BtoB perimeter and what will your relationship with Equip Auto be?
Like other consumers, professionals ask themselves questions and ask for explanations. For LCVs, 100% electric or with hydrogen fuel cells, education is needed, especially in terms of applications and subsidies, and Mondial is playing its part. Avere will also be very present at the show with around twenty members in addition to its contribution to the PFA. From the point of view of the need for benchmarks and explanations for new technologies and the energy transition, there is porosity between BtoC and BtoB, and the fact of connecting Mondial and Equip Auto becomes legitimate. Below for international visitors who come to register for an Automotive Week.
Are you really thinking of doing an event dedicated to used vehicles in odd years?
In fact, we listen to the market’s demands and VO often comes up in discussions. A project of this nature is therefore under consideration. At the Mondiale, there will also be used cars through distributors. Many things are connected now, certain boundaries are blurred and reasoning in silos crumbles. Although it is obviously not a matter of mixing everything, I repeat that you must listen to requests and be open-minded. For example, at the World Cup you will find a big theme attached to electric microcars, with no less than nine exhibitors, and brands that have chosen to exhibit on third-party stands, a major banks or concessionaires. Other brands have also chosen spot animations with influencers. This is the new automotive world and it in no way prohibits the Mondial from being a car party.
“The automotive industry’s center of gravity is shifting”
A new automotive world, which is also reflected in the remarkable presence of Chinese manufacturers at the fair: how do you respond to the reactions of some who would almost blame you for it?
We come back to the new world of the car, which opens the door for new participants. We also welcome more start-ups that move the lines and bring innovation. In general, everyone knows that the center of gravity in the automotive industry is currently shifting. A redistribution of the cards which is reinforced by the energy transition, especially the mastery of technologies linked to the electric car.
For more practical details, link to Mondial’s website