Paris Motor Show 2022: autonomous cars with absent subscribers

This latest edition of the World Motor Show, which was organized in Paris from October 17 to 23, 2022, stands in stark contrast to the previous one in 2018. The European industry, bearing the full burden of the chip shortage, has to face aggressive, more flexible Asian competition. , with no heavy industrial heritage and which is solely dependent on electricity.

After the fun war, the fun salon? After opening its doors this Monday, October 17, the 2022 Paris Motor Show looks nothing like the previous edition of 2018. If attendance numbers have not yet dropped, the fact that the show is abandoning its presence in Pavillion 1 of the Parc des Expositions at the Porte de Versailles (Paris) is an unmistakable sign. “It’s not a problem, besides he’s getting old”, a member of the organization slipped as if to minimize the situation. The many crises (from Covid to the shortage of chips, including inflation and supply difficulties) have of course disrupted this industry with a direct impact on the number of exhibitors who have gone through a real diet.

Significant absences must thus be reported for this edition of the Paris Motor Show 2022. Thus, French Citroën and Bugatti (the Rimac group) did not come, as well as all the German manufacturers, which says a lot about the surrounding gloom that is hitting. the sector. No brand in the Volkswagen group has thus pointed to the end of its grill: 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 subscribers: Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati… This rejection of European manufacturers is in any case in contrast to the strong presence of especially Chinese and Vietnamese Asian producers entering the French market. BYD, Ora Wey, or even Seres, actually offer attractive vehicle models both in terms of performance and price. Without, however, today responding clearly to the problem of after-sales service and workshops, to which the national manufacturers respond without concern, where the quality of the network in their network no longer needs to be carried out.

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

No end to the component crisis before 2025?

On the side of French manufacturers such as Renault, the lack of chips is in any case a concern and a source of concern in a context where it should not be lifted for many months: “it is quite difficult to commit to an end date for the crisis , “explained a spokesman for the car group. “We are adapting our product range on certain models to reduce the consumption of components. It is a very tense situation, but I do not know if we can expect any improvement in 2024 or 2025. We are doing the best, we can in a context that is not simple”.

To continue to meet customer demand in the shortest possible time, Renault is reducing the number of components, such as replacing the digital dashboards with good old analogue needle-type gauges. In any case, the Frenchman is not afraid of foreign competition: “The emergence of the Chinese industry in Europe is quite new with electricity. For 40-50 years we have been used to new Japanese and Korean participants. There is a danger, they develop quickly. But we have been on electricity for 10 years, we have a mature network, an ability to maintain and give a second or even third life to our vehicles. It annoys 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 range, the spokesman continues. Renault also intends to continue developing its partnership with Google Automotive Services in its future vehicles, based on very good feedback from its latest electric Megane and its new Austral. Application partnerships to enrich this infotainment are being generalized to all current models as future launches.


Present at Vivatech 2022, the prototype of Renault’s next Scenic will also make the trip to the French manufacturer’s stand at this Paris Motor Show. (credit: DF)

Asian producers in force

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


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

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

place bid

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

Hopium in hydrogen vapors

Mondial de l’Auto is also an opportunity to meet companies that do not lack ambition. The French start-up Hopium is one of them. By betting on hydrogen for its car, which is scheduled to go on sale at the end of 2025, the company is counting on public authorities’ investment in the recharging fleet and stations to give a boost to 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 flow and even assumes its positioning as a pioneer with “a certain idea of ​​French luxury”. Convinced to play the next stage trick by positioning itself on a credo that complements the current trend in electricity. “We have a large screen that represents our idea of ​​the user experience, which is above all an idea of ​​different ergonomics to not have your hands on the screen, but only buttons with haptic feedback”, explained a holder to us. word of Hopium. 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 shot from 0 to 100 in 5 seconds. Regarding the autonomous vehicle, the problem with norms and standards as well as the lack of approvals does not push the start-up to enter this field and positions itself in relation to autonomous driving around level 2-3. In terms of aftersales, the group indicates that it is thinking about the interconnection of its network. “We are discussing with all the players”, the Hopium spokesperson explained to us.


The French start-up Hopium has made a great publicity stunt at the 2022 auto show: its model, currently on pre-order from 120,000 euros, is not expected until the end of 2025. (credit: DF)

Tour of the performance in pictures

Mondial Auto 2022

Busy times on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at the Paris Motor Show 2022… (credit: DF)

Mondial Auto 2022

but sometimes also empty… (credit: DF)


YoYo: one of the rare models of autonomous vehicles highlighted at the 2022 Paris Motor Show. (credit: DF)

Mondial Auto 2022

What would a World’s Fair be without shiny and powerful engines? (credit: DF)

Peugeot 9X8

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

Renault Alpenglow

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

Dacia Manifesto

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

ESTACA The Twins

The student association ESTACA Moto Tech has produced this Gemini hybrid car equipped with an internal combustion engine combined with light hybridization. Full electric is not yet everywhere until tomorrow… (credit: DF)

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