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2001 Frankfurt Auto Show I


Frankfurt Auto Show 2001

Frankfurt Auto Show 2001

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2001 Frankfurt Auto Show Index
Talk about the '01 Frankfurt show here!

When the doors opened for the media days at the biannual Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA), optimism was in evidence if not buoyant. Despite the potential of a global recession, a majority of manufacturers were positive about the future. On the product side, an unprecedented unveiling of 57 new vehicles promised an exciting show.

By the end of the first media day, the mood throughout the massive exhibition site had changed to one of sadness. It was around 3.00 p.m. when word started to get around that a mammoth terrorist attack had just occurred in the U.S. At first some thought it was a joke – but then as the horror and magnitude of the incident became apparent, the hearts and thoughts of everyone was far removed from the excitement of the unveiling of new cars.

It was during the worldwide premiere launch of the new Hyundai Coupe that the presenter was made aware of what was happening. He immediately informed the gathered crowds and politely stopped the presentation and just pulled the cover off the car.

The second media day was very somber with long faces on everyone – whatever their nationality. The world was in mourning and nobody was in the mood to celebrate the glitter of an auto show. Nonetheless it was decided that the show must go on – although many suggested the organizers should cancel the show, the general sentiment was that would be just what the terrorists would want. Life does go on, for the fortunate.

 

Smart Tridion

Smart Tridion concept Frankfurt 2001

Smart Tridion concept Frankfurt 2001

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Judged by the number seen on the roads, the Micro Compact Car (MCC) Smart car is a hit with European drivers. MCC showed off an interesting concept Tridion that takes the Smart idea up into the more normal size. The five-door four-seater uses matte-finished body panels and is built around a strong safety cell.

 

MG Rover X80

2002 MG X80

2002 MG X80

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In just its second international auto show as an independent company, the mood at MG Rover was upbeat: “There was disbelief back in January when we said we’d have a complete range of MG cars,” said Kevin Howe, MG Rover’s boss, as he unveiled the MG X80. It’s doubtful Howe even dreamed he’d be unveiling a 385-horsepower, Ford Mustang-powered high-end sports car that will be built in Modena, Italy, the home of so many exotic car companies. It’s the hurriedly restyled car based on the Qvale sports car that was inherited when MG Rover acquired the U.S.-based Qvale company in June. The final production car will go on sale in summer of 2002 and will be the flagship in the MG line competing against the Porsche 911 and Jaguar XK8, according to the company.

 

Skoda Superb

2002 Skoda Superb

2002 Skoda Superb

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Skoda jokes are dead according to company officials of the Czechoslovakian company that was acquired by VW in 1991. In one of the most successful turnarounds in history Skoda has gone from selling 170,000 cars of decidedly poor quality cars to selling 460,000 quality cars per year. Its newest car, the Superb, is an inexpensive entry luxury stretched version of the VW Passat that revives a name last used on a famous large luxury car Skoda sold from 1934 to 1949. Dr. Jens Neumann, one of the board members, says “Skoda has gone from the brand with no future to a brand with a future based on tradition.”

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