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2001 Frankfurt Auto Show I Page 2


 

Nissan Primera and Micra

2002 Nissan Primera

2002 Nissan Primera

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2003 Nissan Micra

2003 Nissan Micra

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Two years ago Dr. Carlos Ghosn unveiled the famous turnaround plan for Nissan, the sickly Japanese company saved by Renault. At that time he said it would take three years to achieve the goals of profitability and growth. In an obviously buoyant mood he described how the comeback was running ahead of schedule thanks to the introduction of great new products. Certainly the all-new U.K.-designed and U.K.-built Nissan Primera was well received at the show, just as the similar sized U.S.-built Altima has also been well received stateside. Ghosn also unveiled the pretty mm.e concept car that will become the new Micra in 2003.

 

Toyota Corolla

2002 Toyota Corolla

2002 Toyota Corolla

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In Europe Toyota is not the clear leader among the Japanese makes as it is in Japan and the U.S. Judging by the size of its booth and the successful launch of the European-designed Yaris last year, Toyota has figured out what it needs to do – build cars designed for Europeans. That’s why the all-new Corolla looks quite different from what will be purchased by U.S. buyers next year.

 

Maserati Spyder

2002 Maserati Spyder

2002 Maserati Spyder

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It might look conservative compared to many Italian cars of today but there’s no doubt that the Maserati Spyder is a very pretty convertible sports car. The even better news is that Americans will be able to buy this car before too long, as it is the model that will see Maserati return to the States after a decade’s absence. It might just start a trend for other European nameplates, such as Peugeot, Lancia, Fiat, Renault, to return to the U.S.

 

Hyundai Coupe

2002 Hyundai Tiburon

2002 Hyundai Tiburon

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The Hyundai Tiburon, Known elsewhere in the world as the Coupe, has been selling much better in Europe than in the U.S. Hyundai aims to correct that with the new Coupe that will be available with an optional V-6 engine. The pretty coupe is the result of a new direction in Hyundai design, according to an official, whereby vehicles will be designed slightly differently for different markets in order to meet customer desires, which can vary so much from one area of the world to the next.

 

Volkswagen Polo and others

2002 Volkswagen Polo

2002 Volkswagen Polo

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There was no doubt who was feeling like top dog at this year’s Frankfurt show – Dr. Piech, the powerful head of VW who will retire next year and hand over the reigns of Europe’s largest car company (and fourth-largest in the world) to Dr. Pischetsrieder. Just days after the announcement that Pischetsrieder would be taking over next year, Dr. Piech addressed the media and offered his congratulations to Pischetsrieder, saying he is customer focused and “a car freak.” Piech’s legacy will include the many new cars the group launched at the show – the VW Polo, Lamborghini Murcielago, Audi Cabriolet, Audi A4 Avant, Seat Tango and yet another version of the Bugatti.

 

Audi Avantissimo

Audi Avantissimo concept Frankfurt 2001

Audi Avantissimo concept Frankfurt 2001

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There was really no exciting concept cars unveiled this year compared to many shows in previous years. Judging by the crowds that thronged around the car at all times, the Audi Avantissimo was the biggest hit. Yet it is nothing much more than a large station wagon, albeit dripping with new technology such as a driver-identification system, an all-glass roof and a multimedia interface.

 
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