The Dubai International Motor Show underlined the three S’s that define the automotive sector today – style, substance and safety.
If one were to recap on the recently concluded Dubai International Motor Show, there will be three defining features that will tower high. The first, no doubt, is the new models and makes of cars that made their debut at the show. The second is the focus on sturdiness that customers increasingly seek in their vehicles. Third, but not the least, is the improved safety features that every automobile manufacturer was harping on through their showcases.
In all three sectors, the show underlined the emergence of Dubai as a new hub for the automotive trade industry. This is highlighted by the fact that the city has defined its credentials as a lunch pad for new models of vehicles – a feat that was unthinkable even a few years ago.
Earlier, it was the international motor shows in the United States and Europe that were typically the venues for automobile manufacturers to present their vehicles to dealers and media, but Dubai is changing the dynamics fast.
In 2015, an unmatched 18 global and 139 regional launches, in addition to 16 concept cars, were be revealed during the 13th edition of the show that attracted over 100,000 visitors from over 37 countries.
Enlarged floor area
For the first time, demand for floor space resulted in the show expanding into the Dubai World Trade Centre’s Zabeel Halls to accommodate over 600 vehicles on display, taking total floor space up to 85,000 square metres. This represented an increase of over 30% over the previous show size.
Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, Exhibitions & Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “Dubai is truly on the global radar for motor shows alongside the world’s best with arguably the widest variety of cars on display. The Middle East is a key growth region for the automotive industry, and this year’s show saw an unprecedented number of world debuts and regional launches from leading manufacturers.”
According to her, “the interest in new cars that spurred this growth is not just confined to the Luxury and Sports segments which have always been popular in this region but also in the Light Vehicle category which rose by 14% in 2014, fuelled by strong sales across the GCC. Because of our geographical location and our willingness to welcome manufacturers from all corners of the globe, the Dubai World Trade Centre’s 15 halls are at full capacity.”
Cadillac, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, W Motors, and Toyota are just a few who chose Dubai for the world reveals of their newest models. Toyota chose Dubai as the venue for the world release of one of its longest-standing nameplates and most important model, the new Land Cruiser SUV, while Jaguar presented the production version of its first off-roader, the F-PACE, in the region for the first time after the concept made its world debut in Dubai in 2013.
Land Rover marked the regional unveiling of the Range Rover SV Autobiography. The most luxurious and powerful series-production Range Rover in the model’s successful 45-year history was on display alongside the full line-up of Land Rover models. .
Bruce Robertson, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover MENA, said: “Land Rover has witnessed a remarkable year with introductions of new and exciting vehicles like the Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Sport SVR, which continue to receive an outstanding response both globally and regionally.”
Jaguar marked the launch of its much-anticipated Jaguar F-PACE performance crossover at the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show alongside a trio of new Jaguar products – the enhanced 2016 Jaguar XJR and All-New 2016 Jaguar XF-S, and the award-winning New Jaguar XE-S.
The F-PACE is a highly efficient, five-seat performance crossover and the third all-new product from Jaguar in 2015. Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, the All-New F-PACE is the production version of the breakthrough C-X17 concept car and features Jaguar’s lightweight aluminium architecture.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars showcased the breadth of its Bespoke programme with the one-off special commission – the Bespoke Tiger Phantom Coupé.
Developed over a two-year period by craftspeople at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, the Rolls-Royce Tiger Phantom Coupé draws its design inspiration both visually and spiritually from its animal namesake, conveying its power, grace and ferociousness in an iconic automotive form.
One of the much-talked-about displays was that of the Aston Martin DB 10, which was produced exclusively for the new James Bond movie, Spectre. It was engineered and handcrafted by a dedicated team at Aston Martin’s Gaydon Headquarters in the UK.
Among the supercars on show was Ford’s all-new GT ultra-high-performance supercar that also served as a technology showcase for top EcoBoost performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction.
The GT is one of over 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming from Ford globally by 2020. It joins Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350, and Shelby GT350R in the growing Ford Performance line-up.
The all-new GT supercar features rear-wheel drive, a mid-mounted engine, and a sleek, aerodynamic, two-door coupe body shell. It is propelled by the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – a next-generation twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, producing over 600 PS.
The GT makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon fibre and aluminium – enabling outstanding acceleration and handling with improved efficiency.
Focus on safety
Al-Futtaim Motors highlighted its unique Land Cruiser Experience that offered unmatched thrill and excitement. Made up of 6 different obstacles, the Land Cruiser Experience highlighted many of the car’s off-road capabilities and safety features, including vehicle stability, chassis balance, wheel articulation, hill start assist, crawl control and more.
“The 2016 Land Cruiser was recently launched in the UAE, and we wanted to take the biggest regional stage to demonstrate to everyone just what this car is made of,” Saud Abbasi, managing director, Al-Futtaim Motors, said. “The obstacle course really pushes the car to its limits, and allows passengers to fully experience the Land Cruiser’s capabilities once it’s put to the test.”
Hyundai Motor Company unveiled two new models – the all-new Elantra, a new edition of the brand’s best-selling Middle East model and regionally debuted the Creta, a totally new compact SUV.
“The Elantra follows in the footsteps of its predecessor by setting new standards and offering the world’s best technology packaged in the body of a world-class compact-size sedan,” according to Jin (James) Kim, Vice-President and Head of Operations for Hyundai Africa and Middle East.
The new Elantra will takes a leap forward with a number of class-leading convenience and safety features. An Integrated Memory Seat (IMS) enhances driver comfort, while Smart Trunk allows easy loading as it opens automatically when the Smart key-holder approaches. In addition, new class-leading suite of safety technologies includes Front & Rear Parking Sensor, Knee Airbag, LED Daytime Running Lamp (DRL), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
The Jeep Renegade, a compact SUV that boasts the best off-road performance in its segment, was another vehicle on show. Renegade delivers best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, with a segment-first, nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, fuel-efficient engine, world-class refinement and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings. The result is an efficient vehicle created to attract youthful and adventurous customers around the world to the Jeep brand.
Targeting every possible age-group with vehicles defined by unmatched standards of stylisation, design elegance, power features and safety, the motor show turned out to be a remarkable success and a gateway to the world of what’s new in the automotive industry.