What made the Geneva Motor Show so interesting for us? There's the thing with the electric cars. A market segment that Saab 2.0 wants to occupy 2014 in the spring. And there's the exciting story of what happens when Chinese and Europeans build a car together. Nobody has tried it yet, and debutant Qoros may be a lesson for Saab. But let's talk about electric cars first!
Where did the electro hype go?
Where is the electric car trend going, is it finished before it really starts? There was not much going on at the Fisker booth. Fisker is (unfortunately) in a deep crisis, the cool Atlantic will probably not make it to the series. Too bad, because this car could have landed on my shopping list. With competitor Tesla was more visitors, but the right enthusiasm was missing. The Tesla Roadster is - unfortunately - history, and the course to the future is unclear. The Tesla X study in response to the questions of the future? An SUV in armored infantry outfit with battery drive might be the trend for the next UNO blue helmet deployment. But an electric armored infantryman is more a symbol of an incursion than a answer to green questions of the future.
Renault! The French set early on the battery card and risked so much. The Renault booth features Kangoo, Fluence and Twizy. If the numbers of visitors vote, then it's clear what they like. The Twizy is surrounded, Kangoo and Fluence are not interested. An electric car for summer and city, for relatively little money. An electric car that is fun. That works, the registration numbers prove it.
BMW wants to start after the IAA 2013 with the i3. At the booth, the study is a bit off. Nevertheless, together with the i8 Concept, the electric cars are still a coveted photo motif. The BMW i8 is hot, not a small abandon car, but an emotional sports car. Interesting design, the charisma of a strong brand. What BMW is planning could work. Electric cars have a future when they look good, make fun or stay affordable.
No question of money
What happens if you take a big suitcase, hire a number of veteran mercenaries, and build a car with this team? Interesting question ... Qoros did it! On board are some big, old names of the auto industry. With the help of the suppliers and a lot of money, the first factory, the Qoros 3, was born. A nice shell, a trivial interior and a lot of helplessness.
In China, the Qoros is called "surprisingly good looking," but still asks who should buy the cars. Rich Chinese buy European brands. A not so strong public draws on cheap, local labels back. Qoros stands, also priced, between the chairs. What distinguishes the Qoros? The brand does not carry a story that could tell it. There is no philosophy that would be recognizable. No driver-oriented cockpit, no special ergonomics. Nothing that could make the Qoros unique or desirable.
Help comes from Hamburg. Der Spiegel, the big, old news magazine, explains. Good that we have the mirror as orientation in helplessness. LED daytime running lights and a fully networked navigation and infotainment system should be the argument. Especially with the latter, the German competitor should look old. Oha! The infotainment in the fair car was at best average, there are retrofit solutions that are more demanding. And the LED daytime running lights are a maximum of interest for Audi drivers who like to pay extra for more or less tasteful fairy lights.
But the mirror knows even more. "Everyone wants to find a mistake, but at least on the fair model, there is no," says a journalist looking at the narrow metal joints and the accurate fits in the cockpit. The entire interior exudes a sober elegance. The Qoros 3, it seems, could easily compete with any Skoda or VW"There sat the author of the Article but in a different car than us! So different may be subjective perception. Or, more likely, he did not sit in any car. Because the mirror uses press images that make the Qoros indeed appear high-quality. In reality, he is not. Maybe the article was a favor in anticipation of future advertising revenue? We finance ourselves and can therefore write what we see. Lucky for the blog, because the Qoros is friendly on Ford Focus level. VW or Skoda would like you. But is not ...
How accurate fits and joints are, can be seen on the painted sheet metal between the door trim and the B-pillar. At least thumbs wide, the naked metal catches the eye. If you compare it with a Saab 9000 from 1998, then you realize that there is no bare metal, but an accurate fit. But the Saab is only 15 years old.
Since it can only judge the price. Significantly under 20.000,00 € Qoros starts in Germany, then of course with infotainment and LED daytime running lights on board. Cheap? Desired opponent Jetta starts from 21.000 €, with comparable equipment at 25.000,00 €. The real opponent is Ford or Opel. A Ford Focus Tournament drives under our 15.000,00 € front door and is not a sedan, but a practical combination. After neither the price nor the concept for Qoros speaks, it gets really tight. Of course, there are no dreamers in Shanghai, but professionals. Crazy enough to start with the limousine in Germany, one is not there. With the hatchback and the Kombi one expects better chances and has them too. Only with these variants you enter the German market next year.
Our impression of Qoros is easy to formulate. The Qoros 3 is certainly the most attractive China car, which ever came to Europe. Nevertheless soulless and unmotivated. No part of the Qoros, which one could not find in a French, Italian, German or Korean car. A blend of supplier parts that are inexpensively assembled in Shanghai.
A result when constructing mercenaries of different nations. And a fate, which could also threaten Saab 2.0. Even in Trollhättan, in the future, we will rely on the development work of fewer, stronger suppliers. But there is a difference! At Saab 2.0 more and more former Saab employees are on board or in the starting blocks. It is not the money that builds cars, it is the people who come up with and design cars. They turn a VW into a VW, a BMW into a BMW and they turn a Saab into a Saab.
Saab carries a story and has something to tell. Saab is not a brand from the retort. And Saab is from Sweden. Seen in this way, Qoros is the example of how to make much triviality out of a lot of money.