Executives at the Frankfurt auto show are putting on a brave face in light of a sharp slowdown in the world's biggest vehicle market. But as Ciara Lee reports from the show, Volkswagen and other major carmakers have reportedly begun reining in Chinese production, wages and other costs.
A new world record for the tallest loop the loop - car companies are reaching for new heights to impress at this year's Frankfurt motor show. The F-Pace is Jaguar Land Rover's first ever SUV. Ian Callum is Director of Design at Jaguar. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IAN CALLUM, DIRECTOR OF DESIGN, JAGUAR, SAYING: "We've done it because people want it - it's that simple. It is one of the biggest growing markets in the world, we reckon over the next few years it's a 40 percent increase in the market place. And so we have joined this because we feel it is the right thing to do at the moment." Luxury is everywhere at this year's show. From Bentley's 200,000 dollar Bentayga to BMW's revamped 7 Series. German carmakers may have built their biggest ever show stands to display the luxury line-ups. But many feel they had Chinese buyers in mind. And with reports that Volkswagen and other major carmakers are reining in Chinese production, that's a concern. BMW Board Member Ian Robertson says a recovering Europe and a strong US can take up the slack. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IAN ROBERTSON, BMW AG BOARD MEMBER, SAYING: "To put China into perspective. We did 450,000 there last year. We anticipated that we would have single digit growth. We are at the bottom of that curve. We are at the bottom end of that curve it would be fair to say, but we've still got growth." Hotting up though is the high performance electric market. Audi and Porsche have unveiled battery powered models. EY's Randy Miller. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RANDY MILLER, GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE LEADER, EY, SAYING: "We are seeing electric vehicles in Europe up 50 percent over where they were last year so I think we are really going to see an interesting battle going on." Buyers have largely shunned electric vehicles because of their high price tags and limited driving range. But sales are predicted to rise sharply by the end of the decade.