American Marketer


Luxury automakers to bring racing cars to Geneva Motor Show

February 26, 2015

Porsche Cayman GT4 Porsche Cayman GT4


The Geneva International Motor Show is quickly approaching and luxury automakers have been releasing images of the vehicles they plan to showcase, many of which are sports cars.

Porsche, McLaren and Aston Martin all plan on focusing attention toward their race cars as opposed to broader consumer vehicles. The emphasis upon sports cars will likely help the automakers reach the truly interested consumers – those willing to buy automobiles that are illegal on roads or even road cars that are produced for the select few.

“The Geneva Motor Show remains one of the key events in the global automotive calendar and a focal point for the entire industry,” said Matt Clarke, PR & brand communications manager at Aston Martin The Americas, Irvine, CA.

“The reach of the show extends beyond Europe and reaches a global news agenda – accordingly it is an ideal opportunity to showcase new cars, concepts and ideas to a broad audience,” he said.

Super cars
Porsche will premiere two sports cars. One is the Cayman GT4 and the other’s name has not been released.

The Cayman GT4 has clocked 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the North Loop of the Nürburgring. The second model will be announced at a press conference at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva on March 3 with a live Web cast in both German and English.

McLaren 675LT

McLaren 675LT

McLaren will also debut a new race car, but this one will be legal on roads. The McLaren 675T will reestablish the brand’s “longtail” heritage with light weight features, aerodynamics and increased power and driver engagement.

The vehicle will be available in four bespoke colors never previously offered and the newly designed features, such as the front bumper, will make the vehicle more aerodynamic.

“The Geneva Motor Show is one of the leading events on the automotive calendar, which is clear from the number of manufacturers attending, and the number of world premieres scheduled for the event,” said Dave Eden, global PR manager at McLaren Automotive. “Each year it becomes more significant, and is a key focus for the world’s automotive media.

“McLaren has showcased new models at the event for the past two years, with the production-intent McLaren P1 debuting in 2013, followed by the 650S in coupe and Spider form last year,” he said. “2015 will see the global unveil of the 675LT, which completes the Super Series alongside the 650S, on the stand with our most powerful and exclusive model to date, the production-intent McLaren P1 GTR.”

Aston Martin will also have new sports cars at the show. The Aston Martin Vulcan is track-only and a limited 24 models will be made worldwide.

Aston Martin Vulcan teaser

“This year we will debut the new Vantage GT3 Special Edition and the Aston Martin Vulcan – high performance sports cars that will capture the imagination of customers and enthusiasts alike,” Aston Martin's Mr. Clarke said.

Those who purchase the vehicles will be able to take part in an extensive program of intensive track driver training. This will included virtual race car driving for owners to fine-tune their style and skills in the safety of a digital race track.

Shows to showcase
Although luxury automakers receive immense traffic at auto shows, there are certain tactics that can meaningfully increase engagement.

The proximity of so many competitors can diminish the impact of a single brand. Consequently, automakers should incorporate unexpected activities or technologies into their display areas to generate new conversations (see story).

A trade show allows brands to be among competitors and reach those truly interested in the product. Other industries, such as yachts, have similar shows.

Last fall, super yacht brokerage Burgess Yachts featured a combined billion-dollar inventory of yachts at the Monaco Yacht Show, Cannes Yachting Festival and Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The brand’s presence at these festivals presented the yachts among other top yachting companies and demonstrated new boats as well as several different fleets. By being at the top yachting events during the season, Burgess was likely to attract the attention of consumers and competitors with its fleets (see story).

Interest among consumers can come from different personal tastes, so automakers are often expected to appeal to a range of car enthusiasts.

“McLaren produces sports cars that appeal to a wide range of individuals who have an interest in innovative design, high performance and race-derived technology,” McLaren's Mr. Eden said.

Final Take
Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York