Bugatti unveils their latest supercar at the Geneva auto show, with a price tag of 2.4 million euros. But, as David Pollard reports, one of the fastest cars in the world could be in the slow lane when it comes to industry trends.
Dieselgate, regulatory pressure, slowing demand in Asia ... There are a lot of bumps in the road for the car industry right now. But who cares if you're driving one of these? The Bugatti Chiron is a dramatic mathematical statement. 1500 bhp plus 420 kilometres an hour equals a 2.4 million euros price tag, to put it simply. Francois Roudier of the French Car Manufacturers Committee. (SOUNDBITE) (French) SPOKESMAN FOR THE FRENCH CAR MANUFACTURERS COMMITTEE, FRANCOIS ROUDIER, SAYING: "When there is a new Bugatti you immediately see that there is still a market, an extreme one, the market for supercars, a mega-luxury market I could say." What of the other statements coming out of Geneva? For Rolls-Royce, it's youth - relatively speaking. The average age of its drivers dropping a decade from 55 to 45 years old in recent years. For Ford - launching a new flagship SUV - it is those three letters. European sales of all SUVs overtook those of conventional cars last year. For BMW - it's crossover of a different kind - between petrol and electric, says board member Ian Robertson. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IAN ROBERTSON, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT, BMW, SAYING: "Hybridisation is going to be an important part on this journey towards a much lower CO2 environment. If we go to the regulations in Europe or the US, or China for that matter, when we go 2020 or 2025, there has to be a lot more hybrid or zero emissions in the fleet to meet the targets that the industry is going to be set." New environmental rules, then, will mean new challenges ... Time, say analysts, for Europe's carmakers to wake up ... and smell the diesel.