In the automotive industry, the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been a consistent event, and 2023 marked a shift in its 118-year history with its first appearance in Doha, Qatar. CARMA’s analysis delves into the most mentioned brands and their leading narratives that emerged across traditional media outlets, spotlighting how OEMs are mentioned in this unique edition of GIMS.
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The Shift: From Geneva to Qatar
The initial plans to relocate the Geneva Motor Show were announced two years ago. While the event was supposed to be held both in Geneva, Switzerland, and Doha, Qatar, the former was cancelled for 2023, leaving only the latter.
Media outlets have been quick to emphasise the change and impact of this shift. For instance, Motor Trend delineates how GIMS Qatar stands out from its Swiss counterpart by featuring both high-end exotic vehicles and mainstream brands that resonate with the Middle Eastern market. Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times Automotive highlights the 10-year deal that paved the way for this edition, pointing towards the Middle East’s rising demand for aspirational automotive brands. Further supporting the event’s significance in the Middle East GIMS’ CEO Sandro Mesquita revealed, “We have a partnership for 10 years and, every two years, we will be here, we are now one brand but have two platforms: one in Geneva and one in Doha.”
Most Mentioned Brands and Their Leading Headlines:
Prominent reports from key media outlets offered an in-depth look at the brands’ strategies and novelties at GIMS Qatar 2023. Every highlighted brand underscored the Middle East and its expanding market in their narratives, although their approaches varied. The following were the coverage top stories:
Audi: Advancing Electrification with a Regional Emphasis
Claiming a 15% share of voice (SOV), Audi’s emphasis was not only on innovation and electrification but also on its targeted strategy for the Middle East. The showcase of the 2024 SQ8 was a highlight but the forthcoming launch of the fully electric Q8 E-Tron and Q8 E-Tron Sportback affirmed Audi’s electrification aspirations for the region. Media outlets Zawya & Motor 1 detailed these upcoming models, describing them as evolved versions of the previous E-Tron models, while providing the regional context behind the launch.
Further supporting the brand’s regional focus, Yalla Motor underscored the appointment of Rene Koneberg as the new Managing Director for Audi Middle East. Echoing Audi’s commitment, Koneberg stated, “The Middle East presents a fast-developing market, and I look forward to leading Audi towards sustained success, using my experience from other Audi markets.” The media’s positioning of Audi is tied to innovative progression, both in product design and regional leadership strategy.
Volkswagen: Unveiling Mastery and Reiterating Commitment to the Middle East
Holding a 14% SOV, Volkswagen marked its narrative with the global debut of the third-generation Tiguan at the 2023 GIMS Qatar, accompanied by an array of showcased models. Gulf News and Al Bawaba emphasised Volkswagen’s strategic intent for the Middle East’s ever-growing market, labeling it as beyond just a product reveal. Matthias Ziegler, Managing Director of Volkswagen Middle East, supported this sentiment, stating, “We were thrilled to unveil these products at a global event hosted locally, reinforcing our commitment to the Middle East region.” Through consistent messaging and sustained commitment to the region, media outlets position the 2023 GIMS Qatar as a cornerstone for Volkswagen’s regional narrative of innovation and engagement.
Chery: Embarking on a Sustainable and Innovative Automotive Journey
With an 11% SOV, Chery exhibited its pivot towards sustainable automotive solutions, while tuning in to the rising potential of the Middle East market. Zawya covered the launch of the Tiggo 8 and Tiggo 7 Plug-in Hybrids, based on Chery’s QPower platform, highlighting their energy efficiency and advanced tech features. Echoing this narrative, Khaleej Times noted Chery’s international expansion plans often, illustrating the brand’s ambition in the hybrid and electric vehicle sectors. Furthermore, Innovant Magazine delved into the brand’s journey, highlighting the Chinese manufacturer as an industry leader with deep-rooted values. Elaine Li, Chery’s Brand Director, summarized this by stating: “As a leading figure among Chinese brands, Chery centers its brand values around ‘Technology, Green, Family, and Companionship.”
Toyota & Lamborghini: Celebrating Heritage While Steering Towards Innovation
With an 11% SOV, Toyota showcased its rally racing heritage with the unveiling of the Land Cruiser 10th Victory Edition. Conversely, Lamborghini, holding a 10% SOV, introduced its electrified future through the launch of the Revuelto, merging their iconic V12 engine with modern electrification, and the Lanzador’s foray into electric power. Media channels like Yalla Motor and Auto Evolution highlight this industry trend of honoring legacy while addressing today’s innovation challenges, as a reinforcement of the brand’s solid foundations.
The Qatar Edition of the 2023 Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has spotlighted the shifting axis of the automotive industry, reflecting a world ever more attuned to regional markets. As brands like Audi and Volkswagen strongly emphasise their regional strategies, and others like Chery and Lamborghini delineate their futuristic aspirations, the media narratives underscore an industry in transformation. As the Middle East emerges as an influential player in the automotive sector, the headlines from GIMS Qatar 2023 hint at a future where regional contexts shape global automotive trends.
A Note on Methodology:
CARMA’s analysis leveraged 1,687 articles published between October 2 and October 16, 2023. This study relies on the utilization of CARMA’s technology and third-party data, which are collected through automated means.