MADRID – Local political pressure and auto makers’ gratitude for subsidies from the federal government save the 2013 International Barcelona Motor Show, which will run from May 9-19.
The show will coincide with the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix on May 12 and the X Games, a world meeting of extreme sports.
The 22 brands represented at the Barcelona show will be Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Dacia, Ferrari,, , Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lancia, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, , Peugeot, Renault, SEAT, Smart, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Two all-electric vehicles will make their world premieres at the event: theTwizy F1 and the e-Up! Another 32 models, including the Audi A3 sedan, Mercedes GLA, Juke dci and Range Rover Sport, will make their regional debuts at the Barcelona show.
Not on the list are some auto makers with a strong industrial presence in Spain, including the Citroen division of PSA Peugeot Citroen,and Opel. Other significant brands such as , Chevrolet, Fiat, Infiniti, Lexus, Mini, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Suzuki, Skoda and will miss the show as well.
The last show, held in 2011, featured 35 brands.
The main reason for the absence of so many brands this year is the critical situation of the Spanish car market, which has been in steady decline in recent years; sales in March fell to the same level as 25 years ago.
“With such a (falling) demand, many auto makers cannot face the high costs of the presence in the Barcelona show,” says Victor Garcia, general manager of ANIACAM, the Spanish association of auto importers.