Despite a number of notable absentees, the Frankfurt show was still worth the trip. Now open to the public, the Messe will be packed

Despite a number of notable absentees, the Frankfurt show was still worth the trip. Now open to the public, the Messe will be packed

Of course, many eyes were either at or on the bi-annual Frankfurt show this week. Including ours.

As usual, we've kept a running tally of who was launching what (and who was absent) and you might find the views of one of our team on the ground in Germany this week interesting as he discusses how automakers evaluate whether or not to attend shows, and which ones. Most-read of our many reports from the Messe was Chris Wright's interview with PSA's Carlos Tavares in which he expresses some concerns about the efficiency of the Opel plants in Spain and Germany. Some industry observers this week have interpreted Tavares' comments - he spoke to numerous journalists as you'd expect after the recent Opel takeover was completed - as ominous for the Vauxhall car plant here in England while others reckon, depending on the post-Brexit trade talks outcome, PSA might welcome retaining a British outpost now outside the EU. We'll have to wait and see.

Our supplier specialist Simon Warburton was also in Frankfurt and, among other things, caught up with ZF to see how the merger with TRW is going. They have a new logo, too. He also talked to Yanfeng about future interior, material and technology trends.

There's always a heap of new technology and strategy announcements coinciding with a major show and highlights included AGC's touchscreen glass contract for Audi's magnificent new A8 sedan flagship, Yanfeng's active skin concept, new e-mobility plans at both BMW and VW plus Toyota's announcement of a new high performance hybrid option.

Still in Frankfurt, Ford announced more European-like interior and safety equipment enhancements for the Mustang, and expanded its mobility business in Germany with Deutsche Bahn Connect from just car sharing to include bike share.

All our Frankfurt coverage can be found here.

Away from Frankfurt, editor Dave Leggett took a look at the future of VW's up! which, slightly modified, is also built and sold in Brazil. China indicated it will join countries such as Britain and France with plans to ban the manufacture and sale of cars running on traditional fossil fuels, and analyst Matthew Beecham put the new Honda Civic's interior and technology under his microscope.

Civic is one of many car lines that has grown in size over the decades; it's now larger than the original 1976 Accord and some of big brother's successors. I fondly recall the 1972 Civic Mark One - one of Japan's first attempts at front drive and very good, once you got used to the torque steer.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,