Blog: Dave LeggettBack from Frankfurt

Dave Leggett | 14 September 2007

I’m back from the Frankfurt Show now. As ever, I could have done with more time there.

Flying out was a bit eventful as we hit a pocket of dead air – ‘wind shear’ I think they call it. Without warning the plane dropped, there was an almighty crash and the aircraft lurched. It lasted a few seconds, but time seemed to slow.

Still on the theme of our fragile mortality, Frankfurt taxi drivers don’t get any better. Hairy is how I’d describe the run in on the busy highway from the airport. But, like the pilot, he got me to the destination in one piece so I guess I shouldn’t gripe, I know.

A tip: book early for your hotel room if you are going to the Frankfurt Show. Myself and colleague Will Johnston were booked into a hotel that is about five minutes walk from the Messe. Just €90 a night and perfectly comfortable. It was all sorted out about five months ago. Some kind of hotel chain. Certainly did the job, even if I was upsold to a slightly expensive buffet breakfast.

I didn’t get long enough around the show, but I did get a quick look around the halls. Jaguar XF? In the flesh it didn’t look quite as good as the pictures. Has Jag overcooked the anti-retro approach - a reaction to what went before - and gone a bit bland? I wasn't getting XK vibes. It could have been a Volvo – it even appeared to have a Volvo shoulder line. Hope I’m wrong.

The VW up! looked good. But it was another small car that really caught my eye. If Ford’s Verve concept heralds next Fiesta that’s something to get excited about. Verve was an eye-catcher.

Spent yesterday at the SupplierBusiness conference. Good to catch a few old faces at that event, which I thought was pretty good. Solid content in the presentations – good bit of depth. I spoke to GM purchasing chief Bo Andersson and he seemed quite keen to be interviewed for just-auto.

John Henke was an interesting fellow. He conducts an OEM-supplier working relations survey in the US. Over coffee in the afternoon he told me a bit about some of the methodology and the other surveys he does. I guess suppliers will always have a few complaints about their customers, right? Still, the trends are interesting. One thing I wondered though. How do the Tier 1s get on with their suppliers? Henke’s answer: according to the Tier 2s, the Tier 1s behave abominably! All the same criticisms the Tier 1s fire at the OEMs come up all over again.

GERMANY: NA suppliers say GM getting better to deal with, Ford worse

XF is vital model for Jaguar and the next owner
up! - not much front overhang
Verve - impressive lines
Aston Martin was still in the Ford hall; DBS looking rather splendid

GERMANY: NA suppliers say GM getting better to deal with, Ford worse


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