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Looking Out - The Podcast Ep. 7
The Munich Motor Show Review
19 September 2023
Welcome to Looking Out, the newsletter and podcast that connects the dots across the automotive industry, mobility, design, and culture. Looking Out is brought to you by Joe Simpson and Drew Smith. If you like what you see and hear, tell your friends!
Like the sun bursting through the clouds on a Munich summer’s day, a new episode of Looking Out - The Podcast is available to download!
In this special episode, Joe and Drew take a look - both macro and micro - at the recent IAA, also known as the Munich motor show.
So grab a refreshing beer or a clarifying cup of coffee and settle in for the show.
The motor show itself:
This is the second coming of the biennial motor show in Munich. We talked about how it's evolved and what it means for brands who are compelled to show at the Messe, or exhibition grounds, and in the centre of the city.
The Mercedes CLA and the state of Mercedes design:
Although sporting enough Mercedes badges to make a Louis Vuitton trunk blush, Joe's quite complimentary of the CLA concept. And the EQXX blows his mind with its intelligence and execution.
The new BMW 5 Series:
Sadly, the same can't be said for the new, €98,000 5er. A dog's dinner outside and evidence inside of just how hard BMW has had to work to make this new, electrified platform pay. And it’s all at the cost of customer experience.
The BMW Neue Klasse:
It's not all bad news at BMW as the Neue Klasse shows a brand returning to form. From its delightful glasshouse to serene interior, it shows a promising future for the 3 Series. We were also delighted by the new Mini interiors.
The €45,000 Renault Scénic:
What was once an affordable, compact, family MPV has turned in to another crossover for the upwardly mobile. While beautifully designed (and better finished than the BMW 5 Series) it's up against the Tesla Model Y and a new wave of Chinese product. Old world values versus new world tech: FIGHT!
The geopolitical backdrop:
The Chinese brought it home to the Germans, and the Germans don't like it. The EU is investigating China's subsidies but be careful: don't bite the hand that feeds you, as the saying goes.
The death of European automotive design has been exaggerated:
But it is struggling. Automakers desperately need to find a renewed sense of focus, a greater sense of connection to a rapidly-evolving younger market and, perhaps, consider a pivot to America in order to thrive.
Joe discusses the emerging AV clustercuss in San Francisco and how Volkswagen's desultory efforts to build an American charging network have driven their competitors to adopt Tesla's charging standard.
Drew, on the other hand, is delighted by a company that's electrifying original Renault Twingos and announces our new Instagram account.
As ever, we’d love to get your feedback:
What did you like?
What didn’t you like?
What would you like to hear or read more of?
What would you like to hear or read less of?
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