Playing with a full deck of cars
THE car is safe for at least another 125 years. As Daimler of Germany closes on a celebration of the first 125 years since it put the world on wheels, the company is confident the automobile has a long way to run.
‘‘I’m convinced that in 125 years people will not want to rely on their legs,’’ Dieter Zetsche, head of Daimler and the top man at Mercedes-Benz, says.
Zetsche laughs a little as he says it, but his eyes are blue steel and he is dead-serious about the need for cars of some sort into the foreseeable future.
‘‘It seems that to me that individual mobility is a very important thing to people. Nor do they want to be packed into a form of combined carriages either,’’ he says.
‘‘What technology we have, whether it’s on wheels or flying or whatever, I don’t know.
‘‘But I’m sure that people will want to move from A to B in a way that’s fast and enjoyable.’’
Zetsche is speaking to CarsGuide on the first day of the Paris Motor Show, the biggest motoring event of the year.
All the major brands have something special toshow in the city of lights, from baby Kia concepts and new compact contenders that will wear Holden and Ford badges in Australia, right through to the latest Mercedes SLS fourdoor coupe.
The mood at Paris is bouncy and upbeat, with technology talk on every stand as carmakers accelerate development on everything from the inevitable electric cars and hybrids to new-age petrol engines, baby diesels, active aerodynamics and lightweight materials.
Every brand is doing its best to cut fuel use and CO2 emissions without hurting themselves in showrooms.
The results from Paris will not be known for some time, but there is a lot to see and a lot to like.