“Developing markets are where all the growth is,” Dennis DesRosiers, an independent auto analyst in Toronto, said. “North America and Western Europe have to face the music.”
As the Paris Auto Show, which opens to the media Thursday and to the general public Saturday, gets under way, that fundamental shift is driving the industry. The problem is that duplicating the Western pattern of car use in countries like China, India, and Brazil threatens not just to create more huge traffic jams like those evident lately outside Beijing, but to accelerate climate change resulting from a rise in the gases that contribute to global warming.
That is one reason the organizers of this year’s show have sought to focus attention on new technologies, with the theme “The Future, Today,” pointing to what many in the industry hope signals the successful commercialization of zero-emission electric cars.