Diving In

True to Geneva's reputation as an international city, the 2007 Geneva Auto Show took on a global theme as auto makers hint at strategies for entering multiple regional markets.

True to Geneva's reputation as an international city, the 2007 Geneva Auto Show took on a global theme as auto makers hint at strategies for entering multiple regional markets.

Hyundai Motor Europe takes the wraps off its new i30 C-segment 5-door hatchback, which could be headed to the U.S. in wagon form.

The i30 also marks the debut of a new alpha-numeric nomenclature for Hyundai in Europe. Future A-segment cars, such as the currently available Atos, will be branded as i10, while B-segment vehicles such as the Getz will be tagged with i20. The “i” denotes intelligence and innovation, Hyundai says.

The i30 replaces the Elantra, which sold only 15,000 units annually in Europe.

Meanwhile, Kia — Hyundai's sister brand — pulls the sheets off three variants of its C'eed car line: a wagon, 5-door hatchback and 3-door hatchback. The 5-door hatch is already on sale in Europe, while the 3-door version is scheduled to arrive in European showrooms in December.

The wagon, which will be available in 18 configurations, is due on the market by late summer.

General Motors Corp. announces intentions to bring the U.S.-built Chevrolet Camaro muscle coupe to Europe.

GM also unveils a new diesel engine for the European-market Cadillac CTS, which also is assembled in the U.S. But Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner is cautious about making growth predictions for the brand.

No auto maker's plans demonstrate farther reach than Skoda's. Volkswagen Group's economy brand unveils its second-generation Fabia subcompact car, which will eventually arrive on Australia's shores.

Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd. announces plans to import, by the end of 2007, the Skoda Roomster multipurpose vehicle and the Octavia sedan. Introduction of the new Fabia will follow.

In Europe, the Fabia will feature a choice of two gasoline engines — a 3-cyl. and a 4-cyl. Three diesel mills also will be available — a 4-cyl. and two 3-cyl. models. A network of 10 to 12 dealers will service the brand, VW says.

Meanwhile, Audi, Skoda's upscale sister brand, shows off the new A5 — a dramatically styled coupe version of the auto maker's time-honored A4 sedan.

Ford Motor Co. uses Geneva to confirm that the next-generation Ford Fiesta B-car, which shares a platform with the new Mazda2, will be sold in North America and Asia.

“It will be the first time Ford North America has had a B-car in the last 15 to 20 years,” says Lewis Booth, executive vice president-Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group.

The Mazda2 also debuted in Geneva.

Booth doesn't reveal a timeline for the vehicle's North American arrival, but media reports suggest the subcompact will debut in 2009 as a '10 model.

Arguably, the most-watched B-car launch in Europe this year will be the Fiat Bravo, which debuted in Geneva. A replacement for the disappointing Stilo, Fiat expects to sell 120,000 units of the Bravo as the auto maker continues its march toward sustained profitability.

Fiat will offer the Bravo with a choice of five engines. Included are two 1.4L turbocharged T-JET gasoline powerplants with outputs of either 120 hp or 150 hp and two 1.9L Multijet turbodiesels.

At the top end of the scale, Jaguar Cars takes the wraps off its XJ flagship sedan, which is being freshened for '08.

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