Jean Jennings at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, Day 1

2008 Geneva Motor Show

Geneva is a fantastically beautiful city, with old lady drivers that will gun their engines and aim for you if you step into the street against the light. It is not a casual place for a disorderly person. The children are dressed within an inch of their little fashionable lives. So are the dogs. I’m staying in my room.

You can tell it’s time for the Geneva motor show, because there are chocolate cars in the windows of the best chocolate stores in the city. There is one on every corner, wedged in between the watch stores. I’m not sure why chocolate Shreks are driving the chocolate cars.

Having escaped the umpteenth blizzard of the season in Michigan, I was thrilled by the shirtsleeve weather that drove hundreds of walkers, rollerbladers, and joggers out to the path around the lake. Traffic was fierce on Sunday, with several Audi TT convertibles rolling top down. Naturally, there is a preponderance of German metal on the road here. Switzerland has no car industry, but it is the home of Franco Sbarro, the king of bizarre car couture. Hopefully, he will have something totally nutty on his stand when the show opens to the press on Tuesday.

There will be a few new introductions of note this week, several of which we’ve already previewed for you. This will be a big show for Nissan, which is debuting the Infiniti badge in Europe. Also, BYD, the only Chinese company we have a close eye on, will be here. BYD is interesting because it’s run by a young guy who supplies the lion’s share of lithium ion phone batteries to the world. He says he has a plug-in hybrid (with iron batteries!) ready to go within a year or so. You can read more about him in the next issue of Automobile Magazine.

More tomorrow.

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