GENEVA — The very rich get richer. For those who prefer to drive themselves, there are the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, all super-expensive automobiles on display here at the 83rd annual Geneva International Motor Show, which opened last week and runs through March 17.
It is a democratic exhibition, featuring cars such as the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Long Wheel Base for rich people who prefer to be driven.
Given that introduction, you might think the wealthy dominate this largest and most influential of all European auto shows. They don’t. In fact, they are a distinct minority crowded out by the great middle class of the world’s automobiles, largely represented in these parts by Volkswagen, Renault, Ford, Hyundai, Skoda, Citroen and Chevrolet.
It is notable that the eight finalists in contention for the prestigious European Car of the Year award, given by a panel of 58 European automotive journalists, did not include one car that would be considered out of the fiscal reach of most of the world’s middle-income families. The winner was the 2013 Volkswagen Golf MkVII, available for about $25,000, chosen because of its overall build quality and performance, its relatively high fuel economy (estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway) and its low tailpipe emissions.