SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
A big week in Frankfurt
THE Frankfurt Motor Show this week is one of the biggest events of the automobile year and this year's event will see a record number of new cars being unveiled (57 in total) and a series of major announcements.
The most likely announcement to have any F1 significance will be the appointment of Bernd Pischetsrieder as the new chairman of Volkswagen. Pischetsrieder is a big Formula 1 fan and is believed to be keen to get VW into Grand Prix racing, probably with the Audi brand.
Pischetsrieder's former rival at BMW Wolfgang Reitzle will be trying to stay in the newspapers with the announcement that Jaguar is going to expand its product range dramatically in the years ahead with a series of new models. This will help to justify the expense of the Jaguar F1 program, which to date has not been a success. This has been causing Reitzle a few headaches but he is hoping that Niki Lauda will speed up the process of turning Jaguar into a success.
Other announcements which may be significant include the unveiling of a plan to completely rebuild the image of Opel, the General Motors offshoot in Europe. The German-based company is to have a a completely new model range in the course of the next five years in an effort to make it a success.