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Paris Motor Show is back for the first time since 2018



An exhibitor showcases a new vehicle at the Paris Motor Show 2022 Press Day
89th Paris Motor Show will take place at Porte de Versailles until Sunday 23 October

French president Emmanuel Macron has visited the Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Auto) at the Porte de Versailles today during the event press day.

The biennial motor show returns to the French capital for the first time since 2018, following a Covid-enforced hiatus.  Jeep, VinFast and Dacia are amongst the vehicle manufactures exhibiting its latest models and the general public will be able to see up close even car concepts yet to go into production.

Some vehicles on display may be familiar for car lovers, though. Thirty years after production ended, Renault will seize the moment at the 2022 Mondial de l’Auto in Paris to unveil its new take on the internationally renowned and recognised Renault 4.

Launched back in 1898, the Paris Motor Show was the world’s first motor event. Since 1976, it has been held every two years, alternating with the Frankfurt Motor Show, which is now taking place in Munich.

New cars, longer waiting times

The global car market is currently facing a number of challenges, all of which are leading to supply issues and delivery delays. But the shortage of many models, with customers having to wait up to 52 weeks for a new vehicle, is not keeping car manufacturers from announcing new products.

American EV Fisker will exhibit its all-electric Fisker Ocean during the Paris Motor Show this week. The vehicle, with prices starting from £34,990, will be positioned as a rival to the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Hyundai Ioniq 5 when it launches in 2023.

The public attending the motor show event in Paris, this week, will also get a first glimpse of Jeep’s Avenger, the manufacture’s first all-electric car.

It is no surprise that car manufacturers are pushing their electric vehicles and getting ready for mass production. Industry forecasts suggest that, by 2030, up to 65% of new car and SUV sales in Europe will be all-electric. The shift from petrol and diesel to a more sustainable fuel alternative is already reshaping the market, with West European battery-electric market share zooming from 2.5% in 2019 to 6.7% in 2020 and 11.2% in 2021 when sales hit 1.2 million. Sales will advance to just under 1.5 million this year and just over 1.5 million in 2023, according to Schmidt Automotive Research.

The Paris Motor Show 2022 will open for the public from Tuesday 18 to Sunday 23 October, with online adult tickets priced at €16 and on-site purchases subject to availability and at a single price of €30 per person.

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Disneyland Paris renames theme park in $2 billion revamp



Facade os Disney Paris with Disney's characters standing in front of it
The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

Disneyland Paris has unveiled a new name for Walt Disney Studios Park as part of the park’s US$2 billion transformation.

Walt Disney Studios Park will become Disney Adventure World when the new immersive area, World of Frozen, opens.

The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

“We’re changing the story of Walt Disney Studios Park, evolving from ‘how it’s done’ soundstages to celebratory theatres and adventures that come to life in immersive worlds,” said Tom Fitzgerald, chief storytelling executive at Walt Disney Imagineering and senior creative executive for Disneyland Paris.

“These fully realised adventure worlds will become the focus of the park’s new identity and appear as realms that guests discover as they navigate deeper within the park and are invited to participate in adventures inspired by our most beloved stories.”

As part of the rebrand, the park’s entrance is also being reimagined, with the current design replaced with ‘crafted décor that pays homage to historic movie theaters in Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole.’

“Embracing a transformation that involves the overhaul of more than 90 percent of Walt Disney Studios Park since its debut in 2002, we’re unveiling a fresh creative vision that has completely redefined our second gate,” said Natacha Rafalski, president of Disneyland Paris.

Previous investments in the property include World of Pixar, which opened at the park in 2021 and Avengers Campus (2022).

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EU economy forecast to grow 1.0% in 2024



A woman paying for services at a beauty shop
Expected economy growth is largely due to consumers spending more this year | Photo: Christiann Koepke

The Commission has published this week a new forecast for the European Union economy, with a more upbeat scenario for consumers. After a downturn in economic activity in 2023, inflation rates will continue to drop and the EU economy should gradually grow in 2024. This is largely driven by ‘consumers spending more, thanks to higher wages and more job opportunities,’ it is believed. 

Concretely, the EU economy should grow 1.0% in 2024. The euro area economy should reach 0.8% of growth. In 2025, GDP will grow even more. Meantime, EU inflation has fallen dramatically since it peaked in 2022. It is expected to wind down to 2.7% in 2024 and to 2.2% in 2025.  

The jobs market is also performing well. Despite the slowdown in activity, the EU economy created more than 2 million jobs in 2023. Activity and employment rates of people aged 20-64 hit new record highs in the last quarter of the year. In March 2024, the unemployment rate in the EU stood at a record low of 6.0%. 

Some challenges remain. For instance, investment growth is slowing since fewer new homes are being built, which affects various industries. As a result, it is expected that interest rates will drop more slowly than anticipated. 

The Commission publishes four economic forecasts throughout a given year, covering GDP and inflation data for all Member States, the EU and the euro area. 

In the UK the scenario is also looking positive, with the Office for National Statistics having recently confirmed that the UK unemployment rate for January to March 2024 (4.3%) is above estimates of a year ago (January to March 2023), and increased in the latest quarter. 

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Mango to strengthens its presence in the UK with 20 store openings



Mango store facade at Oxford street, London
At the close of the 2023 financial year, Mango had 60 stores in the UK

Mango, one of Europe’s leading fashion groups, continues its expansion and brand consolidation plan in the UK with more than 20 store openings planned for 2024. Growth is focused on expanding its presence in London and Scotland, as well as the arrival for the first time in several cities in Northern Ireland and central and southern England.

“The UK is one of the priority markets for Mango’s international growth. The increased presence in London and our arrival this year in some cities where we have not been present until now will consolidate the Mango brand and help us to strengthen it internationally,” says Daniel López, Mango’s Director of Expansion and Franchising.

The company plans four store openings in London this year, in addition to last February’s opening of a store in the Windsor Yards shopping centre in the heart of historic Windsor, close to Windsor Castle

Mango will also increase its presence in Scotland with store openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and for the first time will reach cities in Northern Ireland, as well as central and southern England. 

The new Mango store will incorporate the New Med Mediterranean-inspired store concept, reflecting the spirit and freshness of the brand. Sustainability and architectural integration are the key to this new design that conceives the Mango store as a Mediterranean home with different spaces in which warm tones and neutral colours predominate, combined with traditional, handcrafted, sustainable and natural materials such as ceramics, tuff, wood, marble, esparto grass and leather.

Mango has been present in the UK since 1999. In 2021, the company strengthened its presence in the country with the opening of a new flagship store on Oxford Street in London and three other stores in Manchester, Edinburgh and Derby. 

Last year, Mango opened more than 10 stores, mainly in the south and centre of the country, in major cities such as Bristol, London, Manchester and Leeds. Key among them was the store opening in Westfield Stratford City, one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. In addition, the company arrived for the first time in Brighton with a 470 m2 store in the Churchill Square shopping centre.

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