A lot is different at the Consumer Electronic Show. This is not only due to the extremely attractive venue Las Vegas, which draws tens of thousands of pleasure-seekers to the Nevada desert every day even without a trade fair. The CES is regarded as the indicator of the tech scene and confidently celebrates itself as “the most influential technology event in the world – the experimental field for groundbreaking technologies and global innovators.” It’s no wonder that the automotive industry has long since chosen the Vegas trade fair as its favorite event in the western world, alongside the luxury summer event at Pebble Beach, when it comes to contemporary public imagery.

Admittedly, the number of car brands that celebrated their big appearances at the Consumer Electronic Show with and without key notes worth millions was larger, and the range was wider. While countless start-ups, European premium brands and up-and-coming corporations from Asia tramped through Sin City in step, the waves have surprisingly smoothed out over the past four years, even without the influence of the corona virus. As providers of electric cars and technologies related to automated driving, some start-ups have been badly hit by the wheels. Other brands only exhibit when there is something really new to report and some simply seem to have run out of money in addition to the innovative ideas to be able to show off big at CES every year.

But the 2023 edition of the CES will not only offer interesting news from an automotive point of view, but also an impressive duel for the first time. This applies primarily to the two European brands BMW and Stellantis, both of which are unusually represented with key note events that are expensive and correspondingly well received by the public. Accordingly, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse and his Stellantis counterpart Carlos Tavares will try to take trade fair visitors to a mobility of the future. In contrast to many other major events involving automobiles, the CES is traditionally a trade fair where the general public is not allowed to attend. At least that applies to the halls of the mighty exhibition center in the heart of the gaming metropolis, because many events take place in the big hotels around the legendary Strip and here trade visitors and Las Vegas tourists mix not only at evening events and symposiums.

The second big difference to other events is that the car industry at the CES is once again just a committed junior partner. In other words, there are big performances in Las Vegas to be admired primarily by tech companies and the entertainment industry, which is worth billions, with computers, televisions / displays, data technology or processors. For years, tens of thousands of tech nerds have only marginally acknowledged the car manufacturers, often with a sneer. A new large hall, which was put into operation for the first time last year, is intended to bring together the car manufacturers more impressively and make them more interesting for trade fair visitors who otherwise avoid Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Peugeot or Kia. At the CES 2022, the trade fair appearances by BMW, Vinfast and the Turkish car manufacturer Togg caused a stir.

BMW is not presenting a new production vehicle at this year’s CES, but a realistic vision of how the fully networked car of the future should be imagined – the new class sends its regards. The focus should not only be on design and technology, but also on operating concepts and interior design. Originally, BMW had hoped to be able to direct the automotive focus to itself. Now, with Stellantis, an international conglomerate is pushing itself into the spotlight, which until now has hardly been a topic of discussion in Las Vegas. “We are showing the best of our technology at CES. It aims to delight our customers and fight climate change, today’s biggest global challenge,” explains Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, “you will see how we bring electrified and zero-emission propulsion to the market, how our software mobility easier and safer, and how sustainability is embedded in all our decisions.”

Stellantis is showing, among other things, the Peugeot Inception concept and the near-series study of the full-size pick-up Ram 1500 Revolution BEV. In the USA in particular, Stellantis is under pressure with the mass models of large pickups, because Ford already has its electric F-150 Lightning on the market, GMC has its Hummer EV and Rivian its R1T, while electric versions of Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra are on the market to announce. For the US brand Jeep, known for rustic off-roaders, there will also be a switch to electromobility in the coming years. Also to be admired in Las Vegas. American muscle car fans can look forward to the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT BEV, which aims to take emotions and top performance to a new level.

Hyundai and Kia will showcase “Zero1Ne” at CES 2023, a platform for creative talent that fosters an ecosystem for creators and start-ups and lays a foundation for Hyundai Motor Group’s active participation. Let’s see what the others have to offer. After all, brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai and General Motors will be reluctant to be pushed into the second or third row.