When you look back at the major car shows of recent years outside of the booming region of China, you usually see a bleak picture of empty exhibition halls with limited innovations in your mind’s eye. The reasons seem obvious, because the world is becoming more digital, more networked and that is having a huge impact on real experience events. Big news can be spread online almost anywhere in the world in seconds. In times of mobile devices and artificial intelligence, who needs a real trade fair where the new products can be touched and admired with your own eyes?

The Consumer Electronic Show every January in the gaming city of Las Vegas is, somewhat surprisingly, a trade fair that is booming like no other. The car industry is right in the middle of it all and is celebrating itself in the way that was once known at the IAA, the Geneva Motor Show or the Detroit Motor Show. But while some car manufacturers and suppliers have long since chosen the CES as their favorite event, many brands are staying away from the colorful tech event with an ever-expanding mobility area. At the start of 2024, the Asian main players such as Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Togg and Sony are represented stronger than ever, and they are showcasing new technologies and vehicles more confidently than ever. At some companies, the current ideas seem to have few boundaries. Hyundai and Xpeng are even presenting near-production flying cars in the Nevada desert.

Europe is only sparsely represented in the gigantic Las Vegas Convention Center and especially the gigantic West Hall with its focus on mobility. While the major suppliers such as Bosch, Schaeffler, Webasto and Faurecia are celebrating with numerous new developments in the player city, an unusually large number of car manufacturers are staying away from the major event in Sin City. Mercedes alone has a befitting appearance at the CES with a near-production preview of its new entry-level model series and the electric CLA 2025, including artificial intelligence and vehicle operation of the future. BMW is holding back after the big Neue Klasse show last year and the Volkswagen Group is also only playing its small part with the introduction of the Chat GPT AI service in its series vehicles. Brands from the Stellantis Group, Toyota, Ford or Renault-Nissan are missing in the cool Nevada desert, as are the main actors from General Motors, Tesla or most of the otherwise committed Chinese labels. Lamborghini is now cooperating dynamically with Accenture, Polestar is being embraced more closely than ever by its cooperation partner Google and, in addition to the operating concept of the future, BMW is relying on its own vehicle as a rolling games console.

The biggest appearance at the CES this year is the Korean giant Hyundai, which not only presents new technologies with various of its brands, but also lets the new electric vehicles shine for the first time outside of South Korea. Hyundai is brimming with self-confidence in the halls of the LVCC and, despite all electric tendencies, is more committed to fuel cells than ever. At the CES, Kia is not only showing the electric models EV3 and EV4, but also five PBV studies (purpose built vehicles) for everyday commercial use. The flexible electric platform enables commercial vehicles with different bodies. “Kia’s PBV business is in line with our vision to go beyond the traditional automotive concept by serving the unmet needs of diverse customers and communities through optimized vehicles and services tailored to specific market and business situations,” highlights Ho Sung Song , president and CEO of Kia. Next year the Kia PV5 will be the start of the new model series. The versatile electric vehicle is optimized for areas of application such as call, delivery and supply services and can be flexibly adapted to different customer requirements.

Honda, which has long been dedicated to fuel cells, is also putting on a surprisingly strong performance in Las Vegas and is presenting two new electric vehicles, the pilot series, which are scheduled to hit international markets from 2026. “The mobility we dream of is not a continuation of the trend of fat, heavy but intelligent electric vehicles,” says Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe. The Honda 0 Series Sedan and Space Hub have a decidedly purist style and, with their reduced shapes, ensure an impressive appearance. Both electric models get a new brand logo that is reminiscent of an egg. However, it won’t stop with the electric car double pack, because Honda wants to introduce a completely new electric family from 2026. The latest battery and charging technology should ensure that the battery packs are charged from 10 to 80 percent in a maximum of 15 minutes.

The Turkish car manufacturer Togg is once again making its big appearance in Las Vegas. Togg describes its new electric model T10F Fastback as a “smart device” more confidently than other manufacturers. The hatchback model is primarily intended to delight domestic customers and will also roll out on the European market from 2025. The T10F is offered in three different versions with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The top model as a 320 kW / 435 hp all-wheel drive accelerates from a standstill to 100 km / h in 4.6 seconds and offers an electric range of 600 kilometers with its 88.5 kWh battery pack. Inside there is plenty of space for five people, who can look at a 29-inch infotainment screen, among other things. Togg CEO Gürcan Karakaş: “The T10F shows our unwavering commitment to changing the mobility landscape and is an expression of our vision in which innovative technology works in harmony with sustainable individual transport and enriches all of our lives.”