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Thrift Takes Stage at Auto Show

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Cutbacks in Lights, Models, Floors at Geneva Event Underscore Industry Woes

GENEVA March 8, 2009; David Pearson writing for the WSJ reported that car makers' displays at the Geneva Motor Show showed how far they are going to cut costs.

Auto makers, renowned for their lavish promotions and slick marketing at such events, cut back on everything from floor space for their stands to glamour models and recycled display materials.

Hervť Richard, who looks after the brand image of PSA Peugeot-CitroŽn's CitroŽn brand, has an enlightening tip to help figure out which companies are doing well and which aren't: "Look up."

That's where the spotlights are strung from gantries overhead to bathe polished cars in light. The lights happen to be one of the major costs of a display at a car show and companies struggling to cut expenses were dimming the glow, Mr. Richard said.

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