Constructors also have to contend with the fact that where fuel engines are concerned, their greater emissions of CO2 will render a tough challenge compliance with future European norms.
The future belongs to those whose vehicles enjoy ever more autonomy through increasing recourse to artificial intelligence and telecommunications.
The task may be more readily surmountable for pioneers in the development of alternatives to diesel, including the Renault-Nissan alliance, with both leaders in the move towards electrification, while Toyota has the early jump on the hybrid market.
However the future of a metamorphosing industry ultimately pans out, the 700,000 Salon visitors expected to descend on Geneva’s Palexpo in the coming days will be able to cast their eyes over some 900 vehicles.
The contenders are the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8, BMW series 5, Citroen C3 Aircross, Kia Stinger, Seat Ibiza and Volvo XC40.