Jeremy Clarkson has lots of opinions and his latest one is stirring plenty of controversy.
Speaking with The Sun, The Grand Tour presenter said “Everyone I know under 25 isn’t the slightest bit interested in cars – Greta Thunberg has killed the car show.”
As you’re probably aware, Thunberg is a 16-year old climate activist from Sweden who rose to fame after addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2018. This led to her being featured on the cover of Time magazine and speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit this September.
Needless to say, Thunberg isn’t responsible for lackluster auto shows. Many shows have been in trouble for years and one of the most prominent examples is the North American International Auto Show. Once one of the most important shows of the year, NAIAS has been a shell of its former self as manufactures have pulled out and it faced increased competition from CES.
Things finally reached a breaking point last year when the show’s organizers announced plans to move the event from January to June. The revamped show promises to be more consumer oriented and appealing to automakers. When the move was announced, officials said “By eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation, exhibitors will see reduced overtime labor costs for builds.” This promises to make it more affordable to display at NAIAS, but it remains unclear if brands will return to Detroit.
Of course, NAIAS isn’t the only show facing problems and officials are reportedly considering a revamp of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Like NAIAS, the Frankfurt Motor Show has seen declining attendance from automakers and smaller displays from companies that do show up.
While blaming the downturn of auto shows on Thunberg is non-sense, Clarkson said children are “taught at school, before they say ‘Mummy and Daddy’, that cars are evil, and it’s in their heads.” He went on to describe Thunberg as an “idiot” and note “Going round saying we’re all going to die, that’s not going to solve anything, my dear.”