Amongst the few things that transcend geographical boundaries is the love for cars! This love and camaraderie is kept alive thanks to the countless auto shows that take place throughout the year, around the globe. Thousands of auto enthusiasts flock to these shows in a bid to get up close and personal with the latest and greatest of automobile technologies and of course, the latest set of 4 wheels.
As a manufacturer, auto shows hold great value too. It not only serves as a platform to launch their upcoming models, but also serves as the stage for exhibiting their technological prowess. Many manufacturers are known to feature one-off concepts at motor shows with a view of showcasing their tech know-how or their future design language. Not all of these concepts make their way to a production line, but that is a separate story for another day. We take a look at six auto shows across the world that have made a mark not only in the automotive scene, but also in the hearts of the enthusiasts.
Geneva Motor Show
The Geneva International Motor Show is held in March every year, in the Swiss town of Geneva. The show pulls in massive amounts of crowd and is amongst the most visited auto shows across the globe. The first Geneva Motor Show was held in 1905 and almost all major auto manufacturers have taken part in the show.
Geneva is reputed to be a well-known platform for supercar launches. Lamborghini is known to announce additions to their line-up at Geneva often. The 2014 Geneva Motor Show witnessed the launch of the Lamborghini Huracan, Lamborghini’s replacement for the iconic Gallardo. The 2015 show saw the launch of the Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce LP750-4 - a go faster version of an already fast Aventador LP700-4.
Tokyo Motor Show
The Tokyo Motor Show is a biennial event held in October or November. Hosted by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the Tokyo Motor show is a platform for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles and auto parts alike. The show is usually used as a platform by manufacturers to showcase their prototype cars and technologies.
The Tokyo Motor Show witnessed the launch of the fastest car in the world, the Bugatti Veyron in 2005. In the same year, Nissan showcased the Nissan GT-R Prototype and unveiled the car at the same venue in 2007.
Paris Motor Show
The Paris Motor Show is held every other year in Paris expo Porte de Versailles. Called Mondial de l'Automobile, the show is hosted by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles. In 2014, the Paris Motor Show welcomed 1.12 Crore visitors, making it the most visited auto show in the world.
Our very own Maruti Ciaz was showcased at the Paris Motor Show in 2014, before its official launch here in India. The i20 (known as the Elite i20 in the domestic market) also debuted at the same show in 2014. Paris also sees a plethora of concept cars as well. Mclaren showcased a pre-production version of the P1 in 2012 while Maruti Suzuki showcased the S-Cross in the same year.
North American International Auto Show
Popularly known as the Detroit Motor Show, the NAIAS is held every year in January. The motor show is amongst the oldest in existence, with the first show being held way back in 1899. Initially, the NAIAS served as a platform for local manufacturers to showcase their products. However, it was opened up for global manufacturers in 1957.
The Detroit Motor Show has been host to all major auto manufacturers and has witnessed the unveiling of some exotic machinery as well as a bread-butter commuter sedans. With emission norms being stringent in the US, Detroit has been a witness to a lot of EVs and Hybrids. The Chevrolet Volt, BMW 3 and 5 Series Active Hybrids and even the Audi e-Tron was showcased at the venue.
Frankfurt Motor Show
The Frankfurt Motor Show, or International Motor Show Germany as it is called officially is held in odd-numbered years at Frankfurt, Germany. Hosted by the Verband der Automobilindustrie (Association of the German Automotive Industry), the motor show is the largest in the world.
Frankfurt has witnessed some epic car unveilings. Key among which are the 458 Speciale - a lighter, faster version of the 458 Italia, the Porsche 918 Spyder Hypercar and the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. BMW had showcased the i3 and the i8 concept cars at Frankfurt in 2011, before its formal launch at the same venue in 2013.
The Auto Expo is Asia's largest and the world's second-largest motor show. It is held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi every other year.( Was held in Noida last year). The Auto Expo is organized jointly by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Mainstream Indian manufacturers have long used this stage as a platform to showcase their technical know-how and break-away from their commuter car manufacturer image. The Auto Expo has witnessed car launches that went on to become best-sellers. The original Tata Indica, the Hyundai Santro and the first gen Honda City first broke cover at the Auto Expo.
Auto shows have been the go-to place for the ordinary petrolhead. Even with the advent of live-streaming and like technologies, crowds have only increased year on year. With more and more manufacturers participating and pushing the envelope in technology, auto shows can only get better as the years fly by!