The time of the big car shows is over? "Absolutely not," says the head of the Geneva Motor Show, which is scheduled to take place in Qatar this year and will also return to Geneva from 2024. The date for the anniversary edition in Switzerland has now been set.
Auto shows have a long tradition. The trade fair in Geneva alone was first opened in 1905. The IAA has even been around since 1897. Even if the exhibitions looked very different back then than they did last time. For example, when the IAA opened its doors for the first time on September 30th in the Berlin Hotel Bristol, four Benzes, two Lutzmanns from the Anhaltische Motorwagenfabrik, a Kühlstein from Charlottenburg and a Daimler were on display.
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Over the years, eight vehicles have become well over 8,000 vehicles, which the manufacturers each year create a wide variety of Ship fairs, shows and salons all over the world.
Auto shows are getting more and more expensive
In recent years, however, interest in motor shows has decreased noticeably - not necessarily among visitors, but above all among manufacturers. The exhibitions were too big, too few vehicles were sold and the costs for the individual stands were too high. For this reason, more and more car manufacturers are cutting their marketing budget for the magnificent trade fair buildings and organizing their own smaller events, at which they say they save costs and still achieve more reach with their customers.
"It was clear that things couldn't go on like this forever," says Sandro Mesquita. The CEO of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) and thus the organizer of the Geneva Motor Show. "But we never told the manufacturers that they should build cathedrals at the auto shows," Mequita brushes off the anger at the manufacturers' cost explosion. "I am convinced that when manufacturers focus on their vehicles and the experience of their vehicles, auto shows have a future."
Formula 1 meets Geneva Motor Show in Qatar
The fact that this is not exclusively tied to Western countries is also shown by the cooperation between GIMS and the Qatar Ministry of Tourism, which was initiated in 2020. Because even if it sounds strange at first glance, the 2023 Geneva Motor Show will not be held in the city by the lake, but in the small desert state in the Persian Gulf. More precisely: from October 7th to 14th, 2023. "That would also have happened if the actual event in Switzerland had taken place in the spring of this year and had been canceled due to economic and political uncertainties," explains Mequita.The contract for the trade fair in the capital Doha runs for at least ten years and the Formula 1 race for the Qatar Grand Prix will take place parallel to the Geneva trade fair in Qatar. The circuit called Losail Circuit was extensively rebuilt especially for Formula 1 and the GIMS in Qatar, reports the trade fair CEO. After the Formula 1 race, test drives for the exhibiting brands will also take place there. The fair itself is to take place in the Doha Exhibition and Conventions Center (DECC), which is lined with lush parks and 4 and 5-star hotels with a total of 6000 rooms and five pillar-free halls with around 29,000 square meters. So much for no cathedrals.
It is not yet clear which car manufacturers will come to Qatar. The interest of the visitors from the region (over 200,000 are planned) is enormous - and that of the manufacturers at least there. Because although the official registration does not start until February 1st, there are already several registrations from manufacturers. Asian car manufacturers in particular are interested.
GIMS will be back in Geneva from 2024
However, an end to the trade fair in Geneva is not to be expected due to the commitment. As early as 2024, the GIMS will be held again in its traditional home in Geneva. The event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the trade fair is scheduled to take place from February 26 to March 3, 2024. The first day of the fair is reserved for the press, the second for VIP visitors. The general public can examine the new cars from February 28, 2024. The organizers are expecting around 300,000 visitors.
In the gallery above you will find the coolest trade fair highlights from 90 years of the Geneva Motor Show.
The Geneva International Auto Show, GIMS for short, will take place in Qatar from 2023. Since the FIFA World Cup in the desert state, no one is surprised. According to the organizer, the interest of the visitors in the fair is great. It remains to be seen whether the new location can also convince the car manufacturers. In 2024, the Auto Salon will also take place in Geneva again – on the usual date at the end of February/beginning of March.