Auto shows provide a great opportunity for car enthusiasts to get up close and personal with their dream cars. For car makers, it’s a chance to showcase their latest hardware and software innovations. It’s no surprise how auto shows have grown in size and popularity over the years. I’ve listed out the top 11 international auto shows from around the world. These are the events you just can’t miss as a car lover.
Tokyo Auto Salon
Japan’s contribution to the world automotive market is huge. Japanese cars are sold all over the world with manufacturing units spread out across continents. With huge international presence and an equally big domestic market, it’s no surprise that Japan hosts one of the major international auto shows.
The Tokyo Auto Salon is the first major auto show of the year. It is usually held in the second week of January. If weird and quirky concept cars are your sort of thing, then I would highly recommend you to pay a visit.
Apart from some really interesting design concepts, Tokyo auto salon is also where most Japanese automakers showcase their latest offerings. Among a crowd of locally sold micro minis, you will find the odd Honda, Toyota or Nissan sold in Europe and America.
Detroit Auto Show
Official website: http://naias.com/
The North American International Auto Show or more commonly known as the Detroit Auto Show can be regarded as the most important car show in America. This is the place where US carmakers showcase their latest models.
The first Detroit Auto Show was held back in 1899 making it the first of its kind in North America. The person who was responsible for the event later helped organise the first New York Auto Show.
“Motor City” Detroit is the hub of the American car industry and hence NAIAS holds a prestigious place among the world’s auto shows. Often held in the first half of January, this is also the time when the coveted North American car and truck of the year awards are announced.
Chicago Auto Show
While most car makers go to Detroit to launch their latest models, some choose the Chicago Auto Show to reveal their new offerings to the world.
The Chicago Auto Show is held in February in the “windy city” on the banks of Lake Michigan. Its popularity has grown over the years with more and more people visiting the annual car event.
The high attendance has made Chicago Auto Show one of the biggest in North America and a favourite among car manufacturers too. No wonder, we’ve seen some big launches taking place here.
Geneva Motor Show
The Geneva Motor Show has to be the most glamorous of all international auto shows. It attracts high-profile supercar brands including Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Pagani, and Koenigsegg to name a few. Geneva also hosts a plethora of tuning companies from all over Europe.
Geneva is undoubtedly the most anticipated auto show of the year as a lot of new cars debut at this event. Its popularity and the sheer media exposure it offers has prompted automakers from China and the Asian subcontinent to take heed.
If automotive eye candy is what you’re after then Geneva has to be on the top of your list. Some of the world’s fastest and most expensive supercars often make their debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
China has one of the fastest growing automotive markets in the world. The country hosts a few auto shows throughout the year but the one’s that really stand out are in Beijing and Shanghai. The Beijing International Auto Show is a biennial event that alternates with the Shanghai auto show.
One of the biggest attractions of 2017 event was the launch of Lamborghini Urus.
New York International Auto Show
The New York International Auto Show is being held since the beginning of the last century. The first show was held back in 1900 and since then it has become an annual event. Along with Detroit and Los Angeles, it’s one of America’s biggest car shows.
The NY Auto Show is held in downtown Manhattan at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center. Until 1987, the show was held at the New York Coliseum.
Given the popularity of the show, numerous world debuts have taken place here. Some of the most important cars that were launched at NYIAS over the years include- 2016 McLaren 570S, 2016 Range Rover SVAutobiography, 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe, 2014 Jaguar XJR among others.
Goodwood Festival of Speed
If there’s one car show that every petrolhead should visit at least once in a lifetime, it will be the Goodwood Festival of Speed. There’s no car show like it on the planet. Drooling over shiny new cars at an auto show is fine, but it’s only at Goodwood that you can hear the engines fire up and get a sense of speed as they drive by.
It’s an annual hill climb event which is held at the Goodwood House in England. Thousands of fans line the famous 1.86 km hill climb course each year to watch historic and modern racing cars, Formula 1 cars, vintage motorcycles and superbikes fly past as they make their way up the hill.
It’s basically a competition but some cars are just too rare and expensive to risk it. For instance, this is one place where you can watch a Ferrari 250GTO, Aston Martin Vulcan and everything in between at full chat. Many famous drivers attend the event and some even hop in one of their championship winning race cars for a quick drive. It’s a good place to meet your racing heroes.
There’s something for everyone including a forest rally stage, supercar run, a moving motor show and even a soapbox challenge.
Apart from the high-speed action on the racetrack, Goodwood also hosts car makers from around the world. It’s like a conventional auto show except that its outdoor setting makes it unique.
The event has become so popular that the organisers have had to limit the number of attendees to 150,000. Also, you need to book your tickets in advance.
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
As far as Concours events go, Pebble Beach is probably the most prestigious of them all. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is held at the Pebble Beach Golf course in California. It’s a truly magnificent setting with rare and vintage cars parked up on well-manicured lawns with the Pacific Ocean providing the perfect backdrop.
It’s a part charity event, part auction and is part of the Monterey Car Week which takes place in August each year.
The attendance of high-profile individuals attracts brands like Bugatti, Ferrari, McLaren, Maybach etc. to showcase their flagship offerings at Pebble Beach.
Even if for some reason you aren’t able to get entry into this exclusive event, you still won’t be disappointed. There are a fair number of supercars and exotics playing the streets of Pebble Beach during the Monterey Car Week. It’s a car spotters dream!
Frankfurt Motor Show
Frankfurt Motor Show or Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) is organised by the Association of the German automotive industry once every year. The venue is spread over twelve buildings making it the world’s largest motor show and is held in the city of Frankfurt.
The history of the IAA dates back to 1897. Back then, it used to be held in Berlin. The exhibition first moved to Frankfurt in 1951. Initially, the IAA was held every other year but the growing popularity of show forced organisers to make it an annual event.
Top German brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, and Porsche have a big presence at the show. One can expect new launches and future product announcements being made during the show. Since German car makers are at the forefront of future mobility research, numerous alternate mobility solutions have been showcased at Frankfurt in recent years.
Paris Motor Show
The Paris Motor Show is also known as Mondial de l’Automobile is a biennial event. It dates back to 1898 when it was first organised by Albert de Dion and has the distinction of being the world’s first motor show.
It is usually held in the month of October in the French capital and often attracts a record number of visitors. It’s quite an important event for the French automotive industry in general and brands like Renault, Peugeot, and Citroen in particular. However, many Asian brands have also started attending the Paris Motor Show in recent times. Being one of the major automotive shows in the world after Frankfurt, Detroit, and Geneva, new production cars and concepts often make their debut.
Los Angeles Auto Show
The Los Angeles Auto Show is the last of the major international auto shows of the year. It is usually held in late November or during the first part of December.
The first LA Auto show was held in 1907. Nowadays, the event is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA. During its 100th anniversary year in 2006, the LA Auto Show was held twice- first in January and then in November. Since then the show is scheduled during the closing months of the year.
It’s the go-to place for North American car makers when it comes to world debuts of new offerings. However, market-specific models are often displayed at the show. California being the home of Hollywood, luxury brands like Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Aston Martin also attended the event.
So, here are the top 11 auto shows that really stand out and have their own unique charm. While Frankfurt is the largest auto show on the planet, Pebble Beach is undoubtedly the poshest event of them all. If you love supercars, then Geneva is the place to visit. But all said, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has to be my favourite. ????????