The largest auto car show in the world is the show held in Frankfurt every 2 years. There are many other large and important shows during the year in the US, Japan, and Europe but the largest is in Frankfurt. This show occurs in Frankfurt on odd numbered years and features passenger vehicles. Then, for even numbered years, the show is in Hannover and features commercial vehicles. This show is held each year towards the end of September. When the show is not in Frankfurt, the Paris auto show is considered the most important passenger vehicle show of the year.
The Frankfurt International auto show first started in 1897 when there was a small exhibition in a Berlin hotel. Diesel trucks were incorporated into the show in 1923. During the First World War, no international participants were at the show so only German cars were on display. It was in 1939 right after the Second World War that the Volkswagen Beetle made its debut at the show. In 1951, the show was officially moved to Frankfurt. The first Japanese car made its appearance in 1965. In 1975, the first turbo-charged vehicle from Saab was exhibited. In 2007, most manufacturers began to debut electric and hybrid vehicles. In 2009, all auto makers were debuting new battery technology and electric vehicles.
Participants and Cars
Since it is held in Frankfurt, there are plenty of German manufacturers and car companies. Other companies that prefer this show include Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. These companies will frequently debut new vehicles at this show. What tends to set this show apart from others is the sheer number of cars on display. There are more than 10 different exhibition halls, and the halls are so large that it will take 10 minutes to cross from one hall to another. You can easily spend hours inside a hall looking at all of the cars that are on display.
There is a hall dedicated just to Mercedes and BMW. These themes of the halls change each year, as you may find high tech displays with dynamic lighting one year and something very different the next. They are mainly promotional stages with many cars on display. These companies go the full nine yards so their exhibits are not just displays, but a show unto themselves. They frequently have famous entertainers or Formula One stars on hand. The auto show brings some glamour to the auto world, which is unexpected in the financial area of Frankfurt.
New Releases and Concept Cars
It is at this show where you can find many new releases and concept cars that strive to embrace the technology and design of the future. The latest trend is producing green cars that have zero emission but do not sacrifice performance for energy efficiency. Some electric vehicles are making a comeback such as the Opel Astra and Trabant.
Some of the latest debuts include the Peugeot 308 RCZ designed for those that enjoy driving. This car is currently ready for mass production and was debuted at the 2005 show. The Lexus LF-Ch concept is a hybrid model that combines elegance with thrilling driving. It has a special electric driving mode. The Mercedes SLS AMG premiered at the latest show and was designed to mix fashion with automotive technology. The doors are vertical like the DeLorean, and while it does not get the best gas mileage, it is much better than many other performance vehicles on the market. This car will be available in the spring of 2010.