5 of the World’s Biggest and Best Auto Shows
Editor’s Note: Updated 6/19/2023 for freshness.
If there’s one thing that can bring people from all around the world together, it’s a love of cars. Auto shows are traditionally the biggest events in the automotive industry, attracting millions from all over the globe. Not only do automakers use car shows as a platform to promote the latest products, but also test out ideas. Automakers can also debut concept vehicles in order to gauge consumer enthusiasm. Essentially, the biggest car shows in the world act as press conferences for new cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Of course, there are other, more organic car shows that happen around the world. Events like the Woodward Dream Cruise have their roots deep in the past. These have evolved to include tens of thousands of vehicles and attract millions of spectators. Car companies and industry insiders get a chance to rub shoulders with their customers directly at these sorts of events. This can develop new ideas based on feedback received from those at the show.
5. Paris Motor Show
According to MotorTrend, the Paris Motor Show is one of the best auto shows to catch. Nothing quite melds with the wine, art, and overall elegance of Paris like expert auto design and engineering. That’s exactly what attendees are in for when they visit the Paris Motor Show. This was the first auto show in the world and has become a major event in which the world’s car designers show off their latest concept models. The first Paris Motor Show was put on way back in 1898 and is held every other year, with the next event being held next fall.
4. International Geneva Motor Show
The city of Geneva has been a meeting place for the world for several reasons, and these days, the International Geneva Motor Show is chief among the best auto shows. Every March, the city’s Palexpo convention complex becomes home to hundreds of thousands of automotive buffs and industry officials, all vying for a chance to see the latest and greatest the world’s car makers have to offer. The International Geneva Motor Show has become one of the most vital industry events of the year and often plays host to the debuts of many new production and concept models.
3. Auto Shanghai
China is quickly becoming addicted to cars, and that is what makes it such a vital target for the automotive industry at large. Also, the country is home to a huge number of people — and potential customers. Auto Shanghai is held every two years and saw its birth during the 1980s. The show has become a strong staging event for North American and European car companies to show off their latest creations to the Asian market and is sure to only grow in importance every time it is held.
2. Woodward Dream Cruise
The famed Woodward Dream Cruise is a car lover’s paradise and one of the best auto shows around. More than 30,000 muscle cars, hot rods, and more converge on Woodward Avenue in suburban Detroit, bringing with them spectators that number in the hundreds of thousands — if not millions. The Cruise has its origins all the way back in 1848 when carriage drivers would race along the roadway. Since then, the road was used for street racing and now hosts the annual Dream Cruise on the third Saturday of August. It’s the world’s largest single-day automotive event.
1. Frankfurt Motor Show
The king of auto shows is undeniably the Frankfurt Motor Show. Held annually, the show’s actual name is Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, and has been split into two since 1991 — commercial vehicles are shown in Hanover, Germany, on even-numbered years, and on odd-numbered years, passenger vehicles are put on display in Frankfurt. Like other major world car shows, Frankfurt has its origins way back in the late 1800s. Since then, it has grown to become the biggest and best car show on the planet.
These are just a few of the best auto shows, but the world is changing, and so is the automotive industry. After many disruptions from current events, many brands have improved online reveals and press releases. This does not replace in-person shows, but it has made the information more accessible.