Some people are still wondering why there are so many car shows around the world; wouldn’t it be sufficient to hold three or four events to show people what is available?
There are a number of reasons, but these are the three main ones:
1. Each market is different
Have you ever heard of Holden or Škoda? These are brands owned by larger manufacturers (GM and VW, respectively) that are sold in only a handful of countries. For various reasons — brand image, dealership network or some other factor — these vehicles are not available elsewhere; it therefore would not make much sense to exhibit them anywhere except in their own markets. The same applies to variations in engines and body styles: why would BMW display a 5 Series station wagon with a diesel engine, when you can’t buy one in Canada?
2. There is a lot of ground to cover
Just to give you an idea, at the most recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, no fewer than 27 new models were unveiled. The count was 29 in Los Angeles, and 33 in Geneva. It is difficult enough for a manufacturer to unveil an important vehicle without being upstaged by someone else, and since every carmaker wants people to talk about their particular concepts, new cars and new technology, there is a demand for more shows.
3. Timing is everything
Lastly, a mere handful of car shows would not be enough for one simple reason: timing. In order to maintain some excitement about a new model, it is not revealed until a few months before it goes on sale. The launch will therefore take place at a show whose dates are consistent with the rest of the marketing process: sales promotion, readying of the assembly lines and so on.