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Geneva International Motor Show

Event date: March 7–17, 2019
Photos by D. Keller
Geneva International Motor Show

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The Geneva International Motor Show holds true to its reputation as the most excessive auto-car event in the world. A surprising fact, given the host country Switzerland. The words neutral or agreeable come to mind when thinking of this nation’s identity, not lavish mega car displays and other engine-centric vices of the speed hungry.

For industry-insiders, the event is considered as the place to unveil top secret industry concept cars, eccentric design studies and technology at the forefront of car innovation, from autonomous vehicles to charging networks for the incoming generation of electric models.

Car enthusiasts or potential buyers are guaranteed plenty excitement and glitz. This event is considered the world premiere for many designs, allowing some the privilege to place a deposit for a new model right there and then. The show is careful to contain all exhibitors within a relatively compact floor space, leaving little room for expansive corporate pavilions. Thankfully, satellite viewings outside the Palexpo Centre are rare here too. This is a major win for those who have endured complex motor show logistics in the past. There is nothing enjoyable about shuffling around a foreign city in an effort to attend single showcases in a variety of locations.
Prepare the ears for discussions on horsepower, top speeds, torque, carbon fibre design, the pros of electric charging networks. The exterior panels alone are so shiny they could keep a party of Miss Universe contestants entertained for hours.


  • See other works of art. If your appreciation of automobile design is part of a wider appreciation of the way things work, a visit to MB&F M.A.D Gallery will complement the motor show schedule nicely. Discover kinetic displays, ‘mechanical displays of art’ and a variety of horological machines.
  • Bed down in Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Restorative rest is a given, so are views out over Lake Geneva. What better place to debate the dream automobile pre-order than the stately surrounds of a lakefront heritage hotel.
  • The Four Seasons’ Spa des Bergues is where to send loved ones who don’t happen to share the same enthusiasm for grunty petrol engines.
  • Take to the slopes. The motor show is traditionally held in early March each year, which coincides with the tail end of the area’s ski season. If you like alpine pursuits, Megève, in France, is a 75-minute drive from Geneva, while Chamonix is an hour away.
  • Download a free app. Fondation Genève Tourisme & Congrès provides a city guide for the city, available on smartphones. Use the integrated city map for navigating while offline (the app downloads information to be used while out of wi-fi). The map function will show where the closest cash machine is, as well as options for walking tours.

Visit Geneva International Motor Show

Cars and crowds in the Geneva Convention Centre
Cars on display in the hall
The open chassis of a Lexus car
Aerial view of the convention centre showing the crowd and cars on display
Published on April 6, 2016
Location: Geneva
Country: Switzerland ›
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