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Geneva Motor Show turns 100

Car design has moved on since the first Geneva Motor Show in 1905. Geneva Motor Show

This year’s Geneva Motor Show will mark the 100th anniversary of the exhibition and take visitors back through time.

This content was published on February 16, 2005 - 21:55

The show’s organisers are hoping car enthusiasts will not only come to see a series of world premieres, but also take a closer look at some important milestones in motoring history.

This year, over 260 exhibitors will be taking part in the show, spreading out over 77,000 square metres inside Geneva’s Palexpo. Around 900 brands from 30 countries will be on display.

More than 50 new cars will be on show for the first time, while 18 others are to get their first airing in Europe.

"For this year’s show, we asked exhibitors to consider the history of their brands and what their ambitions were," said motor show president Claude Sagem, who added that constructors seem to have got the message.

Special exhibit

To mark this year’s anniversary, a special exhibition is being set up, which will take visitors through the history of the automobile. People will travel from 1905 to the present day as they move through film sets that house 14 cars which made automotive headlines.

A special 300-page commemorative book will also be published in French, German and English. It will be a look back at the motor show’s history as well as a review of vehicle development and technical progress over 100 years.

Swissmint, the federal mint, will issue two special coins to mark the 100th anniversary. Swiss Post also plans to issue two stamps for this milestone.

Opposition

The organisers are hoping that 800,000 people will make their way to Geneva for this year's special edition. Last year, 730,000 visitors came through the turnstiles.

But not everybody is enthusiastic about the show. Demonstrators from environmental organisation Greenpeace showed their displeasure outside Palexpo as details of the event was being presented to the media.

Greenpeace said it wanted to highlight the fact that carbon-dioxide emissions from motor vehicles were one of the main reasons for global warming and climate change.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

This year’s Geneva Motor Show will be held from March 3 to 13.
Exhibition surface: 77,000 square metres.
261 exhibitors with 900 brands from over 30 countries.
53 world and 18 European premieres.

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In brief

The Swiss Automobile and Bicycle Show was first held in Geneva in 1905.

The show brought together 59 local exhibitors.

In 1924, it became an international exhibition, with over 200 exhibitors.

This year is the 75th edition of the international format.

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