The Automobile Club de France created the first « International Automobile, Cycling and sports exhibition »
Off to the Grand Palais !
Nearly 220 exhibitors gathered on 6,000 m2. The Show moved in what was to become the symbol of the Paris Motor Show during 60 years: the Grand Palais. Taken over by the manufacturers, the Show continued its development until 1914.
From the crisis to the war
During the Thirties, the crisis started to affect the Show. The number of exhibitors decreased and the pressure from foreign manufacturers strengthened. The Show didn’t take place from 1939 to 1945. Better days were longed for.
A roaring re-launch
The 1946 Paris Motor Show is the first post-war Show in Europe. The French people, craving for automobiles, rushed to the Grand Palais. Almost 810,000 attended in 10 days. Electric cars reappeared (they were already present in 1923.)
Records of attendance
The Show took place both at the Porte de Versailles and the Grand Palais. Records of attendance were repeatedly topped. New models were released one after the other and purchasing power increased. Manufacturers started to organise events during the Fifties.
Automobiles entered the « modern times » of industrial concentration. It was the first Show devoted to recreational automobile activities with the presentation of caravans.
Denise Colcombet became the first woman to sell cars on the Show.
The exhibition area at the Grand Palais reached 80,000 m2. Traffic jams around the Show became more and more disruptive. Attendance reached one million visitors for the first time.
A slower speed
New releases flourished, starting with the D2 19 Citroen. But the attendance rate was decreasing: manufacturers presented their new models outside of the Show. The Suez crisis, the war in Algeria and the Cold War also impacted public opinion.
Conquering the World
For the first time, a Japanese car was presented, the Prince Skyline, (the make would later become Nissan). This event confirmed the international influence of the Paris event.
General De Gaulle at the Paris Motor Show
The General imposed a new type of visit: with a small group, no general public, no orchestra. In 1962 the entire Show moved to the Porte de Versailles with a special themed exhibition: 50 Years of Grand Prix cars.
Under Pierre Peugeot’s chairmanship, a special retrospective exhibition was organised for the 100th anniversary of the Show. Louis Schweitzer has been watching over the Show since 2007.
Moving towards the Future
The Paris Motor Show accompanies the changes in automobiles: safety, new energies, the environment… Despite the fact that the automobile market has moved towards emerging countries, it is still the first Show in the World.