Paris car show (“Mondial de l’Automobile de Paris“), was the world’s first car show when it debuted, and today, it is one of the most celebrated automobile events in the world, organized every two years.
The car show takes place within the Fall period (usually around the third week in October), and features, as a highlight, many launches of new production cars and fascinating concept vehicles.
The originator behind the idea for such a show in Paris was Albert de Dion, an automobile sector pioneer at the time.
Initially, the car show was titled “Salon de l’Auto“, and it was also held annually at first.
That first car show in Paris, in 1898, took place at the Paris Jardin des Tuileries park, and it was organized by the Automobile Club de France.
Due to automobiles being a novelty field at the time, each participant manufacturer had to prove the validity of their cars (that they could move by themselves) — with a test drive Paris-Versailles-Paris.
Many leading car brands of the time participated in the first car show in Paris…including:
- Panhard & Levassor, and
The first show was very successful, with about 140,000 visitors and 232 car models being shown at the exhibitions.
Just a few years later, in 1901, the show was moved to new premises, to the Grand Palais, and the event was opened to new participants:
- motorcycle manufacturers,
- shipbuilders, and
- hot-air balloon firms.
Because of First World War, the show was cancelled up to 1918, but when it was organized again, in 1919, it was again a massive success.
As the popularity of the Paris car show grew from year to year, the organizers had to find a bigger venue for the event…and from 1962, the new event venue has been “Parc des Expositions”.
The current format for Mondial de l’Automobile, as organized byInternationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (www.oica.net), every two years, has been in effect since 1976, with the current name being taken into use from 1988.
At the Parc des Expositions (located in Porte de Versailles) the event is spread within 8 separate halls, with participants ranging from the most famous car brands to the lesser known car manufacturers.
The Paris event is the world’s most popular in its category — as measured by total visitor numbers.
As an example, the 2008 Paris car show, registered 1,432,972 visitors, which is more than at competing car shows annually have in…
- Tokyo (www.tokyo-motorshow.com),
- Frankfurt (www.iaa.de),
- Detroit (www.naias.com),
- Geneve (www.salon-auto.ch), or
- Brussels (www.salonauto.be).
For most of the major car brands, Mondial de l’Automobile Paris provides customers a window into their…
- latest car models,
- upcoming features, and
- latest technologies, on a world stage.
Each Mondial de l’Automobile show has its own theme.
So far, these themes have included:
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2000: “l’Automobile au Cinéma” – “Cars in Movies”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2002: “l’Automobile et la Principauté de Monaco” – “Cars and the Principality of Monaco”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2004: “l’Automobile dans la Bande Dessinée” – “Car in Comics”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2006: “Les Musées de l’Automobile en France” – “Car Museums in France”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2008: “Taxis du Monde” – “World’s Taxis”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2010: “Incroyable Collection” – “An Incredible Collection”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2012: “Le Futur, Maintenant” – “The Future, Now”
- Mondial de l’automobile de Paris – 2014: “L’Automobile et la Mode” – “Automobile and Fashion”
To plan your visit to the car show (event years include 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026) and to familiarize yourself with the show’s program, one of the best sources of information is the official website, at www.mondial-automobile.com.