In spite of concerns before the show about a possible reduction in size, Seoul Motor Show 2009 has risen to a fever pitch as the number of visitors has reached 340 thousand as of April 5.
Twenty-three brand new cars, fourteen concept cars, and thirty-one environmentally-friendly cars are only the first of the attractive factors of the show. Although the size of the motor show decreased by 8.4% compared to 2007 due to the absence of 11 foreign automotive companies, the number of brand new cars and concept cars has increased since the last exhibition. Many associated events, top quality models, and a daily raffle are attracting visitors from all different age groups every hour.
The Korea IT Times interviewed Huh Wan, executive managing director of the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, on the first day of Seoul Motor Show 2009 to more fully understand the significant aspects of this show.
Q: We just witnessed the opening ceremony this morning. What was your impression of the first day of the show
A: Prime Minister Han Seung-soo visited us today along with three ministers from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, and the Ministry of Environment. President Shin Seri of the World Automotive Association has also visited us from afar, and even the United States ambassador to Korea came to our show today. We are really proud to be a part of a show that has the high interest of both the government and citizens.
Q: Were there any difficulties in preparing for the show
A: Actually in June 2008 we were concerned with hosting an overflowing number of exhibitors. But with the economic downturn in October, 11 foreign auto importers withdrew from participation. We changed our strategy and paid close attention to increasing the quality of the show. Our hard work has paid off - the number of visitors is the proof.
Q: Some say the Seoul Motor Show is not at the level of some other international motor shows, what makes Seoul Motor Show to worth a visit
A: Seoul Motor Show made its debut in 1995 while the Frankfurt Motor Show started in 1897 and the Paris Show in 1898. For a country like Korea which is the fifth largest auto manufacturing country in the world, we need a competitive show to back it up. We probably can't compete with the number of world premiere cars or the scale of the show, but many foreign buyers have agreed with us that our show is the most beautiful and dynamic motor show out of all they have visited. Attractive events for visitors, associated programs, and international auto-related seminars are available on the show floor. Another key of the Seoul Motor Show 2009 is the performance of the top Korean models, the racing girls, at each car.
Q: Amongst the many associated ongoing events here at the show floor, which one is your favorite
A: I personally am especially looking forward to the Telematics Forum. We asked Telematics Update, the leading organization which hosts many international seminars, to work in partnership with us to host a forum in Korea. The number of professional foreign key note speakers itself is twentytwo. I would like to see strong visitor support to join the event and fill up the seats to listen, interact, and learn the ways to make more convenient and intelligent cars.