BUSAN, South Korea – The 2010 Busan International Motor Show got underway Friday as thousands of people flocked to BEXCO to see the newest innovations in the Korean automobile industry and a sparse showing from abroad. The show runs ten days from April 30th through May 9th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday. Admission is 6,000 won or 3,000 won for students under 18.
This year’s lineup is considerably scaled back from last year, as BIMOS unfortunately scheduled their show to coincide with the Beijing International Auto Exhibition. That leaves the massive BEXCO exhibition hall sporting 12 domestic automakers, and a mere two foreign carmakers–Subaru and Lotus. On the plus side (depending on your take) there are also 137 local auto part suppliers, and 154 auto part makers from six countries.
Hyundai is the only company launching a new model at the show, with the Avante MD compact sedan. Kia Motors also unveiled their mid-size K5, which is making its Asian debut. There are also plenty of electric and hybrid vehicles on display, but alas, no Ed Begley.
In addition to the regular automakers, there is also a tuning car festival at the entrance of the exhibition. Here you have a chance to see a wider variety of automobiles, such as Mercedes, Porsche, Nissan and the venerable Volkswagen. There is also a small section of Aston Martins, a Lamborghini, and a Ferrari–gotta love that.
Car or alien ship? You be the judge.
In the rear of the exhibition hall this year is the Playstation 3D Game World, which has approximately 40 systems available to play the latest games. The 3D games–car racing and MLB baseball–are the newest offerings from Playstation on Sony’s new Bravia line of 3D TVs, not yet available in stores. If you can manage to fight off a couple of drooling teens, you can test your skills on the Japanese electronic giant's latest offerings before anyone else on the planet.
If the games give you a case of vertigo or some other malady, this years show is offering free medical check-ups for foreigners, courtesy of the Busan Medical Industry Association–the government body behind Busan's recent big push for medical tourism. The free exam takes about 15 minutes, and includes tests for obesity, blood pressure, diabetes, a body composition analysis and a stress test. Pamphlets are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
And for the Hip Hop aficionados, on the 9th of May, the 2010 Cyon B Boy Championships will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the BEXCO Grand Ballroom. For those who aren't in the know, Korea is home to the best break dancers in the world. Special guests include Outsider and Beast. Admission is free if you simply send a text to 013-3336-1000.
According to the Motor Show press representatives, during the weekdays, you can expect a crowd of about 3,000, but on the weekends that number balloons to upwards of 10,000. There is plenty of food and refreshments available and of course, a ton of lovely car models.
To get to BEXCO: Take subway line 2 to the Centum City station and go out exit 1–you can't miss it
Photos by: J. Sam and Mikey Schneider
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