BUSAN, South Korea — The Busan International Motor Show is back in the city after a year hiatus, but this year's show promises to be bigger and better than ever. If you can recall the show two years ago, they booked it at the same time as the Beijing International Auto Show and most foreign car companies decided to forgo Busan and hit China instead.
Organizers took note of the lower than expected attendance and disappointment of 2010 to garner more than 96 companies from six countries this year.
This year’s motor show theme is billed “The Voyage of the Green Car Across the Ocean” and will kick off with a press day on May 24, carrying on until June 3 at BEXCO. Busan City News put together a great list of what to expect at this year's show.
Maserati, GranTurismo S Automatic and other new cars
This year 170 new cars from 22 automobile companies are expected to be shown. Among them, there are two world premieres. There are also four Asian premiere cars that and 18 Korean Premieres.
Renault Samsung announced that it is to display a new “crossover concept” on April 2. The crossover concept slated for this year’s show is a model based on the Renault’s Captur, and is a sporty design car with dynamic lines. Francois Provost, CEO of Renault Samsung, stated, “Through the concept car we are revealing at the Busan International Motor Show 2012, Renault Samsung is expecting to strengthen its young brand image.”
Kia Motors also plans to debut its own K9 through the motor show, saying that the vehicle is an all new luxury sedan. K9 is a forward-looking, refined but strong luxury sedan. The front has fulfilled the designs of Kia Motors and the sides are neat but powerful, a very sophisticated design. One of the world’s most luxurious automobile brands, Maserati, will also present various models. Maserati will unveil one of the most expensive cars at the show, priced between 200 million and 300 million won. The four models are the Quattroporte Sport GT S, GranTurismo S Automatic, GranTurismo MC Stradale and GranCabrio Sport.
A total of 14 imported automobile brands are participating, including 13 brands that were present last event: BMW, MINI, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Infiniti, Ford, Lincoln, Cadillac and the new participant, Maserati.
The experts are saying the big growth in imported car sales in Busan, Ulsan and Gyeongnam region was the reason for the high ratio of overseas automobile brands at the show. In 2011, the imported car sales in these regions numbered about 12,000 cars, which was a roughly 10% increase compared to 2010. The effort of BEXCO to attract more imported automobile brands also played a big role.
Not only are there exhibitions, but there are programs to enjoy. Unique remodeled cars and remote controlled car racing contests have been readied as well.
One of the notable events is the F1 display, in which you can see an F1 machine up close. It is a chance to see the racing cars provided by Korean Grand Prix up close and personal. The Car Audio Festival taking place at the outdoor exhibition hall from May 26 to 27 is also a hot issue. Cars with remodeled audio systems blasting out powerful music will boost the festive mood. A number of cars will be on hand for those who want to test their sound systems.
The “Tune Up” festival from last year is also something to look forward to. During the event if you visit the second floor of the BEXCO Convention Hall, you can look at a panoply of remodeled cars to your heart’s content. There are cars with unique exteriors as well as cars with booming audio systems for lively music. If you are interested in car tuning, this is an event you must not miss.
The participating companies have also prepared their own showcase exhibits and activities.
There is also a face painting event for children. During the show, visit the Glass Hall connecting the BEXCO main hall and office building and you can get your face painted. There is also a chance to win a car every 10 days in a drawing among paid visitors.
In addition, there are academic and corporate sessions, such as buyer export consulting and the Busan-Fukuoka automobile industry development strategy seminar.
How to Buy Tickets:
The show this year is expected to be more crowded than ever. You can purchase tickets through the online shopping malls Auction (ticket.auction.co.kr) and G-Market (www.gmarket.co.kr). The tickets are 4,000 won for elementary, middle and high school students, and 7,000 won for adults. Preschoolers and those over age 65 can enjoy the show for free.
For more information, visit the website for Busan International Motor Show at eng.busanmotorshow.co.kr/main.html
Model photo courtesy of inkoreaagain.wordpress.com