Ready, set, go!
The Automobile Club de France creates the first « International Automobile Exhibition » on the terrace of the Jardin des Tuileries. To avoid the presentation of automobiles which would only carry the name and not the qualities, it was specified that “no car would be presented at the exhibition if it had not accomplished, beforehand and in the presence of an official authority, a ride from Paris to Versailles and back, using its own means.”
Off to the Grand Palais!
The exhibition moves to what would become the symbol of the Paris Motor Show for 60 years: the Grand Palais. Taken over by the manufacturers, the Show continues its development until 1914. The word Cycle (referring to both bicycles and motorcycles) features in the name of the annual Show: “the International Automobile, Cycle and Sports Show”. Motorcycles are usually displayed in the Balcony galleries.
From the crisis to the war
During the Thirties, the crisis starts affecting the Show. The number of exhibitors is decreasing and the pressure from foreign manufacturers is strengthening. The Show isn’t held from 1939 to 1945. Better days are longed for.
Paris 1946 is the first post-war Show in Europe. The French people, craving for automobiles, rush to the Grand Palais. Almost 810,000 visitors attend in 10 days. Electric cars reappear (they were already presented in 1923.) In 1949, for lack of space, the Show takes place first from October 6 to 16 then from October 27 to November 6, motorcycles are then exhibited in the great nave.
A roaring re-launch
The Show takes place both at the Porte de Versailles and the Grand Palais. Unprecedented records of attendance are reached. New models are released one after the other and purchasing power increases. During the Fifties, manufacturers start to organise happenings. The Grand Palais becoming much too small, cycles and motorcycles are moved to the Porte de Versailles with industrial vehicles. In 1951 the Show becomes “the Automobile, Cycle and Motorcycle Show”.
Records of attendance
Automobiles enter the « modern times » of industrial concentration. It is the first Show devoted to recreational automobile activities with the presentation of caravans. Denise Colcombet becomes the first woman to sell cars on the Show.
The exhibition area at the Grand Palais reaches 80,000 m2. Traffic jams around the Show are becoming more and more disruptive. Attendance reaches one million visitors for the first time.
New releases flourish, starting with the D2 19 Citroen. But the attendance rate is decreasing: manufacturers present their new models outside of the Show. The Suez crisis, the war in Algeria and the Cold War also impact public opinion.
New releases flourish
Conquering the World
For the first time, a Japanese car is presented, the Prince Skyline, (the make would later become Nissan). This event confirms the international influence of the Paris event. From 1958, motorcycles will only be exhibited on even years (except in 1973 and 1975).
General Charles De Gaulle visits the Show
General Charles De Gaulle imposes a new form of visit: in small groups, without general public or orchestra. In 1962, the entire show moves to the Porte de Versailles with a special themed exhibition: 50 years of Grand Prix cars
In 1977, the Automobile Show becomes biennial. A Cycle and Motorcycle Show is organised every odd year until 1985. On even years, motorcycles are still presented during the Automobile and Motorcycle Show and this until 1986.
The Paris Two-Wheel Show
In 1993, the Motorcycle Show and the Cycle Show come together to become “the Paris Two-Wheel Show” and for the first time it is organised on the 55,000 m² of Building 1, the most prestigious of the Parc des Expositions de Paris, Porte de Versailles.
Under Pierre Peugeot’s chairmanship, a special retrospective exhibition is organised for the 100th anniversary of the Show.
The Paris Two-Wheel Show grows
In 2003, as the number of exhibitors and visitors increases so does the desire of the professionals, therefore the Motorcycle Show takes over for the first time Halls 1 and 2.2, the Cycle Show is held in Hall 3.
Moving towards the Future
The Paris Motor Show accompanies the mutations of automobiles: safety, new energies, the environment… in spite of the fact that the automobile market has moved towards emerging countries. The Show remains the most important Show in the World.
In 2011, the Show becomes « the Paris Motorcycle, Scooter and Quad Show ». It is a long expected return and the Show is a huge success: it welcomes a very large number of visitors and also attracts Media attention with almost 1,400 journalists from 24 countries.
The Paris Motorcycle, Scooter and Quad Show…
The 120th anniversary of the Paris Motor Show
The first automobile show in the World in terms of attendance (1 072 697 visitors in 2016) and media coverage (10,000 journalists including 55% from 100 countries), the Paris Motor Show is also the oldest event dedicated to automobiles, a good reminder that automobiles are… a French invention ! At the very heart of Paris, the Paris Motor Show is still an invitation to renew one’s automobile dreams. In 2018, the Paris Motor Show is celebrating its 120th anniversary. An entire hall will welcome the Motorcycle Show, a great opportunity to go back to the origins of the show which for years presented automobiles and motorcycles together.