Over the years, I’ve been to, and worked on, several motor shows – mainly motorcycle based. To be fair, I usually know what to expect with these things, but when some passes arrived in my letterbox for The Irish Times Motor Show, naturally I was interested and decided to make a point of going along to see what would be on display. Sure, I follow all the usual car sites and keep myself up to date with whats coming out, and who’s being taken over – but I always prefer to get to go and see new cars in the metal. That said, given the recent years, there hasn’t been as much new metal to be seen on the streets – so perfect time for Dublin to hold a new motor show.
First off, I must credit the organisers for getting the vast majority of the manufacturers on board for the show, given that many of them must currently be operating under significantly reduced marketing budgets these days. Secondly, they deserve additional credit for getting these manufacturers on board given what they were allegedly charging for display space. Aside from these, I was also quite interested to see how much effort and space would be given to the ever-expanding range of hybrid and electric cars coming onto the market.
Naturally all the big players in the Irish market had big stalls out, Audi showed off the RS5 – the only real competitor to the now ageing M3, their flagship A8 as well as their newest additions to their growing family – the A1 & A7. In fact, the whole VAG group was well represented, VW, Skoda & Seat all turning up with their new wares. Even Volkswagen Bank turned up. Quite a novelty to see a finance company out looking for business given the last few years.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a true motor show without some tasty flash metal on show behind some fancy red rope, and the Irish Motor Show almost failed to disappoint. Most of the usual suspects were there, the outgoing Ferrari 612 (complete with For Sale sign), the obligatory Lambo Gallardo and even a rather fresh looking Porsche 356 Spyder. Thankfully, there were a couple of newer vehicles there too – the phenomenal Bentley Supersports & the simply divine Maserati Gransturismo S.
Overall, I don’t think Geneva need to worry just yet, and to be honest, had I paid into the show, I would have felt a little hard done by, as any brisk walking show goer could have been heading for the exit doors in twenty minutes. Granted, there can only be so much squeezed into a couple of halls in the RDS, but one thing stuck in my mind as I left the show – not one employee of any brand at the show approached me. Given that I hung around and took a good close look in and around many of the new models there, to not be greeted by a brand representative is rather disappointing, especially given the potential cliff that the Irish motor trade could be about to fall off once the government scrappage scheme comes to an end. I commend the brands for coming along, but I think the vast majority of them missed the point.