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Bologna Motor Show 2016




After years marked by uncertainty, the Bologna Motor Show returned to its full splendor through a formula that enhances its traditional values with an eye on mobility’s future. With over 200,000 visitors, the event sends out clear signs that,  along with the recovery of the market, a positive air of optimism and enthusiasm can be felt throughout the automotive industry

Nicoletta Ferrini


Like the Phoenix, the Motor Show rises from its ashes. After being locked way in the attic for a year , the popular show was staged again in Bologna from 3rd to 11th of December 2016. Expectations were really high for an event that, after the setbacks experienced in 2013 and 2015 and organizational changes switching from GL Events to BolognaFiere, clearly aimed at returning to its former glory in 2016.

The choice was to focus on a formula that decreed the success of the event right from its first edition back in 1976, namely the creation of a show that, more than just a showcase for the sector, was a real motor sports event in its many forms: from product innovations to the latest proposals in terms of components , from sports to the most avant-garde technology and design concepts. For the 2016 edition, though, BolognaFiere tried to mix tradition and innovation looking at, not only the past and present of the automotive sector, but to its future as well. What resulted from it was an event that attracted more than 200,000 visitors, and equally involved both enthusiasts and the merely curious, automotive companies and professionals as well as the academic and scientific world.


Passion for cars stronger than ever

All eyes were focused on the 39th edition of the Motor Show which, after a big comeback, was called upon to confirm and enhance the traditional Italian passion for cars, turning the page on past troubles, and celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the event as well as the long-awaited recovery of the Italian market. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting increasingly brighter, and this was confirmed by recent data on new vehicle registrations released by the Ministry of transport. A great month of December, during which 124,438 new cars were registered (+13.06%), anticipated a great result for the whole of 2016, which, with 1,824,968 new registrations closed with a double-digit growth  (+15.82%). Still a far cry from pre-recession years: during the 1993-2007 period, in fact, the annual average was 2,174,577 new registrations. However, according to Centro Studi Promotor, the gap should be bridged by 2018, while in 2017 we should be able to break through the threshold of 2 million new registrations.


Engines rumbling again in Bologna

The rekindled interest of the enthusiasts had to be satisfied with an event that, after being deprived for so long, would prove able to satisfy even the most voracious “appetites” in terms of quantity and quality. Expectations, though high, were not betrayed: the event delighted its enthusiasts with a “menu” consisting of 200 exhibitors, 43 automotive brands and 12 national premieres, dozens of races in the Motul Arena (Area 48) and as many freestyle performances in Area 47. Furthermore, for the most nostalgic visitors, the 4,500 square meters arranged in the "Passione classica"  (classic passion) area were rich in attractions: 117 cars , 21 motorcycles, a bus and a truck  coming from rare and prestigious collections, all recalling the history of Italian and international automotive tradition. On and off-road test drive events were also organized during the 39° Edition of the Bologna Motor Show with 90 cars made available by the organizers to test driving skills such as handling, sports and off-road driving in 8 specially setup areas outside the exhibition halls, or even a Test Drive OFF on public roads. During the nine days of the event well over 35,000 driving tests were performed.


Motor Show 2016 a special focus for both business and academic worlds

The banquet included several “courses” designed for the sophisticated palate of the business world, such as conferences and moments of debate about market trends, new technologies, racing, design, road safety and much more. Manufacturers, back in the fair stands, had the opportunity to discuss marketing strategies aimed at supporting the market’s recovery, while dealers dealt with topics related to the digitization of the automotive market. Additionally, insiders debated on economic topics, on vehicle connectivity and other innovations as well as  evaluating the impact of new technologies in terms of costs and work. For the first time, the Motor Show dedicated some space to young hi-tech and engines enthusiasts, and the best Italian universities with their automotive departments and a number of start-ups were able to unveil some of their groundbreaking projects. Numerous meetings, conferences and "Motor Show Academy" workshops were designed to introduce these new technologies as well as the car of the future and was especially dedicated to students and young professionals.


Spotlight on the Aftermarket

Following the agreement between BolognaFiere and Autoprometec, also the aftermarket sector received plenty of attention in terms of space and contents. Inside the "Tech & Innovation Experience" hall, large space was set aside for automotive components, systems and connectivity services so common nowadays on all new cars. The first “Network and Repairers Grand Prix” stood out as one of the most interesting news of the 2016 Motor Show edition. Organized by a trade magazine “Il Giornale del Meccanico”, the “Grand Prix” featured a series of meetings on major issues for aftermarket companies and specialists alike, students and even end users.

In addition, besides the more "scientific" approach, on December 4 a real competition took place, inside hall 31, with 70 workshops belonging to eight major networks taking part, whose teams of specialists competed among themselves, proving their skill, efficiency and speed over three grueling tests: repair, diagnostics and a test drive inside  Area 49.

The next Motor Show edition, the 40th, to be held from 2nd  to 10th  December 2017, is already set to make a great contribution in reviving the passion and bringing out all the professionalism of the automotive sector.

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