Round-up Of The First-Ever GIMS Qatar

Besides a Classic Gallery, the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center also has booths for several preeminent carmakers from Europe and Asia.

The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been one of the most coveted auto shows globally. Over the years, several legendary cars have made their world premieres at this event that has been running since 1905. Lately, however, we’ve seen audiences tired of the same static show concept. This holds for most such events worldwide. With the internet’s high reach and the rise of individual content creators, the visitors needed a more dynamic approach to interacting with cars.

GIMS started seeing the same type of lack of interest in its show. But then came the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – a government-backed entity that wished to invest in GIMS. For the record, Qatar has been on a global offensive to establish itself as a tourist destination. The country is investing in tourism, world-class amenities, sporting sponsorships etc. Their airline, Qatar Airways, is among the finest in the world, with state-of-the-art aircraft and supporting infrastructure. Bringing the FIFA World Cup was a feat in itself. Now, it even hosts a Formula One race.

Obviously, when an entity makes a significant investment, they want returns. In the case of the QIA, they decided to host the GIMS in Doha, tagging the event as the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar. And in the future, the GIMS will be held in Geneva and Doha alternatively. That means in 2024, Geneva will host GIMS. But before that, allow me to share snippets from this year’s GIMS.

Let’s start with participation. It’s safe to say that American and European brands have been headlining auto shows for decades. But in the recent past, we’ve seen them try different marketing campaigns with social media at the core. In other words, setting up glittery stalls at motor shows is something those brands (not all of them, thankfully!) are trying to move on from. However, automakers from countries like China, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan aren’t in the same boat. For them, making a strong statement at motor shows, especially at GIMS, is in their core code. That was quite evident in Doha.

Chery

We saw a significant presence of Chinese auto giant Chery. It clearly had one of the largest display areas, showcasing a variety of models from its global portfolio. In fact, the Exeed – a premium offering from the brand – had a completely separate booth away from Chery’s. The carmaker also showcased its PHEV SUVs for the region, like Tiggo Pro8max, Tiggo 8Pro hybrid and Azziro 8 sedan. It also showcased cars from its subsidiary brands, Omoda and Jaecoo.

Porsche

Porsche unveiled the Mission X concept, a test bed for the future all-electric hypercar. At the same time, the Germans also displayed the beautiful Porsche 911 S/T, the latest limited edition iteration of their halo product.

McLaren

The British brand is very bullish about the GCC region. It brought out the entire arsenal of cars. McLaren launched their brand new 750S sportscar for the audience to enjoy and, at the same time, showcased their first production series PHEV, the McLaren Artura. Sharing space with its older siblings was the McLaren GT as well.

Lamborghini

At the 2023 GIMS, Lamborghini did what it does best – drop jaws. Setting an example and leading from the front was the Aventador’s replacement – the Revuelto. Lambo also showcased its brand-new EV concept SUV, the Lanzador, first unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed a few months ago.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen decided to come all guns blazing as well. It launched the all-new Tiguan in the region and showcased the refreshed versions of the Touareg and Teramont. The brand also displayed the VW Buzz and the ID.4 GTX EVs.

Audi

The brand announced that, for the first time, it will launch the SQ8 in the region. The go-fast version of the SUV coupe was also on display at the 2023 GIMS. Apart from that, the German brand also showcased other models from its global portfolio. Visitors also saw Audi’s Formula One Concept car that will debut in the World Championship in 2026.

Kia

The South Korean carmaker Kia made a strong statement by showcasing its latest range of EVs. Highlighting the event for the brand were three models – the EV9, the EV6 and the EV5 Concept.

Apart from those brands, many others were present at the 2023 GIMS Qatar. The list includes Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Lucid, BMW, JLR, Vinfast, and Lynk & Co. Furthermore, there was a separate section for those who like drooling over tastefully kept classic cars. This section had specimens from the pre and post-war eras, winners of Best of Show awards from the past, official state vehicles, cars that maharajas used, legendary roadsters and the main highlight – a Rolls-Royce Phantom V, which was delivered to the then Amir of Qatar HH Sheikh Ahmad Bin Ali Al Thani after it was showcased at the 1962 GIMS.

Future Design Forum by Qatar Tourism

At the National Museum of Qatar, the Future Design Forum by Qatar Tourism saw more than 200 guests and media personnel discuss two topics – Rethink Luxury and The Future of Supercars. This event took place on October 9, 2023, between 9 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.

Sealine Adventure Hub

As the name suggests, this section of the GIMS Qatar is designed for people who like to explore their off-roading capabilities. Created at The Outpost Al Barari Hotel, the Sealine Adventure Hub will remain in action until October 13, 2023. And for every evening, a main event is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. That is followed by a traditional desert camp BBQ with live cooking stations.

Urban Playground at Lusail Boulevard

During the second week of GIMS Qatar (from October 12 to 14), a daily extravaganza of activities will occur between 5 and 10 in the evening. What sort of activities? The list covers performances by DJs and musicians and engaging talk sessions. Apart from that, the Auto-Life Village will keep visitors engaged with activities such as a bike circuit game, a car doodle experience and a pit crew challenge.

On October 12, 2023, at 7 p.m., the GIMS Qatar Parade of Excellence, in collaboration with Sealine Circuit Sports Club – Mawater, will see up to 100 unique cars participating in a two-hour parade.

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