Lyon auto show: frugal and close to the public

There is a form of irony in the process

Lyon auto show: frugal and close to the public

There is a form of irony in the process. The Lyon Auto Show, which will be held at Eurexpo from Thursday September 28 to October 2, is a short joke to a green town and a region which is no less green, major organizers of car hunts . To the “cars” Emmanuel Macron would clumsily and deliberately say the autophobes, with this disdain for the latter which amounts to grotesque provocation.

For the moment, without convincing the Lyonnais who, according to an Ipsos survey published in February 2023, say 63% are dissatisfied with “the action taken by the mayor of Lyon”. And 67% believe that the quality of life in their city has deteriorated since 2020, as a cruel echo of the Porte de Versailles and municipal management of Paris.

Held in odd years in a deliberate alternation with Paris which was the largest Salon in the world – the Mondial! –, this Salon is not, however, the poor relation. The proof is that there are cars on display there!

From regional, it aspires to become national and why not cross-border as it precedes the Geneva Motor Show by a few days, an absolute expatriate icon... in Doha, Qatar. The taste of chocolate may well become bitter at this latitude. At least, in Lyon, proximity plays a major role and, with a TGV or car ride, you can also come from Switzerland, Paris or Marseille to see no less than 35 new models brought there by the 50 brands present and not the least since Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, Bentley, Lotus among others are there.

No show or debauchery of stands with fluff and computer-generated images, the basic unit in Lyon is to rent stands without superfluous fuss, from 100 to 600 m2 depending on the appetite of the exhibiting brand. According to the director of the event, Anne-Marie Baezner, “it is a frugal show for the exhibitors and appetizing for the visitors”. There will even be a hydrogen hub because the region is very committed to this path and visitors will be able to form an opinion on this solution of the future.

Relaunched in 2015 when it was mainly regional, the Salon de Lyon gains a little more depth with each edition and perhaps stands as a prototype of what these national trade fairs should be. The price per square meter of stand is ten times lower than for major international trade fairs where real buildings are erected to accommodate visitors.

There, none of that, the format is sober and looks more like a dealership showroom. This is because, in Lyon, we inevitably receive fewer people – the organization hopes to beat its record of 65,000 visitors – but there are many potential buyers to attract. The 2022 edition, delayed due to Covid, saw no less than 1,850 vehicles purchased. Because the poster is attractive with exhibitors who are 50% the manufacturers themselves and 50% distributors with strong shoulders. A real professional show at a very reasonable entry ticket price of €7 on the Internet and €8 on site, under 12s, the future of the automobile, entering for free.