AutoRAI 1999: the new cars
The AutoRAI is the bi-annual Dutch car
exhibition. This year it took place from the 4th till the 14th of February in the RAI
exhibition center in Amsterdam.
Although its a big event covering a large exposition area with most car manufacturers represented, its quite secondary to similar shows in Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt and Turin. It doesn't have much news, even all concept- and showcars have been shown before somewhere else. The only car that was introduced as world news at the AutoRAI was the Renault Mégane Break, a very homely looking car that got overlooked by almost everyone. Also the new Audi S3, BMW 316i and Opel Vectra were introduced, but these cars are only updates or revisions of well-known models.
So why is that? you may ask. Well, the reasons are quite simple: The Netherlands has no real car industry, is a small market and the organizers don't know how to put up a show. Okay, there are a lot of cars on display, most stands look nice and well-designed and the exhibitors do their best, but the show as a whole misses that certain excitement. The feeling that cars can be more than just practical objects for daily use, the irrational love of cars that most car marketeers want to attach to the products they sell... Would you introduce a new car, a multi-million investment in any currency, in a place where it gets the charisma of a shopping cart?
Anyway, it didn't prevent 432,000 visitors from coming and neither did the snow and the frozen over roads. And they had quite a good time, exciting or not. In this first feature concerning the AutoRAI 1999 RitzSite gives you a personal impression of this exhibition by showing some of the "new" cars on display. Click the arrows pointing right to start this featured presentation.