The Concept Cars
The AutoRAI 2001, the bi-annual Dutch premier car show at the
RAI exhibition complex in Amsterdam, was one of the most successful ever. Lots
of people had turned up to see the new Dutch Spyker sports cars, but also the
extra effort made by the organizers and exhibitors to present an appealing show
attracted more visitors. This in contrast to the 1999 show which was rather
bland and apparently showed enough of a decline to stimulate the RAI organization
to do a better job this time.
Internationally the AutoRAI is not a very important show; the Dutch car market is relatively small and the show has competition from similar events in Detroit (just before) and Geneva (just after the AutoRAI). This translates in few real novelties and introductions at the AutoRAI, also as a result of the very commercial set-up of the show. It used to be more of a car exchange, sort of a large dealer showroom where you could try and order your new car, until not so long ago. In my opinion the organization has made the switch from trade show to exhibition too late for ensuring an important place in the date book of any car manufacturer.
On the other hand the AutoRAI offers a very comprehensive
overview of pretty much all models on offer on the Western-European market. The
huge RAI complex is completely filled with luxury cars; commercial vehicles have
their own show every other year alternating with the car show. And most cars are
accessible to the public who can open and close doors, hoods and lids to their
hearts content. All this, added to this year's well-designed exhibition stands
of the manufacturers and an abundance of showpieces, made it a very enjoyable
show, regardless of the importance.
There were quite a number of concept cars on display; rare cars showing the best a manufacturer can do. In my opinion it was the most interesting part of the exhibition and that's why I've chosen to show you around the 2001 edition of the AutoRAI by presenting you these experiments and design statements in this tour.
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You can start this tour by clicking the arrows pointing right: