Bologna proving an auto show with no cars is possible

The organizers of the Bologna Motor Show in Italy announced October 10 that the show will go on this December despite the withdrawal of every automaker that was expected to display there.

Bologna normally at least showcases Italian auto giant Fiat but they pulled out on September 22. By October 2 every major automaker followed suit. Even Bologna-based Maserati and Lamborghini can't be bothered to make the short trip to attend.

With the recent spate of government incentive programs for fuel-efficient cars this summer providing only a short respite from a year of dismal sales, the auto industry is in no mood to celebrate. Even the fanfare of the few truly global auto shows -- in Detroit, Frankfurt, Geneva, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris and Tokyo -- have been drastically reduced by the Great Recession.

The British Motor Show cancelled their event next year, Detroit faces doubts over the viability of its 2010 show, the 2009 Barcelona Motor Show required government intervention while the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show, opening to the public on October 24, is featuring only Japanese automakers after a multitude of cancellations.

With no automaker committed to displaying production or concept cars at Bologna this year it's a sure thing that they will draw significantly less than the nearly 1 million attendees they did in 2008.

The show has been shortened from nine to five days and organizers are now focusing attention on motorsport displays at a nearby stadium.

Website: http://www.motorshow.it/en/index.html

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