Holland’s largest motor show – AutoRAI 2009 – will be held at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition Centre from 1 to 11 April and the organisers are upbeat about prospects for the show based on its new format.

At AutoRAI 2009 the cars will not be grouped by brand, but will instead be divided into six ‘experience worlds’. The organisers also say that the number of cars on display will be larger than ever (almost 500).

Even more than in previous years, the exhibition concept will focus on how the visitors experience the cars; instead of grouping the cars by brand AutoRAI 2009 will provide an overview of the market in six different ‘worlds’. Cars from different categories will be grouped together in each of these worlds. This gives prospective car buyers an ideal opportunity to compare models in any given market segment, the organisers claim.
The worlds in which the cars will be exhibited are ‘Family & Travel’, ‘Cabrio’ (convertible), ‘Luxury and Sports Cars’, ‘Adventure’, ‘City & Compact’ and ‘Green Innovations’. Amsterdam RAI’s largest exhibition hall – the Europahal – will also stage a daily event known as AutoRAI Life. Here daily live shows featuring concept cars, firsts, new cars and sports cars will be laid on for the entertainment of the public.

According to exhibition manager Fernand Molenschot, this year’s show will be more about the visitors than ever.

“We have the privilege of welcoming no fewer than 70 firsts in the car category and seven in the motorcycle category. A splendid prospect! We have also put a lot of emphasis on in-car entertainment. Regular visitors will find that they experience AutoRAI 2009 more intensely than previous shows,” he says.

“The division into six separate ‘worlds’ will make the layout of the 2009 show even clearer for the visitors. Looking for a new car will never have been easier! What’s more, AutoRAI 2009 is an affordable day out for the whole family as children aged 14 and under will have free admission and Netherlands Railways (NS) will offer a cheap day return fare from every station in the Netherlands.”

The Dutch motor industry finished 2008 on a positive note in terms of car sales, RAI says.

The total of 499,980 cars sold exceeded the forecast by 2.7 percent. The forecast for this year is 475,000 cars and 75,000 commercial vans.

Although the January figures are lagging behind this estimate, Peter Janssen, director of the RAI Association, says it is still too early to adjust the forecast.

“However, there’s been a clear shift of emphasis to smaller and more economic models,” he says.

“The best-selling car in 2008 was the Volkswagen Golf with over 16,000 units sold; however, this number was easily exceed by the ‘triplets’ – the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107 and Citroën C1 – which together notched up sales of over 25,000.”