Italy’s auto show moves to Monza racetrack in reboot

MILAN — Organizers of a motoring exhibition in Italy hope a low-cost model and a famous racetrack venue will be the answer to the demise of traditional car shows, which are suffering as cost-conscious automakers pull out in increasing numbers.

The Milano Monza Open Air show, which takes place in the Milan area next June, aims to attract automakers by offering affordable exhibition stands.

Traditional auto shows are declining in popularity with automakers and the paying public. German automakers are rethinking their support for the Frankfurt show. The Detroit show in January attracted 4 percent fewer visitors than the previous year and has been moved for 2020 to June in a bid to make it more attractive.

Milano Monza will be a “democratic show” whose cost will be relatively low for automakers because its low-cost stands will be provided by the show itself, said Andrea Levy, president of the organizing body, Salone dell’auto di Torino (Turin auto show).

Car companies will not feel that they need to have a powerful, expensive presence, he said.

The event will replace the Parco Valentino auto show that was held annually in Turin’s Valentino park, from 2015 until last June.

Organizers decided to move the event to the Milan area after Turin’s leaders opposed the use of the park as part of a plan to reduce the number of vehicles in the congested city.

The Monza show’s low-cost, small stand formula continues a model that has been used for all the five editions of the Parco Valentino show in Turin.

The Milano Monza show hopes to attract more than 40 car brands and 500,000 visitors, Levy said. The 2019 Parco Valentino show was attended by 54 brands, he said.

While the Parco Valentino show was free, Milano Monza will charge visitors 20 euros a day. The ticket prices are good value because similar events, such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, charge much more, Levy said.

The show will start on June 17 with a motorcade that will finish in Milan’s Duomo square. From June 18 to June 21 the Monza circuit, 20 km (12 miles) north of Milan, becomes the venue. It was built in 1922 and still hosts one of the main events of the Formula One season.

Both the current Monza track and the discontinued high-speed oval with banked curves will be used for events and test drives.

The show will have exhibits and car-related activities including test drives, an off-road track and a vintage cars exhibition that Levy could attract as many as 10,000 owners of classic cars and supercars. Motorbikes, boats and airplanes will also be on display.

Gianmarco Giorda, head of Italy’s automotive industry association, ANFIA, said it is hoped that the show will be recognized in the list of international events compiled by the auto industry’s international body, the OICA.