Marriage of Beautiful Technology, Wonderful Design
He said, looking back on the past when Seoul Motor Show was born: "In 1992, Korea was ranked 9th in the world automobile market. I was an assistant chief of KAMA. At that time, I didn't mind whether Korea's status in the world market was high or not. The more important thing to me was to continue mobilization of the Korean automobile market. For this, I judged that we should hold an annual motor show, because it will be a chance to create incessant demand for cars." There are other, much older and more famous motor shows in the world, such as the Frankfurt Motor Show which has been in operation since 1897 and the Paris Motor Show which has been held annually since 1898. Both of these shows have lasted over a century. In 1992, Huh pointed out this reality and emphasized the importance to create our own motor show in Korea. He conducted some briefings about this idea, and achieved approval to create Korea's own motor show. It took about three years of preparation, and finally he organized the Seoul Motor Show in 1995. It has been held once every two years since then, except for some hard times during the IMF crisis. Next year, SMS will enter its 6th edition in KINTEX, Il-san.Huh says with a proud smile: "There are four major motor shows in the world. These are the Detroit Motor Show in the US, the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany, the Paris Motor Show in France, and the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan. However, France has lost prestige to the Shanghai Motor Show as that has risen to be the fourth most famous motor show in the world. Because of this, the Seoul Motor Show in Korea may be counted as the fifth most famous motor show in the world."
Korea has very short history of its motor show, but has made a lot of efforts to enter into the world's motor show list. In 2007, visitors from developed countries such as the EU came to the show and admitted it to be an excellent example as the world's fifth motor show. They were very impressed about the layout, additional events and management of the show. And there are a large number of domestic autos at the show. These features make the SMS unique and impress a lot of foreign visitors and car experts. SMS is already known as a substantial motor show. But it is increasing its scale in the coming year. The first SMS was held in COEX, on a much smaller scale. As visitor numbers increase, the scale of SMS also became bigger and moved to KINTEX. And now, all five sections of KINTEX are not enough for the SMS. KINTEX has already asked Huh to use its new and bigger hall after completion around 2011 and Huh is considering moving to this new location.
Then, what will visitors see in this new car festival, SMS 2009? The slogan for 2009 is "Beautiful Technology, Wonderful Design." One might usually consider technology to be wonderful, and design to be beautiful, but the slogan has switched the adjectives around. Secretary-General Huh explained the meaning behind the switch: "We picked this one for our slogan among a lot of possibilities. As you know, technology and design are so closely related these days that we can hardly separate one from another. Some improvement of technology makes the design better and vice versa. So, I think that technology can be beautiful and design can be wonderful now."
SMS 2009 will be a convergence of new and exciting technology and design. More than 190 companies from 12 countries had already completed their registration as of June. They consist of 40 automotive companies and 150 parts companies. This is the largest number of companies which have ever applied to the SMS, which makes it similar in scale to both the Geneva Motor Show and the Detroit Motor Show.
In addition, there will be many other events associated with the motor show, including the Collegiate Self-made Car Contest, Collegiate Car Design Contest, 4WD Event, Kart Drive Event, Best Car of the Show Awards, Photo and UCC Contest, and Car Lottery. Moreover, there will be Seminars on the Automotive Industry such as a Korea-China-Japan Auto Industry Forum, a Car Design Seminar, and a Telematics Seminar. The Telematics Seminar will be organized by Telematics Update, a British magazine company.
Seoul Motor Show 2009 will be held at the Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) in Il-san from April 2 to 12 of 2009. This motor show will be supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, the Local Government of Gyeonggi-do, and the Municipal Government of Goyang-si.