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30 Aug, 2007 10:00

Petrol heads flock to Moscow car show

The 11th International Auto Show hosted at one of the biggest Moscow exhibition centres – Crocus Expo – presents all kinds of gadgets for vehicles from sound systems to full chrome exhausts.

Like any other car-related event this is a very popular show. Probably more people of all ages gather to see the latest developments in the car industry than at any modern art gallery. But to petrol heads these technological wonders are true masterpieces, and their fascination extends from the plainest screw to fabulous airbrushed hotrods.

“This is an annual event and it helps us improve each year! Here we can see what other auto companies are doing and compare it with our achievements. We also conduct all sorts of consumer polls and market research here. It is a great opportunity to learn from each other and work alongside major vehicle brands,” explained Evgeny Lobanov from Autovaz Styling Center.

For many Russian companies the show is a chance to gain experience from the world leaders in the car industry. Russian car imports have grown significantly over the last 10 years and are still increasing at a rate of about 10% annually. Specialists say further increases will mean local industry will have to adopt new practices and co-operate more with international companies. Some of the projects have already been launched.

“There are many companies abroad that are similar to ours but none in Russia. We're the first federal association and our goal is to increase the standard of living for our clients. We provide all kinds of help on the road from rescue to legal advice,” said Elena Chernova, Russian Automobile Association.

All of the formalities aside though, any auto show is mostly about shiny sports cars being introduced by pretty women. And that's what many come here for… not to negotiate million-dollar contracts or check out competitors' latest gadgets, but to enjoy the beautiful machines and admire the art of car construction.