Editor’s letter

AS I WRITE THIS, THE MADNESS THAT IS THE 85TH GENEVA AUTO SALON HAS JUST COMMENCED. THE CITY IS BOOKED OUT, HOTEL ROOMS CANNOT BE HAD FOR LOVE OR MONEY. THOUSANDS OF THE WORLD’S JOURNALISTS ARE IN THE SWISS CAPITAL, AS ARE THOUSANDS MORE CAR COMPANY EXECUTIVES.

GLENN BUTLER

Half a world away from Wheels’ Melbourne HQ, the Palexpo hall near the shores of Lake Geneva is abuzz. Through the journos, the eyes and ears of the world wait to see which exciting new model or futuristic concept drives on stage.

Music pounds out of speaker stacks. A car company executive walks in, suited up and ready to deliver a well-crafted and choreographed presentation. Usually it’s the CEO singing for their supper. They’ll tell you that the car behind them is a world-beater: faster and more efficient, safer and more exciting, better equipped and better value.

They’ll tell you it’s a segment buster, that it’s a pioneer for a new type of vehicle. Its development was driven by customer demand. The world wants it, and they’ve responded.

Within minutes of cars such as the Hyundai Tucson SUV, Kia Sportspace or Lamborghini Aventador SV rolling onto the stage, you’ll read

Motor show interviews are like verbal boxing matches; probing, ducking, weaving, jabbing

about them online at WheelsMag.com.au, and catch our Facebook posts and Twitter tweets. There will be image galleries galore and a video or two of the car making its international debut.

By day’s end, hundreds of articles with tens of thousands of words will have been published on WheelsMag.com.au and other websites.

Multiply that by the number of cars revealed and the content shows like Geneva generate is staggering. Each of those articles is exposure for the car company, and therefore has an equivalent advertising value. The sum total of that coverage will be many hundreds of millions of dollars.

It’s no wonder car companies invest heavily in motor shows.

While the CEO of Brand X is doing the dance on stage in front of thousands, the CEO of Brand Y is in a VIP room being interrogated by a select few journalists from a particular country. The 15-minute interview is like a verbal boxing match, participants probing, ducking, weaving and jabbing. Some questions are pointed, some deliberately combative in the hope of shaking loose a juicy quote.

The goal is the same for both sides. Car companies want coverage, journalists want something interesting to write about.

Wheels devotes considerable resources to covering motor shows like Geneva. We have experienced journalists reporting from the floor, and more journalists in our Melbourne HQ focused on getting the news onto WheelsMag.com.au quickly, and accurately.

By the time you read this, the Geneva Auto Salon will be done and dusted for another year. We will have published dozens of news reports online, posted many photo galleries and videos, and shared this with our social media followers.

Hopefully you followed the Geneva Show at WheelsMag.com.au, so you’re fully informed about the exciting new models headed our way in the coming years. And now you’re ready for a more relaxed and entertaining escape into the world of cars, chauffeured by Michael Stahl, Stephen Corby, Nathan Ponchard and more of the world’s great feature writers.

Ready? Let’s get started.

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