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Regional auto shows are overshadowed

Geneva. Regional auto shows are having a hard time. They are overshadowed by bigger events in Geneva, Detroit and Paris.

The Auto Mobil International (AMI) in Leipzig on April 17 will be the first German show to open this year.

AMI will only attract a fraction of the 700,000 visitors expected at Geneva.

But AMI organizers are trying hard to establish their show as a small-scale rival to the IAA in Frankfurt.

More than 400 exhibitors will show their products over 130,000 square meters of exhibition space, nearly 30,000 square meters more than in Geneva.

Organizers hope that AMI will be the most important German auto show in 2004.

Lucky for them then that there will be no IAA in 2004. The Frankfurt event receives 800,000 visitors and is traditionally Germany's largest auto show.

The IAA in Frankfurt is staged on alternate years to the International Automobile Salon in Paris. The next one is in September 2005.

The Paris event will open this year on September 25. More than 1.5 million visitors usually attend the Paris show making it the largest auto show in terms of visitor numbers.

In contrast the Brussels auto show was once one of the most highly regarded shows. Despite its more than 700,000 visitors Brussels has still lost a lot of prestige.

The problem is that the Detroit Motor Show opens shortly before Brussels, which means that Detroit steals all the premieres.

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