ONE of Spain´s most prestigious motor shows, Automobile Barcelona – an annual event held at the Fira exhibition centre – has received special recognition from the organisers of the Car of the Year award ceremony.
Marking the centenary celebrations of the Barcelona show, the current president, Enrique Lacalle, collected the award from the organisers of the Car of the Year award in a ceremony in Madrid.
Enrique Lacalle thanked the ceremony and said that in its centennial edition “Automobile Barcelona will offer everyone the chance to take a walk through history, discover the latest developments in a key industry for Spain and be surprised by technological innovations that will transform the mobility of our lives in the not too distant future”.
Automobile Barcelona will take place between Saturday May 11 and Sunday May 19 at the Fira de Barcelona in Montjuïc, celebrating the event for the fortieth time, having showcased the industry´s novelties for the last 100 years.
The first show under the name was held in September, 1919, at the Palacio de Bellas Artes. A total of 58 exhibitors attended, highlighting the Spanish brands Hispano-Suiza, a Swizz-Spanish collaboration which also manufactured aircraft engines for World War I, and Elizalde, a company also involved in aircraft engine production, later absorbed into the Daimler-Benz AG group.
Although the original idea was to make the event annual, something which took decades to achieve, the second edition didn´t take place until 1922 when 33,410 visitors attended the event, including King Alfonso XIII, himself a motoring enthusiast, declared an official event by the King a year later, when 413 exhibitors showcased their products to an ever increasing 50,000 visitors.
This year, in its 40th incarnation, Automobile Barcelona is already set to be the largest in recent years, with more brands and more exhibition space. The incorporation of more firms and new activities has meant the extension of the exhibition into two new pavilions at the Montjuïc site.
The Car of the Year Awards recognises the best vehicles of the year, based on a range of criteria including design, performance and safety, and also recognises companies, institutions and personalities in the motoring sector.
This year, the seventeenth edition of the awards, the Mercedes-Benz Class A was recognised as the winning vehicle for 2019.