Jakarta Jade

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Petrolheads not kept in the loop might not have heard of this massive automotive exhibition held from the 17th of April to 7th of May. This comes as little surprise as we will often zoom in on the larger and arguably more flambuoyant Bangkok International Motor Show. But we find the Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) rather interesting in terms of its evolution since 1986. Rather than focusing on the cars, a walk down memory lane should help us to learn more about our neighbouring country’s progress over the decades…

IIMS was first named as the GAIKINDO Cars Exhibition back in 1986, with only 13 members occupying 4,000 square metres of space within the Jakarta Convention Centre (JCC). Just a name change to “Jakarta Auto Expo” helped it to gather much more interest – both participants and visitors increased exponentially just three years later. Given that the government was clamping down on taxes in the 90’s, the show was postponed in 1992 – 1993, as well as 1997 – 1999. But thoroughbred petrolheads pushed on through the millennium and interest in the expo (renamed to Gaikindo Auto Expo) swelled to no less than 115 exhibitors.

Organisers realised that it was time to “globalise” their operations in 2006. A key factor was their decision to collaborate with the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs’ Automobiles (OICA) – the exact team that coordinates international motor shows. This gave the show additional leverage, and it was renamed again to the 14th edition of the Indonesia International Motor Show.

It never looked back since, with the highlight showcased in 2013, boasting a floor space that rivalled “competing” automotive exhibitions in ASEAN. Total transaction that year was a healthy 4.9 billion Rupiah (SGD$51 million).

The past three years took a different “turn” in terms of visitor experience, with themes put into action via various categories of vehicles on display. There were an assortment of exhibits that promote motorcycles, accessories, a beauty pageant, military vehicles, drifting and even social events such as blood donation drives.

IIMS made significant steps into the international arena, by collaborating with Grand Prix International (GPI), the same steering organiser for the Bangkok International Motor Show.

This year’s edition elevates the idea of “joy and happiness” to visitors, according to show organisers. We can certainly relate to it, given that quirky examples line up the exhibition hall of Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo). Food and games abound to supply visitors with a more fulfilling and holistic outing. The festival-like atmosphere is definitely not as driver-centric as other shows, but this supplies it with its own charm – an essential factor to distinguish this from other heavyweights around the region.

From vintage cars to concepts that defy even your wildest imagination, this could very well be one that caters to a wide spectrum of the market, from diehard petrolheads right through to families looking for a venue filled with festivities.

Photos: Indonesia International Motor Show

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