As a staffer for a San Francisco PR firm I was the chief content writer for the San Francisco International Auto Show. In this role I wrote all media related materials. When the San Francisco Chronicle became the primary sponsor I co-wrote the special section and show related articles.
In 1958, unable to participate in the local domestic auto show, forward-thinking Bay Area import auto dealers decided to create their own exposition. Given the novelty and interest in foreign made cars at the time, the auto dealer’s idea proved to be a good one. For nearly two decades the Import Car Show, the precursor to what is now the International Auto Show, flourished and expanded.
As attitudes and the auto industry changed, owing to greater global cooperation in automotive production and the increased competitiveness in the world’s car markets, it was only natural that the Import Car Show broadened its scope to include the products of both the domestic and international manufacturers worldwide. Thus the ever-expanding import show became truly international in 1982 when it moved into its new home at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco.
From the first year, the show was a tremendous success and given the sudden increase in the varieties of makes and models available it was literally bursting at the seams.
In 1992, another hall was added to the Moscone Center expanding it to a total of 1.2 million square feet. The additional space allowed exhibitors to construct more elaborate displays to showcase their vehicles and provided spectators a more spacious and inviting environment in which to view them. It also allowed the San Francisco International Auto Show to grow into what it has become today–the premier auto show in northern California and the only one held regionally that lures the dazzling, high-tech displays from the world’s major manufacturers. With almost 400,000 spectators attending annually, it is the second largest auto show in the western United States and the number one exhibition of any kind in northern California.
Now celebrating its 54th year, the San Francisco International Auto Show, continues to grow. This year’s show will fill Moscone Center with exhibits in the north and south halls, the Gateway and Esplanade Ballrooms plus the north and south lobby areas. Vehicles representing the work of more than 35 manufacturers for the year 2012 and beyond will all be on display including several new introductions, exotic sports cars, alternative fuel, hybrid and high-mileage vehicles plus special exhibits including the AAA Greenlight Showcase, the Academy of Art University Classic Car Collection, the Aftermarket Alley, hot rods from Dominator Street Rods, race cars and an auto accessory area.