Droit de réponse
The Monaco Auto Show will effectively take place Feb. 16 to 19th 2017 and is already an announced success!
This message is an answer to the article published December 16th 2016 by Nancy Heslin regarding the 1st Monaco International Motor Show (SIAM 2017).
In preamble, no one of Expo Monaco ever met Nancy Heslin, and she didn’t attend the press conference of December 7th at Automobile Club of Monaco mentioned several times in her article.
The only contact was a few minutes phone call between her and Nicolas Hesse, general manager of the show, who answered to some questions.
Before to restore the truth by facts about what has been said in the article, it is good to know that the show is under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and has the support of the Prince Albert II Foundation.
- Paris Motor Show: Thierry Hesse is retired of the Paris Motor Show that he chaired successfully during 25 years. Everybody in the car industry knows that he is the president and shareholder of Expo Monaco, the monegasque company he created with his son Nicolas to run the SIAM.
- ACM: SIAM never used the logo of ACM in any communication. SIAM always talked about ACM as a support; as new Members of the ACM, Nicolas and Thierry Hesse have respect for this institution and are proud of their support. If they had bad relationships with the ACM, they would never have let a press conference in their private office.
- Venturi: In April 2016, Gildo Pastor signed a contract with SIAM to put Venturi as a Founding Partner of the Show which means to be a partner and exhibitor. Few months ago, Richard Borfiga just called the SIAM to inform that Venturi could not exhibit because of the FormulaEPrix of Buenos Aires that takes place in the same time. This is why the “Gildo Pastor Center” area of the show previously dedicated to Venturi disappeared in the floor plan of the SIAM. Nevertheless, Gildo Pastor and Venturi never cancelled formally the partnership.
- Exhibition areas/authorisations: The SIAM received in February 2016 the agreement of the Interior Ministry (with the approval of the government and the city) to use all the spaces indicated. SIAM received also the agreement to use the Place of the Prince Palace, the SBM areas and the Grimaldi Forum. Nicolas didn’t answered to Nancy about their contracts with eachentities because Expo Monaco is a private company, and the deals are private.
- Security: Thierry Hesse is known as the world’s greatest Motor Show organizer, having managing nearly 1,500,000 visitors in 2 weeks in Paris every 2 years during 25 years without any incident. Security is a too important thing to be mentioned in an interview. It would be a great mistake to mention publicly the security measures taken for the show.
This said, let’s talk about facts: the show will effectively take place in as expected in February 2017 and is already an announced success!
More than 50 brands are attending the first edition of the show with the best brands of the industry among them:
Ecology and innovation:
Tesla, Mercedes, Lexus, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Bolloré, ABB …
Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Bentley …
The show has great partners such as EDF, Michelin, CMB (Compagnie Monégasque de Banque), Prince Albert II Foundation, Monaco Tourism Bureau, Société des Bains de Mer, Avere, Avem …
More than 1000 worldwide journalists are already pre-accredited and several thousands tickets have already been sold to the visitors.
The droit de réponse from Nicholas Hesse, SIAM General Manager, was printed in entirety December 20, 2016.
Monaco auto show heading off course?
SIAM, the 1st Monaco International Motor Show, due to take place in the Principality next February 16-19, held a press conference at the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) last Wednesday, December 7, announcing a pretty ambitious program that left more than a few in the room scratching their heads.
This “new concept of public motor show” is run by Terry Hesse, organiser of the Mondial de l’Automobile de Paris (MAP) for 25 years, who, according to the office of MAP Commissioner General Jean-Claude Girot, “retired a few years ago”, and his son, Nicholas Hesse.
First, there were misleading declarations.
For example, in a press release distributed at last week’s conference from the room SIAM rented at ACM for the occasion, SIAM indicated ACM is a partner by including their logo. ACM denies this partnership. When Monaco Life asked Nicolas Hesse by phone about this, he specified they are “not a partner, but they ‘soutien’ [“support”] the event.”
Monaco-based Venturi automobiles is listed as an exhibitor on SIAM’s website. However, Venturi will be participating in the 2017 Buenos Aires ePrix on February 18. Monaco Life spoke with Venturi’s Managing Director, Richard Borfiga, who confirmed, “We will not be there.” Nicolas Hesse admitted Venturi was a paid partner in the beginning but had to cancel due to the race in Argentina. He told Monaco Life they are “a non-paying partner”.
Also confusing was the divulging of the event’s location in four places spread across Monaco: Place du Casino, Place du Palais Princier, Quai Albert 1er and, on February 17, Grimaldi Forum. (There will be free navettes to shuttle attendees “to the stands of exhibitors that will be evenly spread through the territory of the Principality”.)
The logistics of having stands at three outdoor spaces is complicated by the fact that each one is controlled by a different body, from Société des Bains de Mer (Place du Casino) to the Minister of State (Place du Palais Princier) to the Mayor of Monaco (Quai Albert 1er).
Monaco Life spoke with a baffled Mayor Georges Marsans the day after the press conference, who told us, “I absolutely have not given my agreement for use of the port.”
The Mayor explained that the Minister of State had contacted him a few months ago to inquire about availability of the port on these dates. “To rent the port, an interested party asks about availability, then we give rates, and finally there is a signed contract. There has been no agreement.”
Monaco Life asked the highly personable Nicolas Hesse about the port, and whether he had a signed contract with the mayor. He claimed they went through the Minister of the Interior for permission, and that he had not met the mayor yet.
He also said that they are expecting between 50,000 to 100,000 visitors. Monaco Life put the question of security to him, and he explained that the Minister of Interior was “taking care” of this.
Monaco Life contacted the Minister of State by phone to inquire about the agreement and security and while there is a 30-page file on the event, we couldn’t get confirmation about a specific contract with the port, or the other locations, or information about security. We were told to talk to the organisers.
Monaco Life followed this up with an email to the Minister of State inquiring again about permission, and whether an agreement was received from the mayor, and addressing the question of security, but at the time of publishing, we’ve not yet heard back.
Then there were rumours that some time prior to the press conference, and despite stating the contrary, SIAM had cancelled the February 17 booking at the Grimaldi Forum. Monaco Life reached out to Sylvie Biancheri, General Director at Grimaldi Forum, to confirm whether the date has been reserved by the organisers but she kindly replied that they do not communicate information on ongoing files of the Grimaldi Forum. (“Nous ne communiquons pas d’informations sur les dossiers en cours du Grimaldi Forum.”)
Throw into the equation that this is a major outdoor event in the winter month of February, and during school break, and the “first open-air International Motor Show to showcase Ecology, Innovation and Prestige” seems to be facing a few pitstops.
Still, one resident car enthusiast remains hopeful: “Monaco is known to do the unimaginable.”
Monaco’s International Motor Show runs from February 16-19, open 10 am to 7 pm. Tickets (an affordable €15/day) and test drives can be booked online.
Article fist published December 13, 2016