Hello my fellow readers and car fanatics! How was your weekend? Did you spend them properly? Well, one could only say that he or she had spent their weekend to the fullest until they had attend the country’s very first full scale Volkswagen car show. The 2011 Volkswagen Das Auto.Show!
Taking place at the Bukit Jalil Stadium’s huge car park, the event will take place in two huge tents. One shaped like a gigantic dome and the other one is longer and stretched and is called the ‘Caterpillar Dome’. The gigantic dome, a.k.a Mega Dome measures 42m long and 21m tall which is really huge. The photos you see here seriously does not do it any justice.You have to be there to experience it’s large scale!
The main purpose of this car show is obvious. Volkswagen really wants to be a major player and dominate the car market in every sector and in every region. In short, Volkswagen wants to dominate the world. With booming sales in China and Europe, Volkswagen will now focus on other countries. This Volkswagen show happening this weekend meant that our market do mean something to them and they are set to seize the opportunity!
This Volkswagen car show is really high in budget and is the very first of it’s kind. No other car manufacturers had done such big scale car shows in this country and Volkswagen had really wowed me and all the people who attended to this show. However, don’t go rushing out to the show right now. This event starts on the 10th of September till the 11th for two days in total, and goes on from 10am to 10pm for both days. So by the time you are reading this, the show would be long ended.
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If you love cars and had missed this great car show because you had never knew about it, you really deserved to be slapped in the face. Volkswagen had spent large amounts of money advertising and promoting this event. I personally had heard of this event from the internet, newspaper, radio stations, banners, to huge roadside billboard. Volkswagen clearly do not want to miss anyone.
Stop slapping yourself as there is nothing else you could do but to continue reading. If you want no waiting and intrusion at the show then you should be there by 10am. However, to properly experience such an event you really should go there during peak hours in the afternoon. Which I did.
When you first reach the car park, you can clearly see those huge tents connected to some smaller (but still huge) buildings which I will explain later. The main entrance sees a big road sign indicating where you should drive in and walk into the parking area. People are free to park at the large amounts of parking space available but people who owns Volkswagen vehicles get to park closest to the building.
There are also no less advertisement around here. Banners are everywhere on the buildings, and there are big Volkswagen logos on almost every lamp post replacing the ‘no parking’ sign. There is also a gargantuan banner hanging from the stadium which writes “Volkswagen. Das Auto. Show 2011” and I believe that it stretches over 30 meters long on top of the stadium. This sometimes fool passerby into thinking that the event takes place inside the stadium.
Enough of the talk, is time to queue up! Just into the first few minutes of lining up, a further 15 to 20 people quickly filled up the space behind me. The good thing about lining up is that you get to take your sweet time admiring the Volkswagen cars parked around you. Golf GTIs are aplenty here which are mainly owned by youth and young adults who loves these hot hatches. There are also a few Passat CCs, Eos’, Tiguan, and a Touareg.
Some radio stations were there as well. The popular Hitz.fm for example, was there on behalf of Volkswagen to ask questions and give out cool Volkswagen merchandises to the people who were there. I did not get the chance to win any of the prizes as it took place inside the entrance. I was still lining up.
The line in front of me would still require close to 30 minutes of waiting. Oh and did I mention about how the sky was dim and gloomy? It was fine for the next 15 minutes or so until some water droplets can be felt on our heads. It was drizzling, and I am still 15 meters away from the main entrance!
Some people who afraid that it may soon have a downpour left the queue. Someone from Volkswagen even came out armed with his speaker to inform us to come back later as they too, afraid that it may rain heavily very soon. What a pointless announcement I would dare say. If it does rain heavily, everyone would just leave and I could just immediately head for the entrance! Hah, bring on the rain!
It eventually did. The rain got a bit heavier this time but still acceptable. Nothing is stopping the crowd really, and even the Volkswagen staff got enough of us and began distributing Volkswagen umbrellas to the queue which was very nice of them. I know what you are thinking. Unfortunately, we have to return those nice umbrellas.
Now I shall skip till the part I am inside the entrance. And what can I say but “Not again, more waiting?!” Yes, as the crowd went into the white building, we were directed into a big white room which is actually a waiting lounge. As you can see, there some comfy sofas here and there but we want to go to the show! No choice, we have to wait till the crowd after us to go in first.
Every person is required to fill up a short survey form and you will get a Volkswagen chop on your hand. That is the ticket to the show. Smart, that means you cannot fill up a few forms to get a dozens of tickets for your friends and go to the show tomorrow without queuing up. After you got that chop, there is another wait to what we all assume is the main event, because staff are constantly on their walkie-talkies to determine how much people are allowed in in order to maintain the crowd.
As we were finally allowed in, there is actually another long wait. Sigh. Let me be honest and shortened this all up. There’s one more lounge room to wait in, but this one is larger with three PS3 gaming rig with Gran Turismo 5 racing game for us to play and a merchandise shop selling overpriced key chains and car models. Then another long queue, then another long walk to reach the main dome. Finally!
With a diameter of 42 meters, the dome is really huge especially when you are inside. The dome can easily accommodate over hundreds of visitors with much room to spare as you can see from the photos. Being inside a dome, you are therefore surrounded by a projection of the Volkswagen logo and a line which stretches around the dome, representing the silhouette of the model lineup. There is another huge Volkswagen logo projected directly above the dome.
Despite my effort, I was unsuccessful in spotting a single projector anywhere which really got me curious as I had never seen a 360 degree projector nor I had thought that it was even possible to do so. While everyone was marveling the dome they are in, the main event is about to begin!
Lights off! Everybody was extremely excited including myself. The projection around the dome of the Volkswagen logo had now changed into a countdown timer. When the countdown was over, the projection now shows a few short clips, or should I say commercial of some of the latest Volkswagen models like the newly facelifted Eos and the new Touareg. After that, the projection changed into many photos of every current Volkswagen model which then surrounded the dome slowly. You really have to be inside the dome to experience just how cool this is!
The photos soon disappear, replaced by a scenic view of a city revolving around dome while at the same time, simulating movement just like being in a car. A narrator with a deep but clear voice then began introducing the cars which are going to appear on stage. The first car was the Golf Estate which is only available in Europe. Next up was the Passat CC R-Line which is basically a standard Passat CC with a more aggressive body kit. Nothing special, but the R-Line is still not available in our market yet so is nice to see it here.
Next in the line is much more interesting, the Scirocco R. Never seen one before and it looked really great in the metal. Following behind was the Cross Touran, Volkswagen’s popular MPV but with a hint of off-road ability, hence the Cross nomenclature. However, it is also not on sale on our shores yet.
The Golf R is up next. With the exact same metallic blue paint applied to the Scirocco R earlier, the Golf R looked equally menacing and aggressive. The final car to appear on the stage was Volkswagen’s flagship car.The Phaeton. Despite a recent facelift and revised both inside and out, the Phaeton is still 9 years old and no facelift could hide it’s age. It looked a bit dated compared to the other models. Once again, the Phaeton is not available here, so it’s always nice to catch a glimpse of one.
All six cars were driven around the circle stage slowly for a few rounds for us audience to admire and take photos. However one model was missing. The Amarok pickup truck which was shown the day before to the press and media. Not sure the reason behind the absence of that car but I was definitely a bit disappointed for not able to see the Amarok.
Surely some of us among the audience will be a bit disappointed to see cars which are not on sale here. Volkswagen however have a few surprises for us. While the six cars are now static and not moving around anymore, the narrator introduced their latest CKD models which will be locally assembled and sold here at a significantly lower price.
The first model to appear was the Polo sedan. Looked exactly like the Polo hatch but just with a extended boot at the rear. It surely does not look as good as the hatch but hey, you have to pay the price of in exchange of increased practicality. Next up was the Jetta and then followed by the all-new Passat mid-size sedan. The three cars were driven right in front of the audience instead of being high up on the stage. This gave me the chance to take some close up photos. However, I apologize for the lack of quality as the vehicles were on the move.
If you thought that the three new locally assembled cars were the surprises Volkswagen had for us, you were wrong! The final car to appear is the next generation Beetle which was launched in Europe just months ago. As I saw the first photos online months ago, I thought that it looked a bit bulky and weirdly proportioned.
Is a real surprise how big a difference is viewing a car in photos and in the metal. The real thing does look very attractive! The appearance of the new Beetle was a pleasant surprise to all of us. I believe this country was the very first in Asia to get a preview of this car before it goes on sale in the distant future. All the cars in the dome slowly drove away from sight and a couple of doors opened and welcomed us to view the Volkswagen lineup in the “Caterpillar Dome”.
The whole car presentation inside the “Mega Dome” took almost 15 minutes which explains the long queue. However, no more queuing to worry anymore as we all walk into the “Caterpillar Dome”. At first, I expect to see the cars which appeared on stage earlier. So I was indeed disappointed to know that only the current model lineup Volkswagen sells here are available for us to see. Worse still, all cars are locked shut and nobody are allowed to step too close to the cars. Why, Volkswagen why?!!!
Yes the cars are indeed polished to perfection till we could see our reflection with clarity. But if a car company wanted to promote their great cars to the public, I can’t see what’s wrong in allowing one unit of their every model to be seated in, doors slammed and to properly experience the cars just like how we would in their showroom. Impressed public = Future customers.
At least this was a good opportunity to take many detailed photos as much as I wanted to without salesmen starring at me. The whole place was brightly lit which compliments the polished shine on each car. The models displayed there was the Polo, Polo GTI, Golf, Golf GTI, Tiguan, Passat CC, Touareg, Scirocco, and the newly facelifted Eos.
That was pretty much all on the Volkswagen Das Auto.Show 2011. As a public car show opened to everyone with free admission, the Das Auto.Show was surely a great show for everyone to spend their weekend. The presentation inside the “Mega Dome” alone was enough to justify the long wait and I was deeply impressed by it. The presentation closely resembles those from major motor shows in Europe and I could see where most of the money had been spent on.
So if you were not there to experience it yourself, let’s just all hope that such car show would be organized more frequently in the future. In the meantime, check out the photo gallery below of what you had missed at the 2011 Volkswagen Das Auto.Show!