Show History

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 dealers’ 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.

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 300,000 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 56th 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 and driveway areas. Vehicles representing the work of more than 38 manufacturers for the year 2014 and beyond will all be on display including several new introductions, exotic sports cars, alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. In addition there will be special exhibits including the Academy of Art University Classic Car Collection, the PG&E Future Drive Expo, the San Francisco Auto Salon, plus displays from AutoTrader.com, the Ferrari Club of America, GEICO with the Paul Teutul Jr. Military Tribute motorcycle, Dominator Hot Rods, racing simulators plus an auto accessory booth area with model cars, interactive exhibits as well as car care products.

The San Francisco Chronicle|SFGate.com 56th Annual International Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com and supported by the California Motor Car Dealers Association, will run for five days, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2013 at the Moscone Convention Center and promises to be the most spectacular ever.

Show hours are:

Thursday, November 28 – Sunday, December 1: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Monday, December 2: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults with children 12-years and under free when accompanied by an adult.  Tickets can be purchased at the door.

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