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The Tour d’Excellence heads out for Doha – a trailblazing journey promoting the values of the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS)

With just over a month to go until the opening ceremony of the first edition of the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar on 5 October, preparations are entering the home stretch. The auto show is sold out, with over 30 exhibitors unveiling a dozen world premieres. “We’re extremely pleased with the welcome exhibitors have had for this new kind of auto event. Their loyalty to our brand and the trust from our Qatari partners have allowed the Geneva International Motor Show to set new standards for this kind of event,” said Alexandre de Senarclens, Chairman of the Comité Permanent du Salon International de l’Automobile.

The complete list of GIMS Qatar exhibitors is available online:

Excellence, innovation and pioneering spirit

GIMS has launched the Tour d’Excellence to create a symbolic link between its two host cities, Geneva and Doha. As GIMS CEO Sandro Mesquita explains: “Excellence, innovation and pioneering spirit are the key elements of the GIMS DNA. The idea of the Tour d’Excellence is to manifest this spirit, all while highlighting the industry’s recent progress in electromobility.

Two crews aboard two Volkswagen ID Buzz cars bearing the GIMS colours set off today from Geneva. Without any assistance, they will drive by road to Doha in Qatar by 30 September. The journey will cover almost 6,500 km, crossing 12 countries and 2 seas, demonstrating the technological capacity of electric vehicles.

Two extraordinary people are making up the teams for this adventure. The first, Frank M. Rinderknecht, is the CEO of Rinspeed AG, a leading figure in the automotive industry and a loyal GIMS exhibitor for over 40 years. The second is Rainer Zietlow, owner of, the holder of 6 Guinness World Records and multiple long-distance travel record-holder. Their experience and passion for challenges make them excellent candidates to lead this exceptional journey. Frank Rinderknecht: “Rainer and I are looking forward to taking on this exceptional and unique challenge. While charging infrastructure is well developed in Europe today, this is not yet the case in the Middle East. Crossing 2,500 km in the Arabian Peninsula requires creativity and flexibility in order to access electrical power.”

A project like this couldn’t come to fruition without the support of a major partner: the Harting technology group is a leading supplier of technology and charging infrastructure for electromobility. Founded in 1945, this family-owned company’s motto is “Pushing performance”. Today, they support all current charging standards and develop charging technologies for automakers and infrastructure developers. As a direct supplier to the VW Group, for many years Harting has been enthusiastically involved in projects demonstrating the performance and range of electric vehicles.

The Tour d’Excellence is also an ambassador for Geneva’s values of hospitality and openness to the world. As Sophie Dubuis, President of Geneva Tourism, explains: “We look forward to discovering the GIMS in Doha and strengthening the already close ties between our two destinations. The tourism industry is looking forward to welcoming GIMS back to Geneva next February to celebrate its 100th anniversary as an international auto show!”.

A cube bearing the GIMS colours, symbolising all of these values, will make a stop at each stage of the Tour d’Excellence. At the GIMS Qatar opening ceremony on 5 October, the cube will be used to light up a sculpture at the entrance to the Doha Exhibition and Congress Center, the central venue for the Doha automobile festival, just like an Olympic torch.

The media and the public can find out all about the Tour d’Excellence as well as follow the crews’ progress at regular intervals on the GIMS website:

Preparing for GIMS 2024 in Geneva

This autumn also marks the start of concrete preparations for the next edition of GIMS in Geneva, scheduled from 26 February to 3 March 2024. This eagerly-awaited edition will take on a special layer of meaning as it marks the 100th anniversary of the first international GIMS.

The teams led by Sandro Mesquita have come up with a flexible, modern event platform capable of hosting both global manufacturers and start-ups, offering a wide range of content based on the theme “Auto. Future. Now”.

The two events go hand in hand, with GIMS Qatar focusing on immersive experiences and GIMS Geneva dedicated to innovation and the future of the automobile industry, making the GIMS international platform a place for the public to have new experiences, for the industry to present itself to the press and for professionals to exchange with each other.