The 2017 Malaysia Autoshow closed its curtains last Sunday, with more than 250,000 in attendance.
When the idea fully government-backed annual motorshow was mooted more than three years ago, little did I expect the show to grow so much within such a short span of time.
Recently, there is rising belief that vehicle showcases have lost its relevance. Some argue that the cost outweigh the benefits, while others argue that the amount of news coverage on the Internet is enough to provide necessary information to the public all year around.
To be frank - I truly beg to defer.
The global automotive industry is going through its most rapid revolution.
We've seen this before in an other industry when the mobile phone suddenly emerged as a lifestyle tool: hundreds of contraptions combined into a singular devide, addressing numerous daily problems from basic arithmetic to hailing taxis to get to the airport on time.
Cars now need to evolved in the same manner. Perhaps, when we were busy driving our own cars for the last century, it wasn't really an issue.
However, as self-driving cars are getting closer to commercial reality, we will surely start considering what we will do with all that free time!
Therefore, consumers of the Malaysian automotive market must also see - and experience - this change in trends. There is no better way than the autoshow, which allows such experience to ultimately turn into the initiation of the purchase decision, all in a single location.
It is a purchase decision with the ultimate array of choices for the consumer - a first-hand explanation by numerous brand dealers, followed by test drives along the 3km test track at the autoshow's new home on the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park ground in Serdang.
With that, I'd like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all industry players. Thank you to the original equipment manufacturers who, on their own accord,put up a great display for visitors, from test drives of latest energy efficient vehicles models all the way to driving experiences on custom-built off-road tracks, which maximised the customer experience for visitors, particularly in the area of vehicle safety technology.
My deepest gratitude to the vendors and after-sales businesses who paved the way for a deeper appreciation for the industry, allowing Malaysians to understand how these sectors contribute tothe grander scheme of the industry - the biggest pool of high technology jobs and business opportunities in the industry.
A round of applause to those who made the Kuala lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS2017) and the SoundValley Festival 2017 a tremendous success.
They were amazing introductions to the autoshow, and brought together automotive experts and music lovers into a single locsation - a symbol of the ever-evolving culmination of motoring and lifestyle we expect to see in the future.
The autoshow would not have grown without the full support of the Malaysian government, through the International Trade and Industry Ministry.
Thank you for your undivided attention to the autoshow for the last three years, and it is our pleasure to keep this momentum going with your continued support for the automotive industry.
To my team - the core talent who made all this happen - there are no words to describe how proud I am.
From our beginnings only seven years ago, to maintaining the passion, dedication and competitive spirit needed to organise the largest motor show the nation as seen, is truly remarkable.
Lastly, I thank The Almightly for His grace and blessing on all proceedings.
Congratulations to all who made the 2017 Malaysia Autoshow a huge success, and we hope to see you again next year!
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.