Exceeding expectations and defying odds. If we could sum up last weekend’s paultan.org PACE 2019 show, co-sponsored by Michelin and TyrePlus, that would be it. Held over the November 2-3 weekend at the Setia City Convention Centre, the second edition of our Premium Auto Car Expo drew over 22,000 visitors over two days, which is 11.1% more people than last year. During peak hours, we had around 2,000 visitors in the hall.

That would have been an achievement in itself, and for many shows, visitor count is the focus. But PACE is all about results and selling premium cars – we bring together the best deals under one roof, and target the correct crowd to take advantage of those deals. Many of you did exactly that, and in just one weekend, a total of 399 vehicles worth over RM91.5 million were sold at PACE!

That’s an 86% jump from the inaugural PACE 2018‘s final tally (214 cars worth over RM50 million), made even more impressive by the fact that premium car sales have gone down by 20-30% year-on-year. Bear in mind that we’re talking about cars costing RM150k and above (the baseline price we’ve set for new cars at PACE), and word on the ground is that currently, the Malaysian economy isn’t exactly in the pink of health.

Of the 399 vehicles sold (400 would have been a nice round number, but we failed to get our man Danny to open his wallet), 272 were new cars and 87 were pre-owned cars. Due to popular demand, we’ve opened PACE to premium motorcycle brands, and 40 superbikes were registered over two days.

Once again, these are top end machines from Harley-Davidson (37 units, including a few units of the Road Glide priced at RM200k each) and BMW Motorrad – the latter sold one unit of the R 1250 R, R 1250 RS and S 1000 RR each. The three BMW bikes were launched in Malaysia just a day before PACE opened its doors. Honestly, we were as astonished as the motorcycle distributors at the tremendous response.

Our main focus will always be on cars, and BMW/MINI and Mercedes-Benz – represented by top dealers Auto Bavaria and Hap Seng Star – shifted 153 cars and 97 cars respectively, while Volkswagen sold 56 units. All three German brands surpassed their PACE 2018 total. In fact, most of our exhibitors exceeded their targets, and high end models sold included the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S560e and BMW 740Le limos, and the Audi Q8 flagship SUV. Across the aisle, someone signed on a Range Rover Velar.

Premium and performance goes hand in hand, and we’re happy to report that the units of the Renault Megane RS and Volkswagen Golf R hot hatchbacks, plus a few MINI John Cooper Works models, were registered at PACE 2019.

Our exhibitors also took the opportunity to showcase new or upcoming models at PACE – visitors had the chance to check out the second-generation Range Rover Evoque, facelifted Renault Koleos, new Audi Q3, the limited edition Volkswagen Beetle Retro edition and Mazda CX-8. For something different, very few can beat the uniqueness of Malaysia’s bespoke carmaker Bufori, which brought out the Geneva and working prototypes of its upcoming CS coupe.

The fact that PACE 2019 sales spiked in an auto market that isn’t rosy is proof that a targeting the right crowd is all-important for a sales-focused show. Registrations were up 86% on the back of 11% visitor growth, which means that the leads were of high quality. Where did we find this quality crowd?

Here, at paultan.org, of course. We know this because all marketing and promotions for PACE 2019 were done exclusively on Driven’s digital properties. We experimented with a small portion of external advertising for our inaugural show last year, but decided on fully trusting our own platform and reach this time around. The results are a testament of paultan.org‘s unrivalled and unique position as the top daily provider of motoring content to Malaysians.

PACE 2019 would not have been a success without the support of co-sponsors Michelin and TyrePlus, and partners Audi, BMW, Bufori, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Subaru, Volkswagen, Volvo, Harley-Davidson, 3M, Babel Fit, Kuzig Glanz and Reebonz. While we’ve worked hard on this project, it would still not have been a success without the support of you, dear reader. Thank you.

Of course, PACE will return next year for a third edition, but before that, and due to popular demand, we will be kickstarting a new sales event called paultan.org ACE (Auto Car Expo) for mass market brands. The inaugural ACE 2020 will be held before the Hari Raya holiday period next year. We’re working on some really good deals for you, so stay tuned!

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