Special Coverage

Auto Show

GENEVA – Journalists planning to attend press days March 1-2 already have a schedule for press conferences and now have been given a list of 76 “VIPs” who will be on the car stands to greet the writers, photographers and bloggers.

Beauty is one trend. Andrea Kuster, Miss Earth 2010, is expected to be on the Ford stand Tuesday, while Fiat will have Kerstin Cook, Miss Switzerland 2010. SEAT is offering Mr. Switzerland, Jan Bülhmann.

However, when it comes to the auto show media, sport figures are a bigger draw. Ford will have on hand top snowboarders and equestrians, in addition to 2-time world champion figure-skater Stéphane Lambiel.

Land Rover will offer Andreas Thiel, a former German handball player. Hyundai will feature Gilbert Gress, a former soccer player, and Subaru will battle back with wrestler Jörg Abderhalden.

The world of entertainment is well-represented. BMW has invited actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Mini has a Swiss rapper named Stress and Toyota has the bass-guitarist Chris von Rohr, a founder of Swiss heavy-metal band Krokus.

Apparently, not all auto makers that answered the show organizers call understood what a VIP is to the outside world.

Pininfarina, for example, nominated Chairman Paolo Pininfarina for the list, while the French department of Yvelines (home to the engineering centers of Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen) nominated its president, Alain Schmitz.

But Ford may top them all with wildlife/bear biologist, David Bittner, who will grace the auto maker’s stand for an hour Tuesday. With a title like that, one can only hope he’ll bring a bear along with him.