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ASNA - The Auto Show Report
Volume Ten, Issue Six - May 2015
In This Issue:

Industry News
» Auto Shows study to be unveiled at Summer Meeting
» AHOF to induct four 'who moved world forward'
» Public more accepting of 'piecemeal' autonomous features
» Nevada issues plates to first autonomous truck
» AAA says drivers may see savings this year
» Writer/photographer Denise McCluggage dies at 88
» FCA offers tuition to dealer employees
» Volvo decides on South Carolina as plant location
» Porsche opens $100-million 'Experience Center'
» More truck sales result in higher MPG

Show Profiles
» Calgary: Great weather propels increase in show attendance
» Cincinnati: Hook the kids, the buying family will follow
» Columbus: Ohio's capital city show continues to grow and diversify
» Dayton: Smaller shows get energized locally, as buyers look to spring
» Honolulu: With hydrogen on the map, show features lots of choice
» Oklahoma City: Show in steady growth mode in spite of dip in oil prices
» Rochester: Diversified economy helps to avoid market volatility

» Show Directory
» Credits/Contacts

Industry News

Auto Shows study to be unveiled at Summer Meeting

For years auto show executives have made the case that their events are among the most effective ways to market new vehicles throughout North America.

Lou Vitantonio Jr.
"The Power of Auto Shows," a study conducted last year by Foresight Research, is expected to provide tangible proof that the auto show is one of the most effective and time-tested ways a manufacturer can boost sales.

The findings will be unveiled at this year's Auto Shows of North America Summer Meeting, to be held July 14-15 at the historic Dearborn Inn, just west of Detroit.

ATAE Lou Vitantonio Jr., who chairs the ASNA Committee along with his leading role with the Cleveland Auto Show, said the research project will serve as the "headline" for this year's event.

Jason Stein
Publisher and Editor
Automotive News
Also featured at the show will be Jason Stein, publisher and editor of Automotive News, who will deliver the keynote address at the July 15 luncheon.

Organizers also plan various round table gatherings involving representatives from manufacturers, exhibit houses and decorators, an ever-popular opportunity to discuss what works and what plans are taking shape for future shows.

“The ASNA Summer Meeting is the best time of year for everyone in our industry to come together in a social, but structured environment, get caught up, listen to speakers and panel discussions, and network,” said Vitantonio. “People who attend are interested and engaged in the success of auto shows, and are there to stay on top of their game.”

Interested in attending or sponsoring the largest non-auto show auto show event in North America? Call today for more details at 703.821.7070.

AHOF to induct four 'who moved world forward'

Roger Penske
The Automotive Hall of Fame, located in Dearborn, Mich., will induct four new members July 23, including Roger Penske, race team owner and automotive entrepreneur; the late Elwood Haynes, who test drove his car two years before Henry Ford's Quadricycle; Luca di Montezemolo, former chair of Ferrari S.p.A.; and Ratan N. Tata, chair emeritus of Tata Sons, who returned Jaguar and Range Rover to eminent status (and profitability). Former Delphi executive Rodney O'Neal is being honored as 2015 Industry Leader of the Year. Tickets for the black-tie event can be purchased at automotivehalloffame.org or by contacting Kerry Doyle at 313.240.4000 or kdoyle@thedrivingspirit.org.

Public more accepting of 'piecemeal' autonomous features

Ask if drivers are likely to trust cars to drive themselves and the answer is more than likely "too dangerous." But talk about features that take control of braking and steering to avoid a collision and you're likely to get a completely different answer. That insight comes from a survey done by Harris Poll for Autotrader.com and serves as a reminder that technology is often more quickly accepted when it comes in bite-size chunks rather than all at once. In the meantime, writes Keith Naughton for Bloomberg News, "gadgetry that five years ago seemed like science fiction is quickly becoming commonplace in a range of models, from luxury Audis to middle-market Subarus."

Nevada issues plates to first autonomous truck

The state of Nevada has issued a set of valid license plates for what is being described as the first autonomous 18-wheeler. At a ceremony at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in May, Gov. Brian Sandoval made the presentation to Wolfgang Bernhard, who oversees truck operations at Daimler AG, parent of Freightliner. The new vehicle, dubbed "Inspiration," is intended to reduce the 90 percent of truck crashes that involve human error, much of that due to fatigue. A human driver will need to sit behind the wheel in case of an emergency, but eventually fleets of trucks may have no humans on board at all, said Bernhard.

AAA says drivers may see savings this year

Citing lower fuel costs and cheap car loans, AAA says in its yearly "Your Driving Costs" study that drivers can expect to pay about two percent less to operate their vehicles this year. But not all costs are less: auto insurance rates as well as the cost of maintenance and tires are expected to rise and AAA points to possible lower values for trade-ins. Overall, the average savings are about $178 per vehicle, more for those driving larger vehicles than the average.

Writer/photographer Denise McCluggage dies at 88

Denise McCluggage
One of the industry's most prominent writers and photographers (as well as champion race car driver, entrepreneur, role model and pioneer) has died at age 88. Denise McCluggage, whose racing achievements included winning the grand touring category at Sebring in 1961 (driving a Ferrari 250 GT), was founding editor of AutoWeek, where she remained a contributing editor until her death on May 6, 2015. She is the only journalist to have been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

FCA offers tuition to dealer employees

Fiat Chrysler has said it will offer employees at some of its U.S. dealerships the chance to earn a free degree at a Virginia-based university. The automaker has teamed up with Strayer University on its Degrees@Work program, which will be initially available in the southeast. The idea could help dealers attract high potential employees, as well as to improve employee retention rates. Al Gardner, head of Dealer Network Development and president and CEO of the Chrysler brand, said the goal is to position Chrysler as an employer of choice. The program allows employees to earn associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. FCA will start the program with 356 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat dealerships in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

Volvo decides on South Carolina as plant location

Volvo, the automaker once run as a Ford subsidiary and now owned by China's Geely, has chosen South Carolina as the site of its first U.S. factory. Lars Wrebo, Volvo's head of manufacturing and purchasing, has previously said the annual capacity of such a plant would range from 100,000 to 120,000 units. The plant will feature a new flexible program based on the redesigned XC90 full-size crossover and incorporated into most of the brand's future models. It eventually expects to employ 4,000 workers.

Porsche opens $100-million 'Experience Center'

Porsche Cars North America has opened a $100-million, 27-acre complex that serves as both its headquarters and a Porsche Experience Center. The facility is near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, once the home of a Ford assembly plant that closed in 2006. It includes a driver development track, classic car gallery, restoration center, human performance center and driving simulator lab. It also features a fine dining restaurant. There is also a state-of-the-art business center that includes 13,000 square feet of conference and event space. Company executives have said the experience center has been specifically designed as a destination for the public, including automotive enthusiasts and Porsche customers.

More truck sales result in higher MPG

Current sales that have trucks commanding some 56 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. have had the effect of lowering the average fuel economy, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Based on numbers from the EPA, the average fuel consumption of cars, light trucks, vans and utility vehicles bought in April was 25.2 MPG, down from 25.4 MPG in March.

Show Profiles

Calgary: Great weather propels increase in show attendance

Even with the global decline in oil prices, this year's Calgary International Auto & Truck Show was early enough in the season to avoid any direct impact on traffic related to job layoffs that have since hit this Western Canada city.

Indeed, as ATAE Jim Gillespie explained, another record year in attendance, up four percent over last year, may be a sign of further growth once the price of oil recovers.

That jump in attendance was helped with good weather in an otherwise unpredictable climate where warm weather (or snow) can be disruptive.

Adding to what can only be described as the good luck associated with the weather was Gillespie and his team at the Calgary Motor Dealers Association benefiting from a significant advertising push, particularly online, that helped with attendance.

Online ticketing was also strong, said Gillespie.

"Our walk up traffic was the best it's ever been," he added, referring to the electronic kiosks that were in high demand at the venue.

Among the highlights of this year's show was the 16th anniversary of the "Vehicles & Violins" charity gala, with funds raised going to three local charities: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Alberta, Kids Help Phone, and Fresh Start Recovery Centre, a drug addiction treatment center in the area.

'Our walk up traffic was the best it's ever been.'
-ATAE Jim Gillespie

That was followed on Wednesday with Ladies Night, which happened to coincide with a game between the NHL Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks.

"There were lots of red roses to give out that night," said Gillespie.

While Gillespie admits he's not one for bringing in celebrities to the auto show, this year there were more than a few to be seen, largely the result of various automakers wanting to leverage their own marketing programs.

A couple of players from the Canadian Football League Calgary Stampeders were present, as was Jamie Davis, made famous in part as a star of Highway Thru Hell, a reality TV show chronicling his heavy towing firm.

There was also an appearance—the only Canadian appearance it turns out—of the truck used to film Transformers: Age of Extinction, a Western Star 5700 series model.

Aside from the subsequent dip in vehicle sales resulting from lower oil prices, Gillespie said luxury brands have so far held up reasonably well.

Profile: Calgary International Auto & Truck Show

March 11-15, 2015

BMO Centre, Stampede Park

Exhibit Space:
250,000 square feet

$10 (weekday), $15 (weekend), Adults; $8, Seniors, Youth (11-17) FREE, Children 10 and under (accompanied by adult). $29, Family (two adults, two youth).

Show Hours:
Wednesday, 3 pm-10 pm; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-6 pm.

Produced by:
Calgary Motor Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Jim Gillespie
Executive Manager
Calgary Motor Dealers Association
403.974.0707 jimg@cmdacars.com

Show Website:

Cincinnati: Hook the kids, the buying family will follow

ATAE Charlie Howard, who heads the Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association, has a firm belief when it comes to driving attendance to the Cincinnati Auto Expo.

He'll likely acknowledge that having 200,000 square feet of space in which to showcase all the new vehicles the auto show brings to consumers is part of what shapes his feeling, which is to make the event appealing to family.

"Our average visitor spends about two hours at the show," said Howard. "If you're going to do that, you have to have something for the kids to do and we try to focus on that aspect of the show."

Those younger ones have lots to keep them occupied, which lets the parents, 58 percent of whom are looking to buy a vehicle in the next year, according to show surveys, do their thing.

'You have to have something for the kids to do and we try to focus on that aspect of the show.'
-ATAE Charlie Howard

Hart Productions, which manages the show for Howard and his team, also offers a family zone diversion that includes a goody bag with a die cast car and other fun giveaways.

Kids were also given a show passport that focused on child passenger safety, done in cooperation with the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, which has been linked to the auto show for several years now.

A charity preview night, also in support of the Children's Hospital, had a good turnout, in spite of the date coinciding with a basketball game involving crosstown rivals Xavier and University of Cincinnati.

"We did fine," said Howard. "But we hope the game will go back to the time when it doesn't clash with our Charity Preview."

Howard said the show’s steady attendance was made possible, at least in part, with an increase in advertising spending in TV, radio and websites of the auto show's media partners.

"The rest is largely a matter of making sure we have a well-timed media buy and letting the process work," said Howard. "It's ultimately about the cars and we had some pretty cool cars here."

Profile: Cincinnati Auto Expo

Feb. 18-22, 2015

Duke Energy Convention Center

Exhibit space:
200,000 square feet

Adults, $11; Children (13 and under), FREE . Two for one matinees on Thursday and Friday (11 am to 6 pm).

Show Hours:
Wed., 5 pm-9 pm; Thurs., 11 am-8:30 pm; Fri., 11 am-9 pm; Sat., 10 am-9 pm; Sun., 11 am-5 pm.

Produced by:
Hart Productions, Inc.

Show Contact:
ATAE Charlie Howard
Executive Vice President
Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association
513.326.7100, choward@gcada.net

Show Website:

Columbus: Ohio's capital city show continues to grow and diversify

In her short time as manager of the Columbus International Auto Show, there's no question that Marie Gilman is experiencing positive trends, which continued again this season.

Two years ago, the show saw a massive 33 percent jump in attendance. Last year that was a modest one percent uptick, but this season's show saw another nine percent increase, all good news for the Columbus Automobile Dealers Association.

But Gilman hasn't been content simply to watch the numbers grow.

She's working hard to bring new features as well as overseeing the return (for its third year) of the Ram Off-road Experience.

"Their numbers keep going up," noted Gilman. "It's been a very positive experience for Ram and they've become quite efficient at getting people through the lines. It's been a great feature."

Even with a convention center that's not optimized for a typical Ride and Drive experience, Gilman said both Mazda, which had four models, and Ford, with the F-150, managed to make it work, with registration areas set up indoors.

Also returning to Columbus was an "ugliest car" contest that Gilman and her team began last year.

'It's a lot more fun to give a car away to someone who really needs it.'
-Marie Gilman, Columbus Auto Show

The event, sponsored by Central Ohio Honda dealers, had entrants submitting their photos on Facebook along with reasons they should win the new vehicle, which was a new Honda Accord.

The ultimate winner may have been destined to win. When she tried to start her 1996 Corolla (with a lot of miles on it), it actually failed to start.

"We were so glad she won," said Gilman. "It's a lot more fun to give a car away to someone who really needs it."

Other highlights of the show included the appearance of the Nationwide Insurance Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 show car simulator (the firm is headquartered in Columbus).

Nationwide also partnered with the Columbus International Auto Show to give its employees free admission on "Fan Friday."

Gilman also pointed to a highly interactive area that was set up in the convention center, near the Ride and Drive events. Those features included rock wall climbing as well as celebrity signings and an Adventure Zone for kids.

There was also a social media live feed, with 70-inch TV screens projecting live time play of all photos (through Instagram and Facebook) and giveaways for people who used a distinctive hashtag on Twitter.

The Columbus Dispatch newspaper, which had provided the giveaways, contributed to the show's success by teaming up with a local furniture company for a lounge area, complete with chairs and coffee tables as well as phone charging stations.

Profile: Columbus International Auto Show

March 19-22, 2015

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
272,457 square feet

$10, Adults (at box office); $8 online; $5, Students (with ID), FREE, Children (9 and under), $5, Senior Day (55+), Friday, March 14 from 12-5 pm

Show Hours:
Thursday 12 pm-9 pm, Friday 12 pm-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-9 pm, Sunday 10 am-6 pm

Produced by:
Columbus Automobile Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Tim Doran
Executive Vice President
Columbus Automobile Dealers Association
(614) 923-2229 tdoran@oada.com

Marie Gilman, auto show manager
(614) 923-2233 mgilman@oada.com

Show Website:

Dayton: Smaller shows get energized locally, as buyers look to spring

When Marie Gilman puts on her thinking cap for Dayton Auto Show planning, she's also bringing to the table her experience in helping to manage events while a student at Ohio State University.

But she's also aware that Dayton isn't too far from Cincinnati, a bigger city that has its own show, which happened to be on the same weekend for the last three years.

Ouch, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Dayton is certainly a community with its own set of loyal buyers and responsive auto dealers, who are members of the Dayton Area Automobile Dealers Association.

And Gilman knows how to run a show that will appeal to a local audience, running both the Greater Toledo Auto Show and even the Columbus International Auto Show as part of her duties at the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association.

In Dayton specifically, Gilman combined some tried-and-true marketing initiatives related to auto shows to make sure the show was a success.

'There's not a lot going on in those months, so it's a chance to get out of the house. It gets them excited about buying a car.'
-Marie Gilman, Dayton Auto Show

Features included a car giveaway, fueled by the local Chevy dealers, who provided a Spark as the prize. Show goers could enter the contest at dealerships prior to the show but they could also register using a lobby computer hookup.

Gilman also organized a ticket discount promotion, offering a $2 discount if they purchased online.

"The minute people see they can save $2 online they're all over it," she said.

But Gilman was also ready to replicate some of the techniques she used for the Toledo show, including a crushed car contest.

"Toledo and Dayton are in many ways similar shows, so we get to use what works in one in the other event," she said, adding that she also took advantage of successful social media strategies at both events.

"People love online trivia so that was one of the ways we got their attention and got them involved."

In at least one way, a smaller show like Dayton is an opportunity for people with cabin fever who have spent too much time indoors.

"There's not a lot going on in those months, so it's a chance to get out of the house. And people get to see what's new on the roads or what will be new. It gets them excited about buying a car."

And from the perspective of the market, it's a strategy that seems to have legs of its own.

"March sales were up and that's attributable to the show," said Gilman.

Profile: Dayton Auto Show

February 19-22, 2015

Dayton Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
67,088 square feet

$7, Adults (13 and over), $5, Students (with student ID), FREE Children (12 and under). $5, Senior Day (55+), Friday, February 21 from 12-5 pm

Show Hours:
Thursday 12 pm-9 pm, Friday 12 pm-9 pm, Saturday 10 am-9 pm, Sunday 10 am-6 pm

Produced by:
Dayton Area Automobile Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Tim Doran
Executive Vice President
Dayton Area Automobile Dealers Association
(614) 923-2229 tdoran@oada.com

Auto Show Manager Marie Gilman
614.923.2233 mgilman@oada.com

Show Website:

Honolulu: With hydrogen on the map, show features lots of choice

It's hard to overemphasize the turnaround experienced in recent years by the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association.

But ATAE Dave Rolf, who heads the association and its First Hawaiian International Auto Show, remembers just how dismal the market was as recently as 2009.

In that year, Hawaii dealers had sold just over 33,000 vehicles, down from just over 70,000 that were sold in 2005.

Dealers in the Aloha state expect to sell about 57,000 vehicles in 2015.

Rolf points to an over-inflated value of homes in Hawaii for the decline that saw much of the nation in a tailspin.

"Homeowners were using their residence as a kind of bank machine and when the values declined, so did the automotive market," he said.

But those are days behind dealers in Hawaii, boosted by media coverage of the auto show.

In fact, even the Super Bowl doesn't get as much media attention in Hawaii.

That media coverage, further bolstered with bonus space provided by the dominant Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper, helped Rolf and his team with their key messages around the auto show.

'Our surveys showed a very strong 60 percent of people were able to recall that the auto show was happening.'
-ATAE Dave Rolf

"Our surveys showed a very strong 60 percent of people were able to recall that the auto show was happening, that we had 350 vehicles and that they could see a hydrogen-powered vehicle at the show," said Rolf.

Notable among the highlights of this year's show was that hydrogen connection, highlighting efforts to bring the infrastructure necessary for the green fuel to become widely used throughout the state and, in particular, Honolulu.

"We know that the only way we're going to be able to have a good network of hydrogen fuel stations, which will translate into having hydrogen vehicles, is to have government support," said Rolf.

In a state of roughly one million adult residents, it's not unusual for people to have daily contact with their legislators, which helps with those informal lobbying activities that seem to be essential to the development of public policy.

And it was at the auto show that Rolf and his team were able to highlight some of the key messages they hope will eventually lead to change.

A notable expression of support came from Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai, a long-time supporter of the use of hydrogen, who recognized that the auto show featured a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

Rolf pointed to a wide range of electric vehicles that were on display, notably the Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul electric, GM's Volt plug-in electric, Toyota Prius, BMW's i3 and even a Tesla, which provided a Ride and Drive opportunity for show goers.

Toyota also brought its hydrogen-powered Mirai vehicle to the show. Some eight dealerships in California will be selling the 2016 Mirai as early as this fall.

Rolf said show organizers also did what they could to emphasize the future of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a dealer-sponsored "chicken or egg" exhibit, asking the key question: "what comes first?"

"Clearly, the answer is that we have to have both the vehicles and the fueling infrastructure," he added.

Profile: First Hawaiian International Auto Show

March 13-15, 2015

Hawai'i Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
200,000 square feet

Adults, $8; Seniors (62 plus), Students, Military, $6; Children 12 and younger, FREE.

Show Hours:
Friday, noon-10 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-7 pm

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
ATAE Dave Rolf,
Executive Director, Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association
808.593.0031, drolf@hawaiidealer.com

Show Website:

Oklahoma City: Show in steady growth mode in spite of dip in oil prices

Even as ATAE Peter Hodges reflects on this season's Oklahoma City International Auto Show, presented by the Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association, he can't help but look forward to an even more expansive show in 2016.

That's when the Oklahoma State Fair grounds will have a fifth building, adding to the four already incorporating the various brands Hodges and his team have been able to attract to this growing show.

"It was a great crowd and a great show," said Hodges of this year's event.

A notable addition to the auto show was a car giveaway, with show attendees registering to be one of five finalists, all of whom came to the show on Sunday. The winner had a choice of three vehicles—a Ford Fusion, Chevy Colorado or Smart Passion—and drove away with the Fusion.

Attendance was steady from last year, likely in part to layoffs related to declining oil prices.

'It was a great crowd and a great show.'
-ATAE Peter Hodges

Indeed, Hodges said those layoffs are also reflected in a softening of auto sales in the Oklahoma City area.

But auto enthusiasts, especially those with an interest in NASCAR, came out to see a number of notable vehicles on display, courtesy of Hajek Motorsports Museum.

Brent Hajek, a race car owner, driver and racing enthusiast out of Ames, Ok., has made a lifetime of collecting notable NASCAR vehicles. He brought to the auto show a 1990 Dale Earnhardt Sr. Chevy Lumina, a vehicle that competed at Talladega.

Also on display was a 1971 Road Runner, which Richard Petty used to win the Daytona 500.

Hajek also brought his bio-diesel powered 2011 Ford F-250, which holds a Bonneville Land Speed Record.

Auto show fans also came out to see Blake Bell, the star University of Oklahoma tight end football player who will be playing for the San Francisco 49ers this upcoming season.

Hodges also pointed to a "very successful" Chrysler Ride and Drive event, said to be one of the most successful the automaker has seen since first participating at the Oklahoma City show.

"We had a good number of family attractions as well," said Hodges, referring to the Auto Show for Kids features that included appearances by Iron Man, Captain America and even a local fan favorite, Rumble, the mascot for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA.

Still, the auto show remains the marquee opportunity for show goers to do their comparative shopping, he added.

"They were excited about what they saw," said Hodges. "Looking at Oklahoma City, there's also a sense that it's becoming a more popular city with lots of new infrastructure on its way."

Profile: Oklahoma City International Auto Show

March 6-8, 2015

Oklahoma State Fair Park

Exhibit Space:
213,000 gross sq. ft.

$10 adults; $4, children (7-12); 6 and under free.

Show Hours:
Thurs-Friday, 11 am-9 pm; Saturday, 10 am-9 pm; Sunday, 10 am-6 pm

Produced by:
Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Peter Hodges
President, Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association
405.607.0400, madapeter@coxinet.net

Show Website:

Rochester: Diversified economy helps to avoid market volatility

If there's one place in America where market volatility doesn't seem to be an issue, consider Rochester, New York, the upstate city and the birthplace to Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb.

Although Xerox and Bausch & Lomb have since moved their corporate headquarters, there's plenty of economic action in the Empire State's third largest city by population (only New York City and Buffalo have more people).

And for ATAE Brad McAreavy, who heads the Rochester Automobile Dealers Association, which owns the Rochester Auto Show, the diversified economy that still includes significant research presence has helped to maintain a sense of stability.

'Young people today don't typically carry cash. They carry debit and credit cards, so it helped us get more people in – people who might have walked away.'
-ATAE Brad McAreavy

"Even during the toughest days of the auto industry, when nationally the market was down 15-20 percent, we were never below 10 percent," said McAreavy. "And now that it's bouncing back, we're up 5-6 percent. We fluctuate in a very narrow economic band."

That lack of volatility is just fine with McAreavy. "Being up and down is not usually a good thing."

There may be another factor that distinguishes the Rochester Auto Show from at least a few others—the seeming lack of attractions that might otherwise take away from the vehicles on display.

But McAreavy has a simple explanation for that fact, one that comes down to space.

"We simply don't have a huge convention center here in Rochester," he notes. "At 80,000 square feet, we sell all the space we can get our hands on and bringing in celebrities, who we would have to pay for a few hours, just doesn’t make economic sense to us."

He acknowledges that local media personalities are part of the auto show scene, but those kind of non-automotive features are an exception rather than the rule.

"We try to occupy every square foot with inventory. There's not a lot of extra space where we could say to someone, come and set up a booth."

This year, McAreavy was pleased by the quality of the displays brought by manufacturers.

"We obviously are a secondary market, but we had some great products at our show," he said. Vehicles as impressive as BMW's new i3 and a sprinkling of very high-end exotics (like those from a local Maserati dealer and a Lamborghini retailer).

"There were enough of those kinds of vehicles that we were able to advertise and promote," said McAreavy.

At least one automaker—Chevrolet—helped out by doing an e-mail promotion that included a voucher to the auto show. All McAreavy and his team had to do was redeem those vouchers after the show.

"That brought about 750 attendees who may or may not have attended," he said.

One more "bonus" occurred when the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, which had not up to that point taken credit cards, did so at this year's show.

"Young people today don't typically carry cash," said McAreavy, who was already taking credit cards for his online ticket sales program. "They carry debit and credit cards, so it helped us get more people in, people who might otherwise have walked away."

Profile: Rochester Auto Show

Feb. 26-March 1, 2015

Rochester Riverside Convention Center

Exhibit space:
80,000 sq. ft.

Adults , $9; Seniors & Military, $6; Children under 12, $3; Children under 5, FREE

Show hours:
Thurs & Fri., noon to 10 pm; 12 noon to 10pm; Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 10am to 6pm

Produced by:
Rochester Automobile Dealers Association

Show contact:
ATAE Brad McAreavy
585.272.7232, bmcareavy@therada.org

Show Website:

Show Directory

Albany Auto Show
11/13/2015 - 11/15/2015

New Mexico International Auto Show
4/17/2015 - 4/19/2015

Orange County Auto Show
10/15/2015 - 10/18/2015

Atlanta International Auto Show
3/25/2015 - 3/29/2015

Austin Auto Show
5/15/2015 - 5/17/2015

Motor Trend International Auto Show—Baltimore
2/4/2016 - 2/8/2016

Bedford, NH
New Hampshire Auto Show
10/23/2015 - 10/25/2015

Bethlehem, PA
Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show
3/19/2015 - 3/22/2015

Alabama International Auto Show
4/30/2015 - 5/3/2015

New England International Auto Show
1/15/2015 - 1/19/2015

Buffalo Auto Show
2/11/2016 - 2/14/2016

Calgary International Auto & Truck Show
3/11/2015 - 3/15/2015

West Virginia International Auto Show
1/22/2016 - 1/24/2016

Charlotte International Auto Show
11/20/2014 - 11/23/2014

Chicago Auto Show
2/14/2015 - 2/22/2015

Cincinnati Auto Expo
2/18/2015 - 2/22/2015

Cleveland Auto Show
3/7/2015 - 3/15/2015

Columbus International Auto Show
3/19/2015 - 3/22/2015

DFW Auto Show in Dallas
3/25/2015 - 3/29/2015

Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show
2/5/2016 - 2/7/2016

Dayton Auto Show
2/19/2015 - 2/22/2015

Denver Auto Show
4/8/2015 - 4/12/2015

North American International Auto Show
1/17/2015 - 1/25/2015

Edmonton Motor Show
4/9/2015 - 4/12/2015

Fort Worth
DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth
11/19/2015 - 11/22/2015

South Carolina International Auto Show
1/14/2016 - 1/16/2016

Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Auto Show
1/28/2016 - 1/31/2016

Connecticut International Auto Show
11/20/2015 - 11/22/2015

First Hawaiian International Auto Show
3/13/2015 - 3/15/2015

Houston Auto Show
1/21/2015 - 1/25/2015

Indianapolis Auto Show
12/26/2014 - 1/1/2015

Kansas City
Kansas City International Auto Show
3/4/2015 - 3/8/2015

Las Vegas
Las Vegas International Auto Show
11/27/2015 - 11/29/2015

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Auto Show
11/21/2014 - 11/30/2014

Louisville Auto Show
1/30/2015 - 2/1/2015

Miami International Auto Show
11/7/2014 - 11/16/2014

Greater Milwaukee International Auto Show
2/20/2016 - 2/28/2016

Minneapolis/St. Paul
Twin Cities Auto Show
3/7/2015 - 3/15/2015

Montreal International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/25/2015

New Orleans
Greater New Orleans International Auto Show
3/20/2015 - 3/22/2015

New York
New York International Auto Show
4/3/2015 - 4/12/2015

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City International Auto Show
3/5/2015 - 3/8/2015

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma State Fair Auto Show
9/17/2015 - 9/27/2015

Midlands International Auto Show
1/22/2015 - 1/25/2015

Central Florida International Auto Show
11/26/2015 - 11/29/2015

Philadelphia International Auto Show
1/31/2015 - 2/8/2015

Arizona International Auto Show
11/26/2015 - 11/29/2015

Pittsburgh International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/16/2015

Portland International Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/8/2015

Northeast International Auto Show
2/12/2016 - 2/14/2016

Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
3/20/2015 - 3/22/2015

Rochester International Auto Show
2/26/2015 - 3/1/2015

Sacramento International Auto Show
10/16/2015 - 10/18/2015

Saint Louis
Saint Louis International Auto Show
1/22/2015 - 1/25/2015

Salt Lake City
Utah International Auto Expo
1/15/2016 - 1/18/2016

San Antonio
San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
11/19/2015 - 11/22/2015

San Diego
San Diego International Auto Show
1/1/2015 - 1/4/2015

San Jose
Silicon Valley International Auto Show
1/7/2016 - 1/10/2016

Seattle International Auto Show
10/15/2014 - 10/19/2014

Spokane International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/15/2015

Tampa Bay International Auto Show
11/20/2015 - 11/22/2015

Greater Toledo Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/18/2015

Canadian International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/22/2015

Tulsa Auto Show
4/17/2015 - 4/19/2015

Vancouver International Auto Show
3/24/2015 - 3/29/2015

Washington Auto Show
1/23/2015 - 2/1/2015


Automotive Trade Association Executives

8400 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102

Jim Appleton
ATAE Chairman

Jennifer Colman
ATAE Executive Director

ASNA Committee

Lou Vitantonio, chair, 2015 ASNA Summer Meeting
Cleveland Auto Show

Chris Adelmann
St. Louis Auto Show

Rod Alberts
North American International Auto Show

Loretta Allman
Charlotte International Auto Show

Stacey Castle
Sacramento International Auto Show

Greg Remensperger
Portland International Auto Show

Mark Schienberg
New York International Auto Show

Jim Tolkan
Greater Milwaukee International Auto Show

Tam Webb
Midlands International Auto Show

The Auto Show Report

Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

J.D. Booth, writer

Marc Harlow, writer

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