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ASNA Manufacturing Partners

the Auto Show Report
A compilation of news and developments for and about Auto Shows of North America. To find out more, visit


ASNA Profile:
  • GM’s Terry Rhadigan - Director, Global Auto Shows and Events

    Industry News

  • 9 million see NAIAS on NBC Sports
  • Vehicles may be poised for color make-over
  • Birmingham’s McBrayer wins award for TV commercials
  • Ford Premier brands names head of NA communications
  • Mark your calendars

    Sponsor Profiles

  • H.B. Stubbs: Family firm looks back to history, ahead to innovation

    Show Profiles

  • Austin show capitalizes on local market insights
  • Chicago show expands, welcomes SEMA
  • Inaugural design event brings buzz to LA

    Show Directory

  • Alphabetical listing of ASNA shows and dates for 2004-2005

    Auto Shows of North America (ASNA) is a committee of Automotive Trade Association Executives. The Mission of ASNA is to be the industry resource for auto show information and education, and to provide a network for communication between show executives, manufacturers, other industry affiliates and media.

    GM’s Terry Rhadigan,
    Director, Global Auto Shows and Events

    For a young Terry Rhadigan, growing up in Brighton, Mich., as the son of a career General Motors employee, the idea of working for the automaker was a given; the only question being where and what form that would take.

    In fact, he was so committed to the dream that graduating from Michigan State University, he began working in the Chevrolet organization, first in customer assistance, then serving as a district sales manager before his vocational calling and the needs of GM intersected in 1997 when he was named the company’s safety communications manager.

    Three years ago, Rhadigan took on communications responsibility for the auto show business. All of it.

    As director of global auto shows and events for GM, Rhadigan takes over where Bill Ames, director of auto show exhibits, leaves off.

    “Bill and his team build the exhibits,” says Rhadigan, explaining his role. “I handle media relations and press activity, including conferences and introductions of the vehicles.”

    Rhadigan admits the job is not without its moments.

    GM President North America Gary Cowger, left, and Terry Rhadigan, director, global shows and events, share a laugh backstage after a press conference rehearsal at the California International Auto Show in Anaheim.

    “Frankly, it’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a challenge. With so many vehicles being introduced, finding the right fit for which auto show or which event to go to first is something that takes a lot of energy. Right now, there are growing opportunities with what amounts to a product assault going on. The growing opportunities mean that we’re introducing vehicles almost year round, either in the actual introduction or getting ready to do so.”

    Rhadigan also enjoys the interaction with those who help automakers like GM.

    “We’ve got a great relationship with auto show promoters,” he says. “We’ve got open lines of communication and that obviously helps us increase the media attendance at the various shows.”

    Indeed, the media focus is central to Rhadigan’s role at GM.

    “The primary criteria for me is the environment that exists for a media preview,” he says. “It’s not the deciding factor in how we participate in a show, but media attendance impacts the number of people who are going to be exposed to the vehicles we’re introducing.”

    Still, there are other audiences to consider, including dealers.

    “Clearly dealers are one of our most important partners for any show,” says Rhadigan. “I don’t think we can overstate the importance of the dealership community.”

    Though Rhadigan acknowledges the importance of other influential groups such as the media and the general public, as well as the financial community and government officials, dealers, he says, are in that small group of very, very important audiences.

    “They are the ambassadors in the communities,” says Rhadigan. “We all know that and that’s why we work hard to develop and maintain those relationships.”

    So how does GM decide which show is right for a particular vehicle launch?

    “It’s a complicated collection of factors,” says Rhadigan. “Clearly, the vehicle has to match the market. For example, it was a natural thing to take the Hummer H3 to the California International Auto Show in Anaheim because southern California is our biggest market. But sometimes we’ll go into a market with an introduction because we want to regain a foothold with a vehicle.”

    While Rhadigan does his share of traveling - working five major shows a year around the world - he also makes time for a young family: Andrea, his wife, who he met at GM, and their two boys, Patrick, 5, and Michael, 2.

    He loves every minute of both raising a family and showcasing GM products.

    “Introducing world class cars and trucks for a living is not a bad job to have.”

    9 million see NAIAS on NBC Sports

    NBC's live coverage of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) attracted 8.8 million viewers in the event's television debut on Sunday, Jan. 23. The two-hour NBC Sports special, featuring NBC's NASCAR announce and production team, delivered a 2.4 (7 million households) national rating and 5 share according to Nielsen Media Research, according to an NBC press release.

    "The fact that nearly nine million people tuned in to a debut television event is evidence that America has a fascination with cars," said Jon Miller, senior vice president, Programming, NBC Sports. "Detroit is the center of the automotive world and the auto show from Detroit is the 'don't miss' event for car fans to see what is new and different."

    The first-ever broadcast from Detroit showcased the famed, 97 year-old NAIAS, which attracts some 6,000 journalists to the Motor City each year.

    The telecast originated live from the auto show exposition with NBC's NASCAR announcers Bill Weber, Allen Bestwick and Benny Parsons anchoring a fast-paced tour of the the most popular and interesting 2005 models with NASCAR pit reporters Marty Snider and Dave Burns visiting exhibits and talking to experts from the automotive world. Taped features included test drives with star NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch plus interviews with auto racing icons Roger Penske and Richard Petty.

    Vehicles may be poised for color make-over

    If designer trends in other industries carry over to the world of automotive, get ready for some eye-popping options in new car showrooms.

    That according to an article in “The Detroit News,” which focused on color popularity of vehicles (silver is a perennial favorite) compared with an increasingly explosive range of hues for other products.

    Examples used in the article by Susan Whitall include computers and MP3 players from Apple, kitchen appliances, and color trends in clothing.

    Yet, she points out, car buyers tend to go for less. As in less color.

    Karen Sucina, color programs manager, Dupont Automotive Systems in Troy, Mich., says many car buyers would prefer shimmering blues and flaming reds, even as she acknowledges the current most popular color on the roads.

    Consumers are still buying "neutral" colored cars, but that may change if designers have their way. Here is an example (the Jaguar F-Type concept) which was shown at the North American International Auto Show 2005.

    “Silver is still the number one color in the market, but it’s leveling off from where it was last year,” said Surcina. “Some people actually prefer more vibrant colors, but they don’t always buy them.”

    And that may be the rub.

    Whitall’s story makes the point that safe is sometimes driving the purchase decision, the idea being that silver is perceived by buyers as good for resale values.

    Still, that could backfire if everybody tries selling their silver vehicles at the same time.

    Surcina said she’s seeing more color at auto shows, although the landscape is still dominated by gunmetal, silver and navy.

    “There are more chromatic reds and bluer blues for the luxury cars,” she was quoted as saying.

    She also says there may be more behind a move to color than some would expect.

    Such as optimism.

    “Silver is safe and conservative; we were going through some difficult times and it worked then. There’s a more optimistic outlook now.”

    Birmingham’s McBrayer wins award for TV commercials

    Brett McBrayer

    Brett McBrayer, ATAE, president of the Birmingham Auto Dealers Association (and organizer of the Alabama International Auto Show), recently won an Award of Distinction from The Communicator Awards.

    The Communicator Awards is an international awards competition that recognizes outstanding work in the area of video communications. Awards of Distinction are awarded to individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work is a benchmark for the industry.

    McBrayer was selected for his work related to the television commercials for the 2005 Alabama International Auto Show.

    Ford Premier brands names head of NA communications

    Tim Watson

    Tim Watson has been appointed Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America.

    Watson will lead the three separate PR teams, covering brand, product, corporate and internal communications. He will be responsible for implementing the communication strategies for the three British brands in the USA.

    Watson, 41, has served since 2001 as Public Affairs Director and latterly Brand Communications Director at Aston Martin's headquarters in the UK. He takes up his new position in the Premier Automotive Group's North American headquarters in Irvine, Calif., reporting to Mike O'Driscoll, president of Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America and Stuart Dyble Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Premier Automotive Group and Ford of Europe.

    Mark your calendars

    ASNA Summer Meeting; in conjunction with ATAE Annual Meeting, Mohegan Sun (, Uncasville, Conn., July 12 – 13, 2005

    Family firm looks back to history, ahead to innovation

    Now celebrating 60 years in business, one of the auto industry’s most recognizable exhibit companies is also a third generation family business, something both Scott Stubbs and Steve Stubbs take pride in pointing out.

    As president of the H.B. Stubbs Company, Scott Stubbs says it’s the family ethos that makes the company so different.

    Scott W. Stubbs, left, with his brother Steve Stubbs of H.B. Stubbs Co.

    “We are a family business,” says Stubbs, whose younger brother Steve serves as vice president, staff operations. “We take a certain pride in that.”

    Harold B. Stubbs, the brothers’ grandfather, would have been 100 on Jan. 9, which means he was 40 when the firm was launched.

    That “second career” might actually have been a third one for H.B. “Cap” Stubbs, who as a student at Ohio’s Denison University was scouted by two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals wanted him to play second base while the Cleveland Browns had him pegged as their next quarterback.

    “Cap thought it was too risky to go into sports at the time,” says Scott Stubbs.

    Instead, he moved to Detroit to take a job with Fisher Body, working his way into the research department and later marketing, where he gained his experience in shows and exhibits.

    Along the way, Stubbs decided to buy out one of his early suppliers, a floral decorating company based in Chicago, which had as its claim to fame the ability to move flowers from a church wedding to the reception before the guests would arrive. That "efficiency" piqued the attention of Alfred P. Sloan, then president and chairman of General Motors, who said "that’s a company that should be working for us," recalls Scott Stubbs.

    Thus was born a solid working relationship between General Motors and H.B. Stubbs that lead to the development of the forerunner to the auto show, the “MotorAma” concept pioneered in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Today, in addition to its other auto show and trade show work, the H.B. Stubbs Company participates in the ongoing development of the GM Experience. This is a collaboration of internal and external suppliers, dedicated to the continued development of the General Motors presence at auto shows.

    Under the leadership of Scott and Steve Stubbs, the H.B. Stubbs Company has also diversified into non-automotive show and event activities in business sectors such as information technology, health care, executive briefing centers, and Interpretive museum installations.

    To support these activities the company has locations outside Michigan in Salt Lake City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Scott Stubbs calls the expansion to Salt Lake City an “opportunistic one,” and a part of the diversification strategy that lead to the company securing technology-based accounts such as Hewlett-Packard and Palm. Today, the operation continues to enhance the company’s ability to respond quickly to customer needs and gives the geographic diversity needed to efficiently move exhibits and materials to venues around the country.

    So what is the H.B. Stubbs difference?

    In response to this question, Scott Stubbs states that “from the perspective what the visitor sees on the show floor, each of the exhibit houses provide very similar services, we feel that our reputation for working harder than any other organization for our clients is what sets us apart. It all goes back to H.B.’s simple belief: Do what’s right for the customer, and do it well.”

    Austin show capitalizes on local market insights

    Ford's ever-popular Mustang was on display in Austin.

    For Michael Marks, executive director of the Austin Automobile Dealers Association, one reason for the success of the Austin American Statesman Auto Show is a keen understanding of the local market.

    “Austin is known as the live music capital,” says Marks. “We decided to use that to our advantage and brought a number of live music acts into the Austin Convention Center venue for the show.”

    The effect of that move was to bring in people who simply love music. At that point, they got to see some great vehicles as well.

    Now wouldn't that have looked nice under the Christmas tree?

    Marks also recognized a strong interest in the area for motorcycles. Hence, the appearance of the Discovery Channel’s Martin Brothers, who were there to sign autographs and display some of their custom bikes.

    From an attendance perspective, Marks said this year’s show was a resounding success, although he admits he went through a period of some uncertainty in the planning process since the show’s dates were moved into what was considered a prime holiday shopping period.

    “The question we had was whether we would be competing with that,” says Marks. “In the end, we actually had a few more attending than last year.”

    Maybe two-tone is making a comeback after all.

    What Marks and his team did do was capitalize on the holiday festivities, wrapping many of the vehicles with large red bows and making sure there were at least one or two appearances of Santa Claus to keep show goers going with the holiday flow.

    From a dealer perspective, holding the show during the holiday season was nothing but good news.

    “I’ve talked to a number of dealers who had an enormous push after the show,” says Marks. “And several of the dealers are requesting more space for next year.”

    Profile: Austin American Statesman Auto Show 2005

    December 9-12, 2004 

    Austin Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    127,685 square feet

    Adults, $5; Seniors, $3; Children under 12, free

    Show Hours:
    Thurs., Dec. 9, 2 pm-9 pm; Fri., Dec. 10, 10 am-10 pm; Sat., Dec. 11, 10 am-10 pm; Sun., Dec. 12, 10 am-6 pm

    Show Contact:
    Michael T. Marks
    Executive Director
    Austin Automobile Dealers Association

    Show Web site:

    Chicago show expands, welcomes SEMA

    Ask Jerry Cizek III for a number and likely the first one he’ll mention is 42. As in the 42 percent increase in exhibit space he’s been able to secure for the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. Or the 1.2 million square feet in an expanded McCormick Place that represents – all of it sold out.

    Cizek, of course, is in the enviable position of having ample space for expansion; indeed, another 450,000 square feet is available should the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) need it. And that doesn’t factor in yet another 600,000 square feet of space in a second hall that will be completed by 2007.

    What this means is satisfying the seemingly insatiable appetite of exhibitors, including DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group, which is constructing a half mile indoor track. Professional drivers will showcase various vehicle capabilities as part of a display that has its roots in last year’s New York Auto Show with the introduction of “Camp Jeep NY.”

    Chrysler Group, in an event similar to its Camp Jeep NY exhibit, will showcase its vehicles around a half mile track inside McCormick Place.

    It’s a tactic that’s being repeated for good reason. “People stayed on our display longer than any other place,” said Jason Vines, Chrysler’s vice president of communications, in discussing the public response to Camp Jeep New York.

    In Chicago, some 30 vehicles will be operating on the test track at any given moment, looping around the entire Chrysler Group space.

    As Cizek points out, the 2005 Chicago Auto Show with the Chrysler Group track is something of a return to the show’s 1901 roots.

    “Cars were such a novelty then, people wanted to be able to drive them,” notes Cizek. “Chrysler Group is doing the same thing in demonstrating the strength of their vehicles in exact test conditions.”

    Jerry Cizek III

    Cizek, who is general manager of the show in addition to being president of the CATA, is also working hard to maximize the visibility generated by the appearance of the SEMA, which is hosting a 7,000 square foot exhibit – its first-ever formal consumer auto show exhibit.

    Indeed, Cizek was able to leverage SEMA’s involvement with a number of dealers, inviting them to display a “SEMA-type” project at the show.

    “We were overwhelmed by the number that responded,” says Cizek.

    For its part, SEMA also sees the potential that auto shows in general, and the Chicago Auto Show in particular, represent.

    “We will be at the Chicago Auto Show because increasing numbers of new car consumers who want accessories for their vehicles right off the showroom floor will be there,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “SEMA is excited to have the opportunity to interact with the customers of member companies we support.”

    SEMA’s exhibit will include nine different customized versions of the Vehicle Design Award winners, demonstrating the breadth of their customizing/accessorizing potential.

    Profile: Chicago Auto Show

    Feb. 11-20, 2005

    McCormick Place

    Exhibit Space:
    1.2 million square feet

    Adults, $10; Seniors (62 plus) and Children (7-12), $5; under 6: free with accompanying adult

    Show Hours:
    Every day, 10 am-10 pm, except last day, 10 am-8 pm

    Show Contact:
    Jerry Cizek III, ATAE
    Chicago Automobile Trade Association

    Show Web site:

    Inaugural design event brings buzz to LA

    While organizers at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show report the completion of another successful event, it’s the debut of Design Los Angeles that has people like Barry Toepke excited.

    “We honestly didn’t know what to expect for sure,” notes Toepke, director of communications. “But the entire design community in this region clearly responded to the desire to come together in this forum. It went very well for a first year event.”

    More than 600 design professionals from the wide range of design studios that dot the southern California landscape participated in the two-day forum, which included a Design Challenge.

    In fact, so many entries for the “Ultimate LA Vehicle” were submitted that judges chose two winners - Volkswagen’s Mobile Lounge and the Dodge Superbee.

    Two concept 2-D designs won the "Ultimate LA Vehicle" Design Challenge held in association with the LA Auto Show.

    While a number of studios developed 2-D renderings for the Design Challenge, a “ripple effect” is already being felt around the world.

    “We’re reading articles that are asking questions like ‘is this the next BMW Z9?’,” notes Toepke. “It’s generating a lot of excitement in the design community.”

    Certainly, the inaugural event has done what organizers expected. But that should be no surprise, given the fact that the idea originated some five years ago in discussions about how to capitalize on the proximity of the design community to the LA Auto Show.

    “We asked how we could relate to the design studios in a way that really made sense,” says Toepke. “Then we began asking designers what they would like to see, how we could make an event like this work for them. What you see is the result of us asking and listening to what they had to say.”

    Still, it was a nervous wait to see who would actually show up.

    “If they didn’t, we’d have been asking what happened,” says Toepke.

    Thankfully, the question asked now is “how can we improve on the success?”

    Down the road, success for the show is likely to translate into the potential for more concepts.

    “This is definitely a designer’s venue,” says Toepke. “And we have an event in Design Los Angeles that speaks to that; it ties in with our natural identity and links us to where many of the vehicles of the future are being created.”

    Aside from the Design Los Angeles forum, the auto show itself featured more than two dozen debuts and more than a dozen world debuts of vehicles.

    One manufacturer even took the initiative in getting an early start on media days.

    “Ford brought a number of journalists out to do a ride and drive with the Mustang Convertible before it was introduced,” notes Toepke.

    Reporters also heard from Volkswagen chair Bernd Pischetsrieder, who discussed the importance a new generation of diesel powered vehicles would have in preserving the environment (and the role the German automaker plans to play in that development).

    Toepke says that while attendance at the show may have been impacted somewhat by weekend precipitation, even record rainfall wasn’t enough to dampen many spirits.

    “We had another great show.”

    Profile: LA Auto Show

    January 7 - 16, 2005

    Los Angeles Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    760,000 square feet

    Adults, $10; Children (12 and under), free when accompanied by adult

    Show Hours:
    Fridays, 11 am-10:30 pm; Saturdays, 9 am-10 pm; Sundays, 9 am-8 pm; Mon.-Thurs., 11 am-10 pm

    Show Contact:
    Andy Fuzesi
    General Manager

    Show Web site:

    Auto Shows of North America Show Directory

    Albany Auto Show
    11/3/2017 - 11/5/2017

    New Mexico International Auto Show
    4/13/2018 - 4/15/2018

    Orange County Auto Show
    10/4/2018 - 10/7/2018

    Atlanta International Auto Show
    3/21/2018 - 3/25/2018

    Austin Auto Show
    4/20/2018 - 4/22/2018

    Motor Trend International Auto Show, Baltimore
    2/8/2018 - 2/11/2018

    Bedford, NH
    New Hampshire Auto Show
    11/18/2016 - 11/20/2016

    Bethlehem, PA
    Lehigh Valley Auto Show
    3/22/2018 - 3/25/2018

    Alabama International Auto Show
    4/12/2018 - 4/15/2018

    New England International Auto Show
    1/11/2018 - 1/15/2018

    Buffalo Auto Show
    2/8/2018 - 2/11/2018

    Calgary International Auto & Truck Show
    3/14/2018 - 3/18/2018

    West Virginia International Auto Show
    1/19/2018 - 1/21/2018

    Charlotte International Auto Show
    11/2/2017 - 11/5/2017

    Chicago Auto Show
    2/10/2018 - 2/19/2018

    Cincinnati Auto Expo
    2/7/2018 - 2/11/2018

    Cleveland Auto Show
    2/23/2018 - 3/4/2018

    Columbus International Auto Show
    3/15/2018 - 3/18/2018

    DFW Auto Show in Dallas
    2/14/2018 - 2/18/2018

    Dayton Auto Show
    2/22/2018 - 2/25/2018

    Denver Auto Show
    4/4/2018 - 4/8/2018

    North American International Auto Show
    1/20/2018 - 1/28/2018

    Edmonton Motor Show
    4/12/2018 - 4/15/2018

    Fort Worth
    DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth
    12/7/2017 - 12/10/2017

    South Carolina International Auto Show
    1/12/2018 - 1/14/2018

    Harrisburg, PA
    Pennsylvania Auto Show
    1/25/2018 - 1/28/2018

    Connecticut International Auto Show
    11/17/2017 - 11/19/2017

    First Hawaiian International Auto Show
    4/13/2018 - 4/15/2018

    Houston Auto Show
    4/5/2017 - 4/9/2017

    Indianapolis Auto Show
    12/26/2017 - 1/1/2018

    Kansas City
    Kansas City International Auto Show
    2/28/2018 - 3/4/2018

    Las Vegas
    Las Vegas International Auto Show
    11/24/2017 - 11/26/2017

    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles Auto Show
    12/1/2017 - 12/10/2017

    Louisville Auto Show
    1/19/2018 - 1/21/2018

    Miami International Auto Show
    9/9/2017 - 9/17/2017

    Greater Milwaukee International Auto Show
    2/24/2018 - 3/4/2018

    Minneapolis/St. Paul
    Twin Cities Auto Show
    3/10/2018 - 3/18/2018

    Montreal International Auto Show
    1/19/2018 - 1/28/2018

    New Orleans
    Greater New Orleans International Auto Show
    3/16/2018 - 3/18/2018

    New York
    New York International Auto Show
    3/30/2018 - 4/8/2018

    Oklahoma City
    Oklahoma City International Auto Show
    3/9/2018 - 3/11/2018

    Oklahoma City
    Oklahoma State Fair Auto Show
    9/14/2017 - 9/24/2017

    Midlands International Auto Show
    1/18/2018 - 1/21/2018

    Central Florida International Auto Show
    11/23/2017 - 11/26/2017

    Philadelphia International Auto Show
    1/27/2018 - 2/4/2018

    Arizona International Auto Show
    11/23/2017 - 11/26/2017

    Pittsburgh International Auto Show
    2/17/2017 - 2/20/2017

    Portland International Auto Show
    1/25/2018 - 1/28/2018

    Northeast International Auto Show
    2/9/2018 - 2/11/2018

    Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
    2/16/2018 - 2/18/2018

    Rochester International Auto Show
    3/1/2018 - 3/4/2018

    Sacramento International Auto Show
    10/20/2017 - 10/22/2017

    Saint Louis
    Saint Louis International Auto Show
    1/25/2018 - 1/28/2018

    Salt Lake City
    Utah International Auto Expo
    1/12/2018 - 1/15/2018

    San Antonio
    San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
    11/9/2017 - 11/12/2017

    San Diego
    San Diego International Auto Show
    12/28/2017 - 1/1/2018

    San Jose
    Silicon Valley International Auto Show
    1/4/2018 - 1/7/2018

    Seattle International Auto Show
    11/9/2017 - 11/12/2017

    Spokane International Auto Show
    2/9/2018 - 2/11/2018

    Tampa Bay International Auto Show
    11/17/2017 - 11/19/2017

    Greater Toledo Auto Show
    2/8/2018 - 2/11/2018

    Canadian International Auto Show
    2/16/2018 - 2/25/2018

    Tulsa Auto Show
    4/13/2018 - 4/15/2018

    Vancouver International Auto Show
    3/28/2018 - 4/1/2018

    Virginia Beach
    Hampton Roads International Auto Show
    1/12/2018 - 1/14/2018

    Washington Auto Show
    1/26/2018 - 2/4/2018


    Automotive Trade Association Executives
    8400 Westpark Drive
    McLean, VA 22102
    703.556.8581 - fax

    John Lyboldt, ATAE President

    Jennifer Lindsey, ATAE Executive Director

    Todd Leutheuser, ASNA Chairman

    Peter Hodges, ASNA Co-Chairman

    The Auto Show Report
    Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

    J.D. Booth, editor

    Elizabeth Katz, staff reporter

    Michael Ofiara, intern, Western Michigan University