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.
Lyboldt elected president of ATAEJohn Lyboldt, executive director of the Rochester International Auto Show and president of the Rochester Automobile Dealers’ Association, was elected president of the Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE).
"Over the past few years, we’ve been making the kinds of internal changes at ATAE that will continue to serve our membership well by improving government relations and industry relations services,” says Lyboldt.
Streamlining is a big part of that strategy, he says.
"It’s important for us to continually reinvent and renew our ability to do what our members have called us to do,” says Lyboldt. "Those efforts will continue.”
ATAE represents the executives of 113 state and metropolitan dealer associations in the U.S. and Canada. These associations respond to the needs of more than 20,000 franchised new car and truck dealers on national, state and local levels.
ATAE provides a forum for the exchange of information and serves as a clearinghouse for resources needed by member association executives. Through professional development programs, research and networking opportunities, ATAE provides members with the tools they need to continually improve the value and effectiveness of services offered to dealer members.
ATAE works closely with NADA to serve dealers on all levels, providing governmental representation, industry and public representation, education and consulting programs, meetings and conventions and a wide variety of products and services.
New ASNA co-chairs appointed
Todd Leutheuser, executive director of the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association, and Peter Hodges, president of the Oklahoma City-based Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association, were appointed chair and co-chair respectively of the Auto Shows of North America Steering Committee.
Leutheuser is also co-executive director of Anaheim’s California International Auto Show. Hodges runs the two Oklahoma City auto shows, one of which is held in conjunction with the Oklahoma State Fair. The recent successions, which formally took place at the ASNA steering committee meeting at New Orleans in January, follow a pattern established last year when Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, became chair and Leutheuser was affirmed as co-chair.
ASNA continues to be the industry resource for auto show information and education. ASNA provides a network for communication between show executives, manufacturers, other industry affiliates and media.
Members of Automotive Trade Association Executives who have responsibility for an auto show are members of ASNA, along with representative members on the ASNA steering committee who represent the interests of non-auto show ATAE members.
Building relationships with media can help grow showLooking to beef up your media presence at the auto show?
The question then becomes how to do it and where to start. As far as Derek Dalton is concerned, maximizing the impact media can have in an auto show market is done the same way outstanding dealers sell vehicles. Dalton is vice president and general manager of KGTV-TV, Channel 10, the ABC affiliate in San Diego.
"It’s about building relationships,” says Dalton, who works closely with organizers at the San Diego International Auto Show, headed by Dean Mansfield, in making sure television continues to play a key role in the marketing of the event.
Auto is important to Derek Dalton and his organization. Which means he’s going to make sure the auto show organization, typically made up of dealers, is happy.
And if the auto show is having challenges, Dalton says most media organizations would be glad to step up to the plate to help.
"All they would need to do is have a couple of board members call up the media,” he says. "I think all media would be responsive.”
While Dalton’s advice about building relationships with the local media comes from a broad background in media sales, when it comes to San Diego in particular, he speaks from upfront knowledge.
"It is going to depend on the marketplace and the dealer group, but my experience has been that San Diego happens to be one of the most progressive going,” says Dalton. "They’ve spent the last 15 years building media partnerships and that’s why they’re one of the more successful auto shows in the country.”
And that’s in a market that isn’t necessarily dominated by Dalton’s favorite form of media, although he does seem to get his fair slice of the advertising pie.
"Some auto shows prefer to side up with newspapers, some with radio and TV,” he says. "In San Diego, we use all three.”
While Dalton says he’d be quite happy to have all the auto show media budget spent on television, at the same time he admits "it’s better for the auto show to have as many partnerships as they can.”
Those partnerships must, if they are to work, be advantageous to all.
"A true partnership has to be good for both sides,” says Dalton. What that means, he says, is focusing on the advantages both media buyer and seller have to offer, and not so much an adversarial relationship where one party has to suffer.
Dalton has local examples to offer in how the San Diego show works with media partners, including KGTV.
"We happen to be a strong news station, so we’ve got the resources to bring to the auto show,” says Dalton. That includes having the local weather forecaster do a remote from the show floor as well as a half hour show that features new products coming to the event.
"The day the convention center is being set up, we’re shooting all the new cars, including the whiz bang gadgets,” says Dalton. "Typically there will be manufacturers reps or executives who are able to talk about the cars and we’ll run that show in a favorable spot, either in an access [leading into prime] or prime period.”
So where to begin on the development of those all-important relationships? Derek Dalton says it starts with action.
"The best way is really to pick up the phone and begin talking,” says Dalton. "Begin with a breakfast or lunch and start explaining the goals of the auto show to the media you are meeting with. Things will go from there.”
DCX Firehouse raises thousands for Detroit Firemen’s Fund
The traditional DaimlerChrysler-sponsored Firehouse for media at the North American International Auto Show raised thousands for the Detroit Firemen’s Fund in addition to feeding and hydrating the many journalists who made their way to the January show.
For those keeping track, the most popular choices, in rank order by number of kegs, were: Pilsner (68); Budweiser (20); Bass Ale (18); Molson Canadian (13); and Guinness Stout (10).
Journalists also quaffed 130 gallons of infused fruit martinis, gobbled down 1,000 pounds of hamburger, plus 1,300 pounds of fries and 1,200 pounds of chicken wings.
And then they slept.
Audi A6 named ‘World Car of the Year’
"The concept of ‘national borders’ is now almost non-existent in terms of where vehicles and their components are designed, engineered, developed and built,” said British automotive journalist, Graham Johnson, co-chair of the award program. "Considering the ever-increasing globalization of the auto industry, the World Car program was inevitable.”
A jury of 48 automotive journalists from 21 countries individually reviewed, evaluated and voted on the 36 eligible vehicles, all of which must have been available for purchase in at least five countries on at least two continents prior to Jan. 1, 2005.
"The voting was far more than just a popularity contest,” said Canadian auto journalist and program co-chair Gerry Malloy, who added that jurors assessed the cars on the basis of 20 separate parameters, ranging from styling and comfort to performance and fuel economy to develop a short list of 10 finalists.
For their final selection, the scribes rated cars on five key areas of importance to potential customers: merit, value, safety and environmental responsibility, significance, and emotional appeal (the so-called "wow” factor).
For a complete list of World Car finalists, visit www.wcoty.com
Ford Mustang is ‘Canadian Car of the Year’In what organizers say is an awards program that sets a higher standard, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has named the Ford Mustang as its Canadian Car of the Year for 2005.
The award, which was presented in conjunction with press days at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, is the result of a process that includes a four-day "TestFest” that saw some 64 eligible vehicles vie for one of 12 category spots.
As is the case with any AJAC Car of the Year winner, the Mustang first won in its own category — Best New Sports/Performance Car.
Other "best new” finalists in the AJAC Car of the Year awards included the Chrysler 300C (Luxury Car), Honda Accord Hybrid (Alternative Power); Kia Spectra LX (Economy Car); Mazda6 Sport (Family Car); BMW X3 3.0i (SUV); Hyundai Tucson (Crossover); Volvo S40 (Sports Compact); Honda Odyssey (Minivan); Mazda6 Sportwagon (Station Wagon); Toyota Tacoma (Pick-Up), and Mercedes SLK350 (Convertible).
Car of the Year director Norm Mort said the AJAC Car of the Year awards are selected by an independent association which has no relationship, or affiliation, with any car or truck manufacturer.
AJAC consists of automobile professionals with varied experiences from a diversity of sources, including television, magazines, website, radio and newspapers.
More information about the Canadian Car of the Year awards program or AJAC itself can be found at www.ajac.ca.
Romanelli receives ‘Spirit of Leadership’ awardCandida Romanelli, a mainstay of the Greater New York International Auto Show since 1992, has been given one of two "Spirit of Leadership” awards for 2005 by Women’s Automotive Association International (WAAI).
The presentations, which were made at the WAAI meeting held in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association annual conference in New Orleans last month, also honored Patricia Roberts, general director, Women’s Retail Initiative, General Motors Corporation.
Romanelli, who is vice president of the Greater New York Auto Dealers Association in addition to her role as show director, is credited with seeing the auto show grow substantially.
"Candida’s position places her among the highest ranking and most influential women in the auto show field,” says Lorraine Schultz, WAAI founder and CEO.
The WAAI was established in 1995 to recognize the achievements of women in the industry, provide educational e-news to automotive career-focused individuals, build relationships through networking and other interactive forums, and encourage growth through mentoring, educational endeavors, and scholarships. The focus of the WAAI is on the development and retention of women leaders and the education and support of all persons, without prejudice, who have an interest in the automotive industry.
Philadelphia goes head to head with Super Bowl – and wins."This place is awesome.”
That’s in spite of the show competing with the Super Bowl, which for the first time in 27 years featured the city’s beloved Eagles.
"We had a solid and successful show in spite of that,” says Mazzucola. One particular highlight was the ability of show organizers to produce an outstanding Tuner Salon, the first time ever for the show.
"We had a great configuration at the convention center,” says Mazzucola, noting the 20,000 square foot Tuner Salon provided a night club feel.
"We are thrilled about the high level of satisfaction among this year’s show goers,” he says.
Besides viewing the 700 vehicles on display, show attendees were indirectly responsible for the dealer organization continuing a long-standing tradition: making a major donation – nearly $230,000 this year - to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A portion of gate proceeds is given every year to the hospital through the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation.
Other notable highlights of the 2005 show included two Mazda vehicle giveaways, the appearance of several concept cars, including the Buick Velite, Chevrolet Nomad, Dodge Slingshot and Ford Shelby GR1. An exotic vehicle display featuring Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Rolls Royce was also included in the show.
Of growing interest in the auto show realm is the proliferation of hybrid vehicles coming from a number of manufacturers. This year’s show included displays by Honda, which offers gas/electric configurations in its Accord, Civic and Insight models, plus GMC’s Sierra hybrid, and the 400H from Lexus. In addition, Ford showcased its Escape hybrid and Toyota featured the Prius.
The Philadelphia show also included a display of vintage autos from the Eastern U.S. Concours D’Elegance and the Buckingham Concours D’Elegance.
San Jose dominates Bay Area marketIn Northern California, "it’s San Jose.”
That’s the message Steve Smith wants to get across to exhibitors who want to reach that market.
And as executive director of both the Silicon Valley Auto Dealers Association and the San Jose International Auto Show, Smith has the numbers to back up his assertion as he comes out of the Jan. 5-9 show.
Indeed, current reference to the market by the U.S. Census Bureau confirms the domination of San Jose as the key area within the region. But it’s vehicle sales that make the numbers significant from Smith’s perspective. "The fact is, we sell more cars – three times that of the San Francisco market and 24.6 percent of all nine area Bay counties.”
Also significant when talking about the San Jose International Auto Show is what has become a direct correlation between vehicle sales increase and auto show attendance.
"We’ve seen this for the last two years,” says Smith. "Auto show attendance is up and new vehicle sales are up almost exactly by the same percentage.”
Next year, the San Jose show is expected to be even bigger with the addition of an 80,000 square foot pavilion that will be attached to the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, bringing the total amount of exhibit space to 280,000 for the 2006 show.
"We’ve already had offers to turn the space into an aftermarket alley or a luxury pavilion,” says Smith, who is also discussing other possibilities with manufacturers wanting more room.
Highlights of this year’s show included the co-unveiling (with Los Angeles) of the Ford Mustang Convertible, the first model debut to take place at San Jose since the introduction of the Volkswagen New Beetle.
But vehicles aside, as this is one of America’s technology corridors, it’s not surprising that discount coupons have migrated to an online environment.
Smith plans to further develop the show’s online database of attendees as interest grows. Also on the tech front, one of the most popular displays at the show was related to the integration of the massively popular i-Pod music player with BMW vehicles. With i-Pod maker Apple Computer in the area, that’s hardly surprising.
"That plays really well in our area,” says Smith, with apparently no pun intended.
Indeed, other technology companies found opportunities to associate themselves and their brands with the auto show audience. "We plan to work on bringing other corporate partners in the area into the show,” says Smith.
Other areas of interest at the San Jose International Auto Show were the hybrids, notably the model produced by Lexus. "It was a huge hit at the show,” says Smith, noting a trend toward people wanting to be – and seen to be – environmentally conscious.
For his part, Smith is in the same mindset as many of the high tech companies he and his colleagues are rubbing shoulders with in the San Jose area.
"We’re always looking for new ideas.”
Toronto continues to grow in stature as OICA showMaybe it’s typical of the culture, but when asked what he’s most proud of at the Toronto-based Canadian International Auto Show, director of marketing Dave McClean gives all the credit to the companies displaying their products.
"It’s the contribution that manufacturers continue to make,” says McClean, who came to the show 10 years ago, after marketing marine products at Yamaha Motors.
While that in itself is something McClean and Tom Tonks, general manager of the show, both take pride in showcasing, the real focus is on the automotive interest of the 5.3 million strong Greater Toronto Area, Canada’s largest metropolis, and the fourth largest in North America, behind only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"We’ve built the show a little differently than Detroit,” says McClean, referencing what is, after all, a significant media blitz on behalf of automotive journalists at the NAIAS. "For us, we’ve focused on the consumer who comes to the show.”
That emphasis has played out in a number of features at the Toronto show, including a large display of classic cars that’s become a tradition, even though show organizers toyed with the idea of rotating it out of the mix.
And then there’s Cruise Nationals, a formidable display of so-called "cruisers” that has its roots in a summer long quest to find the best of the best.
In the quest for worthy competitors, Cruise Nationals organizers traveled throughout the region to identify 12 finalists; with a winner chosen from among the regional representatives. Those winners, each of whom won $1,000, then went up against another dozen national "cruise” competitors, with the Grand Champion receiving a cash prize of $10,000.
Show organizers take over not only the entire Metro Toronto Convention Centre and its two buildings, but also the Toronto SkyDome (just renamed as Rogers Centre), home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team.
McClean says the show, owned by the Toronto Area Auto Dealers Association, continues to grow, apparently even as auto sales in the area fluctuate.
"We found that as we’ve strived to create event status, it does keep the new car buying experience alive and the event does kick off the all important spring selling season,” says McClean. "But whether they’re buying or not, everyone likes to dream, and a good part of this show is entertainment.”
Auto Shows of North America Show DirectoryAlbany
Albany Auto Show
11/3/2017 - 11/5/2017
Salt Lake City
Credits/Contacts:Automotive Trade Association Executives
8400 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102
703.556.8581 - fax
Don McNeeley, ATAE President
Jennifer Lindsey, ATAE Executive Director
Rod Alberts, ASNA Chairman
The Auto Show Report
J.D. Booth, editor
Elizabeth Katz, staff reporter
Michael Ofiara, intern, Western Michigan University