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.
Hawaii dealers use auto show to help public educationAs vehicles become increasingly high-tech, the implications to the business of diagnosing and repairing automotive systems is equally demanding. The obvious challenge, of course, is providing enough technicians to do the work.
It’s that type of thinking that’s driving dealership associations across the continent to look for ways to entice students into the high-tech field of automotive technology. It’s also the thinking, long-term thinking, that is sparking Hawaii’s franchised new car dealers, as members of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association (HADA), to look for ways to jumpstart the entire educational system, something they are doing with increasing and amazing success.
Consider this: the organization has been credited with the passage of a
"Part of that thinking was related to the fact that, with the number of computers under the hood of a car – there are about 50 or so – it takes more of a Bill Gates to tackle the job. What’s required, in fact, is math skills and high verbal reasoning, plus the scientific knowledge to become a $100,000 a year auto technician.”
Rolf says some auto dealers even faced rejected warranty claim reimbursements when auto manufacturers couldn’t understand service department write-ups.
And the future wasn't looking much brighter.
"The pipeline is plugging up," says Rolf. "Today’s students lack the needed math and high-verbal reasoning skills."
Rather than bemoan the fact, the dealership organization began pushing for education reform. And they succeeded. With the state bill, a new curriculum will be phased in, with students focused on not only learning to read; they'll be understanding what they’re reading.
The idea for developing the curriculum came with the help of some of America’s leading educational experts, including E.D. Hirsch Jr., noted author of national best sellers on literacy and education reform. As Rolf explains, bringing the educational experts to the table was part of the auto dealers’ initiative. And the work continues.
“Hawaii schools now average 43 percent proficiency in reading,” says Rolf. “In order for schools to reach the goal of 58 percent by 2010, schools will have to accelerate at a rate that’s more than 300 percent better than what they’re doing today.”
At the same time, Rolf says, there’s widespread acknowledgement that a revamped, rigorous curriculum of this type will do the job.
“While there are many things that need to be addressed for a complete educational tune-up, hooking up the battery cable – using a heavy-duty rigorous curriculum like the one proposed here in Hawaii – is the natural place to start.”
Prominent GM auto show exhibit execs retireASNA meetings will never be the same.
General Motors' dynamic duo, Bill Ames and Joe Meagher, both among the early and vocal supporters behind the development of ASNA, have retired. Grayson Smith, Pontiac/GMC show manager, is also leaving. The trio was honored at a "move out" reception during the New York International Auto Show. Their retirements are effective immediately.
"As the son and grandson of Chevy dealers dating back to 1913, GM is literally the only life I've ever known. However, when considering the time that I will now have to enjoy my family, my friends, and my health, this is an exceptionally easy decision."
Ames spent nearly 34 years with the automaker. "I have come to fully understand and appreciate the importance of working with, for, and around great people," he said.
Joe Meagher, GM's assistant director, auto shows & exhibits, and the proverbial "number two guy," also retires after an illustrious career with GM. Meagher was liked by auto show directors across the country, says Martha Cusimano, executive director, Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show.
"Joe's a straight shooter and is very authentic," says Cusimano. "He laughs easily, is very approachable and has an infectious enthusiasm for the work we do. I will miss him at our ASNA meetings and hope we remember the good feedback he gave."
Both Meagher and Ames were prominent and spirited participants at ASNA summer meetings, easily approachable and always willing to discuss improvements with directors of auto shows of all sizes.
Smith said GM's involvement in ASNA will continue, and the automaker will benefit as a result, regardless of who takes on the helm of auto shows and exhibits.
"We've been very involved with ASNA in the last few years, especially taking advantage of the opportunity represented by the summer meeting to present what we think are significant issues that need to be addressed by the industry," he said. "ASNA is a great way for everyone involved in the auto show sector to share information and views."
ASNA gears up for summer networking frenzyAuto show executives and industry personnel once again are looking forward to the year’s greatest networking opportunity - the Auto Shows of North America Summer Meeting.
"This event has grown into a significant off-season opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and key manufacturer executives," says ASNA Chairman Todd Leutheuser (Loyt-Hoy-ser), co-executive director of Anaheim's California International Auto Show. "For some, the ASNA Summer Meeting is the only annual opportunity to meet face-to-face with the factory guys, discuss challenges and opportunities and, in general, develop and maintain those critical relationships."
Leutheuser says the event is also now attracting more manufacturer PR people (who are among those who plan product launches), as well as integrated marketing firms, ad agencies and special event companies.
"The diversity, talent and expertise of those who attend these meetings is remarkable," he says, "and they all have one thing in common - auto shows."
While the format of the 2005 meeting is still being developed, the outcome will be energizing and positive, says Peter Hodges, ASNA vice chair and executive director of the Oklahoma City International Auto Show.
"These meetings are about learning and sharing with colleagues, and participating in a frank and open exchange of opinions and ideas," says Hodges. "Everyone in the auto show business knows that the ASNA Summer Meeting is not to be missed, except for those of us whose wives are expecting babies at precisely the same moment."
Besides, where else can you see Charlie Gill do an "American Idol" rendition of William Hung's "She Bangs! She Bangs!," Jason Vines ride a "JEEP" bike through the audience before delivering a key note speech, or Rod Alberts' home movies from his baby's birth?
Only at the ASNA Summer meeting. See you there.
Note: New ASNA Summer Meeting sponsors should contact Joe Rohatynski for more information at 313.378.6570 or Joe@JoePR.com.
Freeman named exec producer at Motor Trend Auto ShowsSteve Freeman, who was previously director of event management at Motor Trend Auto Shows, has been named executive producer.
A certified meeting professional, Freeman will continue to be based out of the company's Los Angeles office, reporting directly to John Marriott, vice president and general manager of Motor Trend Auto Shows.
"Steve's professionalism, reliability and years of experience not only with our shows and venues, but most importantly, with our clients, makes him a natural choice for this key position," said Marriott.
Freeman, who replaces Skip Johnson, joined Motor Trend in 1998 after serving as both event coordinator at the Phoenix Civic Plaza and, later, managing the Arizona International Auto Show. He served as liaison between the facility and the auto show.
He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he got his first taste of event management working at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center before moving to Phoenix.
Freeman is also a graduate of the School for Public Assembly Management, operated by the International Association of Assembly Managers,
and is a member of the International Association of Exhibition Management.
Pittsburgh dealer group gets a name changeGreater.
The word is key to a name change by the 80-year-old Pittsburgh Automobile Trade Association (PATA) which is now the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association, a return to a name it once held in the early 1970s.
"The name change better reflects both the expansive metropolitan area and the type of businesses that make up our membership," said Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association President, Gregg Semel of Billco Motors. The association currently represents more than 300 franchised new automobile and truck dealers and related industries from across Western Pennsylvania.
Each year, collectively, the franchised new vehicle dealerships in the Pittsburgh area significantly impact the economy. During 2003, Greater Pittsburgh new vehicle dealerships collected or paid a total of more than $321 million in state and local taxes and generated more than 21,600 local jobs. In addition, the automobile dealers collectively contributed more than $5 million to charitable causes throughout Greater Pittsburgh.
The organization was named Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association back in the early 1970s. Starting off as the Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association in 1924, the organization renamed itself Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association in the early 1970s and then changed again in the late 1970s to the Pittsburgh Automobile Trade Association (PATA).
Membership in the Greater Pittsburgh Automobile Dealers Association is open to all franchised new car and truck dealers in Western
Pennsylvania along with all businesses directly or indirectly related to the automotive aftermarket industry. Its Web site is:
Automotive Hall of Fame announces 2005 inducteesThe Automotive Hall of Fame has released the names of its 2005 Class of Inductees. They are Mario Andretti, John Dunlop, Sir William Lyons, Jim Moran, Shirley Muldowney, John (Jack) Smith, Jr., John M. Studebaker and Alexander Winton. The announcement was made last week by David Kiley, president, International Motor Press Association, at the New York International auto Show. Formal induction ceremonies will take place October 11, 2005 in Detroit.
Mario Andretti (1940- ) is simply one of the world's greatest race drivers, having won championships at Indianapolis, Daytona and Formula One Grand Prix to name a few.
John Dunlop (1840-1921) invented the first successful pneumatic (air- filled) tire. The pneumatic tire was patented in 1888.
Sir William Lyons (1901-1985) founded Jaguar Cars. He began his career by building motorcycle sidecars in 1922 and moved to coach building in 1927.
Jim Moran (1918- ) was one of the first auto dealers to advertise on television. He owned a Hudson, then Ford dealerships in Chicago. In 1968, Moran became a Toyota distributor in a five state area in the southeast United States.
Shirley Muldowney (1940- ) was the first woman licensed to drive a Top Fuel dragster in 1973. She won the NHRA World Championship three times, and she earned 18 career NHRA victories.
John (Jack) Smith, Jr. (1939- ) is the former Chairman and CEO of General Motors and is recognized for building the strength and depth of GM's management team worldwide.
John M. Studebaker (1833-1917) transformed the successful Studebaker Brothers Mfg. Company, which was the largest manufacturer of horse drawn vehicles, into the Studebaker Corporation, becoming the second largest producer of automobiles in 1911.
Alexander Winton (1860-1932) was an American automotive pioneer and built one of the first mass-produced cars in 1898. Winton held over a hundred patents in the United States and Europe for various automotive advances.
The Automotive Hall of Fame, the highest place of honor in the international motor vehicle industry, is located in Dearborn, Michigan.
A public discussion about education - at Hawaii showWhile the First Hawaiian International Auto Show may not be all about hybrids and the future of alternative fuels, it's certainly pointing in the direction many islanders are heading.
Another reason, Rolf says, is that Honolulu is headquarters of one of the emerging companies developing technology for future automotive fuel cell applications. Indeed, Hoku Scientific, which Rolf describes as a "Menlo Park" of research in hydrogen, will be displaying at the show.
"The show will be one of the first public displays of their technology," says Rolf, who adds that public interest in the new technology is sure to make the display a popular one.
Rolf is equally excited about how far the Hawaii Convention Center - arguably one of America's most beautiful facilities - goes towards showcasing the vehicles on display.
Show goers who enter the facility will walk through what is quickly becoming a famous part of the Hawaii automotive landscape - a teachers "Hall of Fame," including blow-up photos of current and past "Teachers of the Year" who have received use of a vehicle for a year, courtesy of various Hawaii-based auto distributors, dealer ad associations and individual dealers.
While the giveaway program was first introduced by the Hawaii Volkswagen Dealers, it's now a major way for the entire dealership organization to gain visibility and to make a difference in the future of education in the state. In fact, the association was instrumental in seeing the state adopt a new education bill that will produce a curriculum benefiting all who attend school in the state (see related article in this issue of "The Auto Show Report.")
That includes, Rolf says, future automotive technicians who can make $100,000 or more, provided they have the right education.
"In order for this to succeed, we need to have a public discussion about future of education," says Rolf. "What better place
to have that than the state's largest publicly attended event, which is the First Hawaiian International Auto Show?"
Surveys help keep Milwaukee show focusedA "particularly good" charity gala before the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show had show organizer Don Hansen smiling as he took the time to review the show with "The Auto Show Report."
"We had a huge response," says Hansen, who also serves as president of the Automobile Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee. "It's been growing by leaps and bounds each year."
"It's a real lavish affair," notes Hansen.
Martini bars and sushi aside, it is, after all, the vehicles that the gala preview attendees and regular show goers come to see. And they weren't disappointed.
"We had a great selection of concept cars to show," says Hansen. "Three were historical concepts, including Firebirds from way back when they had wings on them."
"He seemed like a real big success," says Hansen, who isn't one to argue with numbers. "We had a great showing on the last Sunday, which is Children's Day, primarily because kids get in free."
Hansen was equally effusive about the participation of manufacturers, including Ford, which won the "people's choice" for its display.
But Hansen is also looking to the survey tool as a way to further fine-tune a show that's already seen as one of Motor Trend's best penetrating as a percentage of the local population and show attendance.
"We keep looking for better ways to line up with what people want," says Hansen. "The survey is something that's going to help us keep doing that."
Utah show makes it easy for attendees"Comfortable."
The word came up more than once in the conversation with Craig Bickmore, executive director of the Utah Automobile Dealers Association, organizers of the Utah International Auto Expo. There's a number of reasons for the adjective, all of them coming together as far as Bickmore is concerned.
As Bickmore notes, a low total cost of entry makes a big difference.
"It's also a very inexpensive show to visit and, because of that, it attracts a lot of people and makes it a family friendly show."
In the hall itself, show organizers use "every piece of the space available," including mezzanines and foyer areas to produce a smooth flow of traffic in and out of the show.
"It's very comfortable, easy to get in and out, a very functional space," says Bickmore.
"It begins the start of our selling season, being early in the year," says Bickmore. "People get excited about the cars and it's a good way of jumpstarting those sales. In our mind, it's critical to our success in those first few months."
The Utah show included, for the first time, a charity gala that generated several thousand dollars for some six local charities, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation center, Honoring Heroes Foundation, Catholic Community Services (a major homeless advocate in the area), Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer Foundation, and the Caring Foundation for Children (which helps provide dental care for children).
Other highlights included a popular Family Day, with a little promotional help from the Ronald McDonald Charities. Under the program, which is in its fourth year, McDonald's patrons receive a $2 off discount coupon; following the show, the dealer association donated $1 to Ronald McDonald Charities of the Intermountain Area for every coupon redeemed.
A display of exotics was also a crowd pleaser, says Bickmore. And an appearance by Eddie Paul, designer of cars in the "Fast and Furious" movies, was also a hit, especially since Paul, who's been doing this type of work for three decades or so, brought a couple of cars along with him.
Virginia says 'yes' to kids, 'no thanks' to NFLMichael Allen knows two things for sure: One is that Nickelodeon characters bring kids (and their parents) to the Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show; the other is that it's tough to compete with the NFL.
Where Nickelodeon is concerned, Allen, show director and executive director of the Greater Richmond New Car Dealers Association, says he's a believer in the power of "family features," including, this year, the "Fairly OddParents."
He's also smart enough not to go head-to-head with a bunch of weighty football players; Allen has already set dates for the next show that are distanced from the playoffs: March 10-12, 2006.
"This is the third year we've done Nickelodeon characters," says Allen, who works with CEO Don Hall in organizing the show. "We're very pleased. This year our attendance was up on the Sunday, which is when we held Family Day, by 25 percent. A lot of the credit for that goes to the characters."
And the NFL? Allen saw a drop in attendance on the day before Family Day, which was the time when armchair quarterbacks settled in for the playoffs. Still, Allen says attendance overall was good, especially with record crowds on Friday and Sunday.
A third reason for shifting the show dates is avoiding a conflict (and traffic snarls) with the inauguration of statewide offices that would otherwise conflict with the January dates.
And as the three-day show opened, attendees were able to see, for the first time on the East Coast, Subaru's new Tribeca and the Ford Mustang Convertible. While Allen says the impact of the show on local dealers is largely anecdotal, it's nevertheless compelling.
I've talked with a good number of dealers since the show," says Allen. "Every one of them, in every case, had a big boost in their sales the week following the show."
Allen says salespeople who work the show, which is non-selling at the event, do build relationships and make contacts that they can follow up with later.
"It gives them an opportunity to sell themselves," says Allen.
Show goers, in the meantime, are doing their homework. "They see the products and compare," says Allen. "A large percentage are in the market or thinking about being in the market."
And how does Allen know that?
"As soon as the surveys were done, we could review the data, read the comments and change things if necessary," he says.
One example was Allen being able to respond to a desire on the part of show goers to have more seating where they could rest for a few minutes. "We immediately went out and contracted with the facility for more chairs on the outside wall of the Convention Center. Problem solved."
Allen says the survey also gives him the ability to better plan for next year's show.
"We're most excited about the ability to make changes that are going to line up with the needs of the manufacturers," says Allen, who uses a manufacturer pitching sports cars as an example. "It would be nice to know when your most likely customer is going to be on the floor. If that's the 18 to 27-year-old male who's showing up on Saturday between 2:00 and 7:00 pm, we'll be able to track that with the survey."
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
John Lyboldt, ATAE President
Jennifer Lindsey, ATAE Executive Director
Todd Leutheuser, ASNA Chairman
The Auto Show Report
J.D. Booth, editor
Elizabeth Katz, staff reporter
Michael Ofiara, intern, Western Michigan University