ASNA Logo Volume 4, Issue 1 - November 2005
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the Auto Show Report
A compilation of news and developments for and about Auto Shows of North America. To find out more, visit


Industry News
  • Harris returns to head GM public relations
  • L.A. Design Challenge goes to GMC PAD
  • Celebrity effect: Automakers bring name recognition to show floor
  • Aube named manager of displays and exhibits at Ford Division
  • Dodge Charger named International Car of the Year
  • Former Motor Trend exec heads to Playboy
  • Connecting with SEMA
  • Automotive Hall of Fame names Zetsche 'Industry Leader of Year'
  • Honda sees double
  • Now that’s a hood ornament
  • New Orleans: First post-Katrina show readies itself at convention center

    Sponsor Profiles

  • It’s the people that make Exhibit Works work
  • Paragon Group brings customized approach to show production

    Show Profiles

  • Las Vegas: Auto show proves there’s more than nightlife
  • Orlando: Moving venues (and back again) doesn’t phase show organizers
  • Phoenix: “Do one thing and make it significant”
  • San Diego: Getting younger people involved in the auto show experience
  • Tampa: All cylinders firing for warm-weather show

    Show Directory

  • Alphabetical listing of ASNA shows and dates for 2005-2006

    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.

    Harris returns to head GM public relations

    General Motors is bringing back its former public relations chief, Steve Harris. Harris will resume his former job as vice president of global communications in February. He replaces Tom Kowaleski, 54, who took that job after Harris retired in 2004. Kowaleski is leaving GM to pursue other interests. Harris, 59, was widely acclaimed for his PR skills at GM and the Chrysler group. He will hold GM's top communications job for 18 months or so while GM grooms his successor. In 1999, Kowaleski joined GM after 11 years at the Chrysler group. He has held his current job since January 2004. In that role, he was a member of the GM Automotive Strategy Board, Automotive Product Board, and North America Strategy Board and directed GM's corporate, product and brand, external, and internal communications around the world.

    L.A. Design Challenge goes to GMC PAD

    Why commute? Adapt.

    That's the thinking behind the GMC PAD, which offers an innovative look at the urban loft with mobility. A home ownership concept that enables cultural and geographic freedom for the modern city dweller, the PAD took top honors at the 2006 Design Los Angeles Challenge announced last month at the L.A. Auto Show. The team from GM's West Coast Advanced Design Studio created what the judges proclaimed a "LAV" (Living Activity Vehicle) which features a diesel-electric hybrid system for propulsion while in DriveMode, and serves as a generator for the onboard power grid for LifeMode.

    The media rich environment comes with an endless variety of entertainment, information and security options. With the GMC PAD, home is where you want it. And commuting is what other people do.

    Choosing between the 10 entries were design experts Imre Molnar, dean of the College for Creative Studies; Tom Matano, director of Industrial Design for Academy of Art University; and Stewart Reed, chairman of Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design.

    "This is the true all-around vehicle," said Matano. "This creates a new segment between the RV and the SUV. The future of this Living Activity Vehicle would appeal to many buyers including corporations, future home-owners, traveling business people and constant travelers looking to go beyond the stereotypical RV."

    The winning GM design team consisted of Steve Anderson, Senon B. Franco III, Jay Bernard, Phil Tanioka, Sidney Levy, Brian Horton, Alessandro Zezza, Christine Ebner and Frank Saucedo.

    Celebrity effect: Automakers bring name recognition to show floor

    While movie stars and professional athletes have long been used by automakers to help sell vehicles on the tube, celebrities are now becoming more and more frequent on the show floor. The recent trend for Hollywood types to help introduce new cars while providing a backdrop for automakers to connect brand image with a tried-and-true pop icon is becoming more and more (dare we say) common. Such was the case with Jay Leno’s appearance for General Motors last month at the LA Auto Show.

    In Chicago, Pontiac is bringing hometown favorite actor Gary Sinise on stage with his Lieutenant Dan Band (so named for the character he played in Forrest Gump), all for the show’s “First Look for Charity” preview event. Last year, actor Kevin Bacon and the “Bacon Brothers” appeared at Lexus displays in Detroit and Chicago.

    At the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria helped Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda introduce the company’s Imperial concept. The company also tapped a couple of celebrities to help with the unveiling of two production vehicles at the NAIAS – former “Law and Order” star Angie Harmon with the Jeep Compass, and actor David Spade with the Dodge Caliber.

    Angie Harmon helped introduce the Jeep Compass. The "Law and Order" actress appeared with Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler Group executive vice president of global sales, marketing and service, at the NAIAS debut.

    Rick Deneau, director of product and brand PR for Chrysler Group, said the company’s use of celebrities in its introduction efforts especially fits when vehicles such as the Compass and Caliber have already been talked about in the media. “It was an opportunity to have us gain even more visibility in our products,” said Deneau.

    And is Spade’s particular brand of humor – sarcasm – upsetting to Chrysler? Not a bit, says Deneau. “We like to poke fun at ourselves and we did it through him.” Indeed, the comedic actor got a few laughs at the expense of Chrysler. “Dude, anything looks good when you compare it to a Neon.”

    Actor/comedian David Spade (center) is joined by Jason Vines, left, Chrysler Group's vice president of communicaitons, and Joe Eberhardt at the debut of the 2007 Dodge Caliper during the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

    Deneau said the objective for using high-profile personalities is clear: “The media has an interest in celebrities. The trick is to have them touch the product, but not to be looking for some false-ringing endorsement.”

    Aube named manager of displays and exhibits at Ford Division

    Tim Aube

    Ford Motor Company has consolidated all of its auto show activities under one organization, one result being the appointment of Timothy Aube (aw-be) as manager of displays and exhibits for the Ford brand. Aube, a native of Grand Blanc, Mich., joined the automaker 10 years ago after earning a degree in marketing from Michigan State University. Most recently he was manager of e-commerce marketing, a job he held for 18 months. Prior to that Aube served as a Ford zone manager in the Washington, D.C. area. He now reports directly to Ernie Beckman, manager of displays and exhibits for Ford and Lincoln-Mercury, and joins Gary Olsson, Aube’s counterpart at Lincoln-Mercury, who has been in his position 18 months.

    Dodge Charger named International Car of the Year

    The International Car of the Year awards program of Road and Travel Magazine, an online-only publication, has named the Dodge Charger as recipient of its flagship category. The announcement was made at a black-tie event on the eve of media preview days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Other categories in the ICOTY awards program:
    • Truck of the Year: Hummer H3
    • Pick Up Truck of the Year/Most Athletic: Honda Ridgeline
    • Sports Car of the Year/Most Sex Appeal: Pontiac Solstice
    • Sedan of the Year/Most Dependable: Hyundai Sonata
    • Luxury Car of the Year/Most Respected: Mercedes-Benz CLS500
    • Minivan of the Year/Most Compatible: Honda Odyssey
    • Entry Level Car of the Year/Most Spirited: Audi A3
    • Crossover of the Year/Most Versatile: Dodge Magnum SRT8
    Two vehicles tied for SUV of the Year/Most Resourceful: Ford Explorer and Range Rover Sport.

    Former Motor Trend exec heads to Playboy

    Lou Mohn, well-known in auto show circles for his role in growing Motor Trend Auto Shows, was named publisher of Playboy magazine and vice president of Playboy Enterprises’ Publishing Group. The announcement was made by Playboy CEO Christie Hefner.
    Mohn, 49, left Primedia several months ago after serving as president of the Consumer Automobile Group for five years. He will be based at Playboy headquarters in New York. “Lou is the perfect candidate for this vital position within our company," said Hefner. "With over 25 years of publishing industry experience, top-notch leadership skills and a highly-regarded reputation among the advertising community, he will be of great value to our magazine, the driver of our internationally popular brand."

    Connecting with SEMA

    This highly customized MINI is a good example of vehicles that are becoming more and popular, says SEMA's Peter MacGillivray.

    Auto show organizers are increasingly discovering how significant the market for customized vehicles and the myriad of accessories available for today’s vehicles has become. The revelation is hardly news to Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of marketing and communications. “More and more automakers are discovering it makes good sense to connect with SEMA to provide what consumers want — which is to make their vehicles as distinctive as possible,” said MacGillivray during a conversation with “The Auto Show Report.”

    See the next issue of “The Auto Show Report” for more discussions with Peter MacGillivray about emerging trends and what’s ahead for the once niche-only aftermarket sector that’s driving extraordinary growth throughout the auto industry.

    Automotive Hall of Fame names Zetsche 'Industry Leader of Year'

    DaimlerChrysler's Dieter Zetsche, left, receives his "Industry Leader of the Year" award from Automotive Hall of Fame President Jeff Leestma.

    Dieter Zetsche, who helped transform the Chrysler Group before being tapped to take the reins of the entire DaimlerChrysler organization Jan. 1, has been honored as “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Automotive Hall of Fame (AHF). Jeffrey K. Leestma, AHF president, presented Zetsche with the award in front of media and industry crowds at the DaimlerChrysler Firehouse bash, an annual gathering during the North American International Auto Show. Additional AHF awards will be presented to several other industry greats during the annual NADA conference Feb. 12 in Orlando.

    Honda sees double

    For the first time ever, one manufacturer has won both North American Car of the Year and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) honors during the same year. Honda received the highly-prized kudos for its 2005 Civic and Ridgeline vehicles. The highly-respected NACTOY awards, in their 13th year, are selected by a jury of 49 journalists from a variety of media outlets in the U.S. and Canada, and are presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Second and third place winners in the car category were, respectively, the Ford Fusion and Pontiac Solstice. In the truck category, the Nissan Xterra and Ford Explorer took second and third place.

    Now that’s a hood ornament

    In what is described as a late night breach of security, an apparently tipsy and obviously naked woman managed to find herself adorning the new Dodge Challenger concept car at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. She wasn’t alone: about a dozen admirers were found busily snapping photos of the incident, which occurred about 2:30 am. “The people who are supposed to be on the floor at that time are supposed to also have their clothes on,” said Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA). “We’ll get to the bottom of this.” Like any good PR professional, Jason Vines, vice president of communications for the Chrysler Group, made the best of the situation. “We heard she was all over the Challenger. Obviously, this car is a magnet. We want people to love our cars, but maybe not so overtly.” According to the DADA, activity around the Challenger display increased substantially the next day.

    The Dodge Challenger the morning after.

    New Orleans: First post-Katrina show readies itself at convention center

    For Jeffrie Schultis Fricke, the rebirth of New Orleans and the first post-hurricane New Orleans Auto Show are inextricably linked. And as the Big Easy slowly but steadily rebuilds, a significant number of manufacturers have stepped up to support a show that's moved into the New Orleans Convention Center from its previous home - the disabled, but recovering Superdome.

    Jeffrie Schultis Fricke

    Schultis Fricke, who for many years has worked with father Bob Schultis in managing the event for the Greater New Orleans New Car Dealers Association, says the expanded space (250,000 square feet versus the 166,000 available at the Superdome) will be put to good use. "We're giving as many of the institutions that have been so much a part of New Orleans over the years the opportunity to exhibit as part of the show," says Schultis Fricke.

    One of those being contacted is the world-famous Audubon Nature Institute, which is based in New Orleans. Major employers that include Lockheed Martin, which builds spacecraft for NASA, will also feature displays at the show.

    Within the auto industry, a number of manufacturers have already stepped up to lend their support toward the show as well as the rebirth of the city. They include, in alphabetical order, BMW, General Motors, Infiniti, KIA, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volvo.

    "Some 78 percent of the area in and around New Orleans is occupied now, which is great," says Schultis Fricke. "This is a huge community effort and most companies see the value in being part of the rebuilding of the community - a community that's supported them in the past."

    ASNA Sponsor Profile:
    It’s the people that make Exhibit Works work

    As Dominic Silvio tells it, the 1979 launching of Exhibit Works, Inc., one of a handful of leading firms whose work permeates virtually every auto show in North America, was mostly about service. Or the lack thereof.

    In an interview nearly six years ago, just before Exhibit Works opened a West Coast office, primarily to service a major client – Lincoln – Silvio outlined a work ethic honed not only from immigrant parents but from his early days selling washing machines for Sears.

    “Don’t worry about how much money you’re making or how profitable the job is,” he told a magazine interviewer. “Worry about the company and the rest will come.”

    It’s a philosophy to which Silvio and the approximately 500 employees of Exhibit Works still hold true.

    And now, with Silvio having formed an employee stock ownership program, he’s found a tangible way to bring “the rest” to those who’ve joined him in the enterprise.

    Michael Croke

    One of those is Michael Croke, vice president of West Coast Sales. And even though Lincoln (still an Exhibit Works client) has since moved its headquarters to New Jersey, business continues to be brisk on that side of the continent.

    The company’s roster now includes a number of other Ford Motor Company badges, including Ford, Mazda, and Volvo, as well as Mitsubishi, Subaru, Porsche, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, Bentley, and now Suzuki.

    Croke agrees that people are an essential differentiator for Exhibit Works, an integrated marketing company that does not only exhibits but produces events, designs museum displays, retail store interiors, plus mobile marketing, business theatre and various business-to-business marketing campaigns and initiatives.

    “We know our core competencies, but it really does come down to people,” says Croke, who joined Exhibit Works nearly six years ago. A veteran of a competing organization, Croke and two partners had first left to form their own venture. Then they ran into Dominic Silvio.

    “We really appreciated Dominic’s approach to business and particularly with people,” says Croke, who shortly thereafter closed up the venture to join Exhibit Works.

    Exhibit Works' projects have included displays for Hyundai and Lincoln-Mercury among other manufacturers.

    And the difference?

    “We really like to bring an intense focus to the products and programs we’re involved with,” says Croke. “Our clients know we work hard to give their brands a very strong three dimensional presence at auto shows around the world.”

    That world-wide focus is now extending to China, where Exhibit Works has plans to open a Shanghai office in early spring.

    In many ways, the company’s role continues to be one of partnering, says Croke.

    “We are very much a partner with our clients. That means working with their marketing departments and with other agencies, coming up with marketing plans that include areas where we can contribute and support other efforts. And in doing so, we’re very often having an impact before the marketing plans are made public, which allows us to help our partners reach their strategic marketing objectives.”

    Those face-to-face opportunities to make a difference is another Exhibit Works strength, says Croke.

    And as the auto business becomes an increasingly world-wide marketplace, Exhibit Works will continue to serve clients focused on making inroads into those emerging markets.

    “It’s probably one of the biggest challenges we have,” says Croke, referring to the obvious trend to market on a global basis. “But we’ve been able to stay ahead of the marketplace.”

    With divisions in Detroit, Chicago, L.A. and Orange County, Exhibit Works has the breadth and depth to continue serving a growing client base. But still, it’s the people that make Exhibit Works work. And, for Michael Croke, the connection is obvious.

    “This is a company that’s absolutely focused on building strong relationships with our clients — and our people are at the heart of our ability to continue doing that.”

    ASNA Sponsor Profile:
    Paragon Group brings customized approach to show production

    They may not be the biggest player in the auto show field, but that brings its own distinctive set of strengths, says Barbara Pudney, of Paragon Group, producer of three shows.

    Indeed, Pudney, who serves as vice president, says the company takes a decidedly individualistic approach to the business of producing auto shows. In the case of Paragon, that plays out at Boston’s New England International Auto Show and the Portland (Oregon) International Auto Show, as well as the Jacksonville International Car and Truck Show in February.

    A sponsor of Auto Shows of North America, the Paragon Group, also owns an annual golf show in Boston — National Golf Expo — this year scheduled for March 3-5.

    Barbara Pudney

    “Each of the associations we work with has their own unique desires for what their show should be and what it should bring, not only to the association but to the region or city it serves,” says Pudney, a former journalist who found herself in the middle of the trade show business after covering it for a publication.

    “In all cases, we work closely with the association and usually the board, plus a volunteer show committee,” says Pudney. “Once we know their primary focus, we then work to build a number of features that will support their objectives.”

    As an example, Pudney points to the New England show, where the owners — the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association — wanted to maximize the funds it raises for its charitable foundation.

    “One of their key events is a preview party,” notes Pudney. “We were able to come up with a number of ways, within the context of the preview event, to raise additional funds through the sale of sponsorships.”

    Again with Boston, consistent with the association’s objective of improving teen driving safety, the show featured a highly-visible opportunity for visitors to sign up for the “skid school” training program.

    At Portland, Jan. 26-29, Paragon installed kiosks that outline the various automotive-related jobs available, an initiative that’s also consistent with a desire of dealers to boost recruitment.

    While Pudney underscores her belief that the cars are the stars at any auto show, there’s often an opportunity to bring people in who might otherwise miss an event.

    “A big part of it is figuring out what additional features we could produce that will bring in people who are on the fence,” she says. “Our desire is that people come out saying ‘Wow! I had a really good time.’”

    The Paragon Group also makes it a point to deliver more.

    No space? Paragon Group has just a little extra with a tent it puts up every year for the New England International Auto Show in Boston.

    “Every year we’ve been able to make more money for our partnering associations than we did the year before,” says Pudney, whose efforts include selling more space, when that’s possible, or simply seeing a healthy rise in attendance.

    And even when space is seemingly fixed, Paragon Group has been able to make something work, which they did by adding a 40,000 square foot heated tent at the New England International Auto Show.

    With show goers consistently expressing their intention to buy or lease a vehicle within three to six months of attending an event, the attendance is one area where Pudney and Paragon Group focus their attention.

    “That’s a big part of our overall objective,” she says. “Getting people excited about attending, especially when they’ve got so many other choices for their time, is key.”

    Paragon is bringing 'Adrenaline Jam' to the Portland auto show as a way of driving attendance.

    A good example of an attendance-driving initiative is Adrenaline Jam, a video arcade and virtual speedway that Paragon is bringing to Portland and Jacksonville, complete with a NASCAR moon bounce inflatable for kids.

    While Pudney says Paragon Group is not without ambitions for growth, it expects to do so in a way that retains its ability to provide the customized approach to producing a show. That, she says, may translate into five or six auto shows in total.

    “We expect to play to our strengths,” says Pudney. “If that allows us to do what we do for others in the auto show community, we’ll certainly look to serve in that capacity.”

    Las Vegas: Auto show proves there’s more than nightlife

    If successfully promoting an auto show in Las Vegas might seem an uphill climb, you simply don’t know all there is to know about the famed city. For starters, the Las Vegas International Auto Show is held during Thanksgiving weekend, opening its doors on “Black Friday” (so-named as the day retailers begin making money that will put them in the profit column for the year).

    As Lauren Holzman, public relations director, Motor Trend Auto Shows, explains, it’s one of the three-day show’s busiest. And yes, on Friday, it’s mostly a guy thing – an unabashed escape from what might otherwise be a day at the dreaded mall.

    Afficionados delighted in a display of vintage Porsche cars.

    “It’s Disneyland for car lovers,” says Holzman. “They come to spend a day with friends and family, looking at the latest and greatest vehicles.”

    A good portion of those would be hybrids, an area of growing emphasis.

    “It was one of the first shows of the season where we saw a major emphasis on hybrids from both the media and show goers,” says Holzman. “It was the primary story the media wanted to cover at the show — hybrids and fuel efficiency.”

    And it’s not just people concerned with the environment that are gravitating toward the gasoline/electric hybrids.

    “Even people who are currently driving big trucks and sport/utilities are interested in hybrid vehicles,” says Holzman. “There was always a big crowd around the Chevy Silverado Hybrid, and of course, the Toyota Prius.”

    One notable highlight of the Las Vegas show included a first-ever Aftermarket Alley, an area of emphasis that Holzman says has captured the imagination — and the budget — of more and more show goers.

    “There are fewer people driving stock vehicles these days,” says Holzman. “It’s now about personalizing vehicles with rims and tires, stereos, and more. The fact that people could see so much in the aftermarket area this year was really well received.”

    Features included an on-site demonstration of some of the technology involved in creating a custom paint job, thanks to Paintmaster Art Studio, of Las Vegas.

    Other highlights included a display of vintage Mustang, courtesy of the Mustang Club of Las Vegas. Not to be outdone was the Las Vegas Region of the Porsche Club of America which commemorated the club’s 50th anniversary with a special exhibit.

    Movie/comic book character "The Thing" demands instant respect at the Las Vegas International Auto Show.

    Those even more oriented toward the world of muscle cars could get their fix at a collection of vehicles assembled by editors of “Street Rodder” magazine, a Primedia publication (and sister to Motor Trend Auto Shows). Those one-of-a-kind vehicles included a pair of 1932 Highboy Ford Roadsters, a 1933 Full-Fendered Ford Roadster and a 1936 Ford Three Window Coupe.

    Show attendees also got glimpse into the land of comic books with appearances by The Thing (from The Fantastic Four) and Spider-Man, all part of the Sunday Kids Day event.

    And as an extra benefit to those doing their “window shopping” at the auto show in Las Vegas, WWE Diva Torrie Wilson greeted fans and signed autographs on Saturday.

    Profile: Las Vegas International Auto Show

    Nov. 25-27, 2005

    Next year:
    Nov. 24-26, 2006

    Las Vegas Convention Center, Orlando

    Exhibit Space:
    300,000 square feet

    Adults (13 and over), $8; Seniors (62 and over), $5; Military (Active with ID), $4; Children (7 to 12), $4; Children (6 and under, Free

    Show Hours:
    Fri.-Sat., 9 am-8 pm
    Sun., 9 am-7 pm

    Show Contact:
    Lauren Holtzman
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Website:

    Orlando: Moving venues (and back again) doesn’t phase show organizers

    Barbara Miller is getting very good at giving directions.

    With her Central Florida International Auto Show moving from one building of the sprawling Orange County Convention Center complex to another this year (one-half a mile away), and the promise of moving back come next season, it’s meant a complete new set of signage as well as floor plans.

    But Miller, executive vice president of the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association, isn’t complaining, pointing out that the most recent move — the result of the host facility adding one million square feet of exhibit space — gave the show a sprawling one-room area and covered docks.

    “Before we were in an ‘L’ shaped configuration,” says Miller. “This is much better for exhibitors and they said so.”

    In entertainment-intensive Orlando, features like Spider-Man are a necessity for drawing families to the Central Florida International Auto Show.

    Even next year, when scheduling issues necessitate a move back to the building where the auto show has been for 22 of its 23 years, Miller says they will be able to retain the one-room layout scheme. Yet the biggest challenge isn’t necessarily moving from one hall to another.

    “A larger issue is dealing with the move-in and move-out days of other shows,” says Miller.

    Still, this year’s auto show was a resounding success, says Miller.

    Features included a Saturn Xtreme Ride Revamp in association with the Saturn Retailers of Central Florida and a sponsoring radio station (which included a giveaway of the vehicle, an all-new Saturn ION Quad Coupe). The vehicle, completely tricked out with the latest in aftermarket enhancements, was a crowd-pleaser in itself.

    A number of exotic cars from the duPont Registry, including Tiger Woods’ Porsche and Hulk Hogan’s Viper were also on hand at the show, as were various concept vehicles from numerous manufacturers.

    While Kid’s Day events are hardly unique to auto shows across North America, in Orlando, it’s even more important.

    “There are so many options here that we have to add the entertainment,” says Miller.

    Toyota's "Off Road On Site Adventure" was a popular feature in Orlando.

    The result: everything (for everyone) from SpongeBob SquarePants to “The Thing” (from Fantastic Four), plus Ronald McDonald and Spider-Man.

    Outside, Toyota Trucks Off Road On Site Adventure, located adjacent to the show’s entrance, did a brisk business, but not without its own moments, as Miller explains.

    “Someone forget to turn off the automatic sprinkler system one night. They didn’t realize it until one of the hills started to disappear.”

    Profile: Central Florida International Auto Show

    Nov. 23-27, 2005

    Next year:
    Nov. 22-26, 2006

    Orange County Convention Center, Orlando

    Exhibit Space:
    400,000 square feet

    Adults (13 and over), $8; Seniors (62 and over), $4; Military (Active with ID), $4; High school and college students (with ID), $4; Children (7 to 12), $2; Children (6 and under, Free

    Show Hours:
    Wed & Thurs, noon-10 pm
    Fri & Sat, 10 am.-10 pm
    Sun, 10 am-7 pm.

    Show Contact:
    Barbara Miller
    Central Florida Auto Dealers Association

    Show Website:

    Discount Coupons:
    $2 off adult admission coupons available at McDonald’s restaurants and Web site. Wednesday was Orlando Sentinel newspaper day with $3 off adult admission.

    Phoenix: “Do one thing and make it significant”

    The Arizona International Auto Show once again captured the imagination of Phoenix-area car fans.

    Inundated with requests from a well-deserving, but seemingly limitless list of charities that grows longer each year, the Arizona International Auto Show adopted what it calls the “do one thing and make it significant” plan. That “one thing” is the donation of vehicles – some 13 at the most recent show – to needy charities that include the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

    Knox Ramsay, president, Valley Auto Dealers Association, says the donation program, which has run for the last six years, produces ongoing results.

    “It helps position our dealers as being able to serve the community,” says Ramsay. “And the donation program gives us enduring visibility, with our logo on both sides and the rear of the vehicle.”

    The types of vehicles donated depend on the needs of the organization being served, but typically are vans, bus conversions, pick-up trucks or cargo vehicles.

    The donations are a key part of an opening day luncheon, sponsored by the Arizona Republic newspaper that effectively takes the place of the typical preview event present at many other shows.

    Nissan's 350Z vehicle was one hot property at the Phoenix show.

    “Thanksgiving really doesn’t lend itself to a formal, black tie event,” acknowledges Ramsay.

    What does work is the luncheon format that includes a high-profile media speaker (this year it was Leslie Stahl, of CBS’ 60 Minutes). ABC’s Sam Donaldson, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, and power media couple Mary Matalin and James Carville are past speakers.

    The public days for the show included a Ford-sponsored ride and drive event, which attracted more than 500 participants.

    Also at the show was the state-level competition held by Automotive Youth Education Systems, a partnership with manufacturers, dealers, and high schools that promotes careers in dealerships. Some eight teams competed at the show, the challenge being to “find the fix” for a vehicle that was rigged to malfunction. The winner of the competition now heads to the New York International Auto Show for the national competition in April.

    Profile: Arizona International Auto Show

    Nov. 24-27, 2005

    Next year:
    Nov. 23-26, 2006

    Phoenix Civic Plaza

    Exhibit Space:
    254,000 square feet

    Adults, $9; Seniors (62 plus), $5; Military, $5; Students, $5; Children (7-12), $4; under 6, free

    Show Hours:
    Thurs. 9 am-7 pm; Fri.-Sat., 9 am-10 pm; Sun., 9 am-7 pm

    Show Contact:
    Knox Ramsey, ATAE
    President, Valley Automobile Dealers Association

    Show Website:

    San Diego: Getting younger people involved in the auto show experience

    With the success of the Street Performance Pavilion behind him, Dean Mansfield, president of the New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County, says continuing to develop the 100,000-square-foot attraction for a younger demographic is high on his agenda.

    “We talked about putting something like this in place for a number of years,” says Mansfield. “It certainly helps with show attendance, but even more important is the fact that it gets younger people involved earlier in the auto show experience.”

    Mansfield is also looking to points south for even more growth in the most southern of California auto shows.

    “Although about 30 percent of our visitors are Hispanic, we’d like to have even more. One area that we see strong potential is Tijuana.”

    Indeed, the Mexican city, just 20 miles from downtown San Diego, has a disproportionate share of millionaires — and at least 1.2 million residents. Clearly, Mansfield would like to see more than a few of them at the auto show.

    He’d also like to see more of the area’s military personnel take in the event.

    “We’re home to the largest military facility in the world,” says Mansfield. “We’re working diligently to see more of them at the show and we’re doing very well in that regard.”

    One popular feature at San Diego was Ford's "Live Build" that saw a transformation of a stock 2006 Mustang GT convertible during the show.

    At the show itself, Mansfield expects to continue working with manufacturers to bring exciting exhibits and concept cars to the event. And more people.

    “That’s really what it comes down to,” says Mansfield. “The number one reason we exist is to bring people through the doors, excite them about the products and get them in to the dealerships to buy. Everything else is secondary.”

    And dealers, Mansfield says, see it working.

    “We are told by our dealers that the show does spark the market,” he says. “That will be particularly helpful this year.”

    Additional highlights at San Diego included the Ford Mustang California Dream Live Build, a feature that saw the manufacturer team up with Performance West Group, an automotive enhancement company, to transform a stock 2006 Mustang GT convertible over a two-day period.

    Two hands-on events, an increasingly popular feature at auto shows, included the Ford Fusion Experience and Chevrolet Test Drive Experience. Vehicles such as Ford’s Explorer and Mustang and Chevrolet’s Corvette, HHR and Impala SS were available for on-site test drives.

    Teaming up with radio station 91X, the auto show also featured a Chevrolet Customized Cobalt Giveaway, as well as a number of customized vehicles recently showcased at SEMA 2005.

    Profile: San Diego International Auto Show

    Dec. 28-Jan. 1, 2006

    Next Year:
    Dec. 27-31, 2006

    San Diego Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    525,000 square feet

    Adults (over 13), $10; Seniors (62 plus), $6; Military, $6; Children (7-12), $5; 6 and under, free

    Show Hours:
    Wed.-Fri., 10 am-10 pm; Sat., 10 am-midnight; Sun., 10 am-7 pm.

    Show Contact:
    Dean Mansfield, ATAE
    President, New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County

    Show Website:

    Tampa: All cylinders firing for warm-weather show

    Bucking the trend. That’s how George Wilson III describes conditions that favor the Tampa Bay International Auto Show as it comes off yet another successful event.

    “The economy here is very good,” says Wilson. “We’ve got new condos coming in and new businesses moving here and that rolls over to dealerships and purchases of new vehicles.”

    Tampa Bay show goers got a chance to see a Carrera GT owned by golfer Tiger Woods.

    At the show, manufacturer exhibits easily fill some 200,000 square feet of space, something Wilson says simply isn’t enough to satisfy the demand. “We could sell more space if we had it.”

    Tampa may not be unique in one respect but it’s certainly maintaining a trend toward Ride & Drive events — this year sponsored by Volvo, which brought its S40, S60 and S80 sedans, as well as V series wagons and the XC90 sport/utility vehicle.

    New vehicle models shown included the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, the Aston Martin DB9 Coupe, Audi A3, Dodge Charger, Honda Ridgeline, Lexus RX 400h (hybrid), Hummer H3, Maserati Quattroporte and Pontiac Solstice.

    A number of ultra high-end exotic and celebrity-owned vehicles were also on display. The duPont Registry display included Tiger Woods’ Porsche Carrera GT, Hulk Hogan’s “Hulkster” Dodge Viper, a Spyker C8 and a Mercedes-Benz limousine equipped with more than $80,000 in audio/entertainment extras. Ferrari of Central Florida came through with several models as well.

    Motor Trend Auto Shows, which produces the Tampa Bay event, leveraged its Primedia magazine titles to show a collection of classic muscle cars — part of a display chosen by the editors of “Hot Rod" magazine, “Popular Hot Rodding” and “Super Chevy.” Vehicles such as the 1957 Project X Chevy, 1969 Crate Camaro and 1970 Goodmark Camaro were part of the display.

    Carnell "Cadillac" Williams meets a fan in front of (where else?) a Cadillac sign.

    Show goers also caught appearances by Tampa Bay Bucaneers running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and WWE Diva Torrie Wilson, who both greeted fans and signed autographs.

    George Wilson says the future of the show remains as bright as the Tampa Bay weather, although he admits sunshine isn’t always a good thing for bringing people to the auto show.

    “It’s a bit of a Catch 22,” he says. “We like to have the nice weather, but it sometimes means people then have to decide: do we go to the beach, sailing or to the auto show? We’re never sure if it’s helping us or not.”

    Still, a new hotel in the downtown area and the specter of an even bigger convention center, which the city is studying, augurs well for the Tampa Bay International Auto Show.

    Profile: Tampa Bay International Auto Show

    Nov. 10-13, 2005

    Next Year:
    Nov. 2-5, 2006

    Tampa Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    200,000+ square feet

    Adults (13 plus), $8; Seniors (62 plus) $4; Military, students, children (7-12), $4; under 6, free

    Show Hours:
    Thursday & Friday, noon-10 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-6 pm

    Show Contact:
    George O. Wilson III, ATAE
    Executive Vice President, Greater Tampa Automobile Dealers Association, 813.837.1114

    Show Website:

    Discount Coupons:
    $2 off on 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

    The Auto Show Report
    Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

    J.D. Booth, editor

  • ASNA Partners

    ASNA Manufacturing Partners