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.
Automotive Hall of Fame announces 2006 inducteesSeven individuals representing automotive racing, design, manufacturing, management and bold innovation have been selected for induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame. The list, which includes Nuccio Bertone, Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Jr., Wayne Huizenga, Shojiro Ishibashi, Arjay Miller and Bruno Sacco, were announced at the International Motor Press Association meeting at the New York International Auto Show. Formal induction ceremonies will take place in Dearborn, Mich., on Oct. 3, 2006. Additional details on the Automotive Hall of Fame, including full details on this year’s class of inductees, is available on the organization’s Web site: www.automotivehalloffame.org.
Connecticut International Auto Show signs with Paragon GroupThe Greater Hartford Automobile Dealers Association (GHADA) has awarded the contract to produce the Connecticut International Auto Show to Paragon Group, Inc. Paragon will manage the transition of the show from its previous location at the Connecticut Expo Center to its new home Nov. 16-19, 2006 at the just-completed Connecticut Convention Center. “We’re very excited to be working with the GHADA to grow the auto show as it nearly doubles in size with its relocation to the new convention center,” explains Garry Edgar, president of the Paragon Group. “We appreciate the vote of confidence in us from the association, as we look forward to working with them to shape the auto show into an even bigger event for the greater Hartford area.” Paragon’s auto show division includes two ASNA shows - the New England International Auto Show and the Portland International Auto Show - as well as the Jacksonville International Car & Truck Show.
BMW 3-Series named World Car of the YearFrom an initial entry list of 27 new vehicles from all over the world, the BMW 3-Series has been named World Car of the Year by the group of automotive journalists behind the non-profit corporation. Announcements for the awards program were made at the New York International Auto Show on April 13. Starting from a field of 27 vehicles, the WCOTY’s finalists also included the Mazda MX-5 and the Porsche Cayman S. Also announced at the New York show were the World Performance Car (Porsche Cayman S), World Green Car (Honda Civic Hybrid), and World Car Design of the Year (Citroen C4).
GM opens permanent 'Ride and Drive' on Las Vegas stripGM has opened a new test facility on the famous Las Vegas Strip in an effort to convince thousands of tourists to try out its products.
The Drive promotion is one of many efforts designed to draw attention to GM's cars. "Right now, we're using this as a pilot to see what the response is," said Ryndee Carney, a GM spokeswoman.
Customers may choose to drive on one of two tracks - a high-speed oval with high-walled turns or a rugged off-road course boasting two "adventure trails." The promotion was lured to town by the Las Vegas Monorail, which runs an inner-city train system.The attraction sits at the shuttle stop outside the Sahara Hotel & Casino, where GM has leased an 11-acre site for six months. "It's going to bring people to the hotel," said Ron Garrett, the Sahara's director of marketing and entertainment.
SEMA helps ‘mainstream’ customization of vehiclesWith an increasing emphasis on tuner vehicles and more and more auto shows catering to the interest, people like Peter MacGillivray are smiling more and more these days.
MacGillivray, vice president of marketing and communications at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), has good reason: once considered a fringe market that automakers had fleeting interest in pursuing, the business of customizing vehicles has become white hot. And part of the mainstream in auto shows throughout North America.
“There’s been a shift in our industry over the last five years,” says MacGillivray. “Where vehicles used to be modified by customers on a second and third hand vehicle basis, they’re now turning to brand new vehicles.”
One reason for the shift is SEMA itself.
“We’ve been able to facilitate collaboration with OEMs,” says MacGillivray, referring to efforts to encourage automakers to make vehicles more “accessory friendly.”
That can include providing an umbrella organization like SEMA with specifications on vehicles that make it possible for member companies to have custom parts ready for consumers to customize as soon as they drive off the lot.
In a very practical sense, customer demand for personalizing virtually every aspect of a vehicle is such that OEMs can’t be everything to everyone.
With that in mind, more and more manufacturers are coming to understand how cooperating with SEMA members can ultimately drive sales, says MacGillivray.
“We’ve been able to demonstrate to manufacturers that something as simple as sharing paint codes will benefit them in that it allows companies to produce accessories that match,” he says. “Our members will be making better products, speed to market will be enhanced, and consumers will get excited about a vehicle, knowing they can turn it into something that fits them better.”
“It was fantastic,” says MacGillivray. “It was a tremendous success for us and the feedback, not only from consumers but from the industry, was exciting.”
While MacGillivray isn’t ruling out future SEMA exhibits, he did acknowledge the commitment in resources necessary to sustain a presence on the auto show circuit.
“It’s also about coming up with the right mix and the right strategy for our organization,” he says.
Also factoring into the thinking is the fact that SEMA as a trade organization has many programs, only a few of which directly target consumers.
Still, consumer interest in customizing is making the organization’s members more visible, as a quick walk through an auto show will attest.
“In LA, I was struck as I walked through various exhibits,” says MacGillivray. “I couldn’t find a single booth that didn’t have a customized vehicle on display.”
Notably, he says, exhibitors are using those customized vehicles as a “magnet” for show goers. “Most automakers put it smack dab in the middle of their stand.”
Next issue: More insights from SEMA on the craze to customize.
Convention & Show Services pulls it all together for Detroit showTrust.
For a business like Convention & Show Services, Inc., a family-run company that the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) relies upon to manage its labor services, it’s an all-important quality and not one that Fred Tanari takes for granted.
The founder of the company, which he now runs with sons Mark and Sam, Fred Tanari calls CSS something of a joint venture – where all involved work together for a common interest.
“You work with the unions, earn their trust, have them understand what you’re working with and how you’re going about it,” says Tanari, speaking from an office he maintains in Detroit’s Cobo Center, home of the NAIAS (the company has a second location in Lincoln Park, where warehousing space gives exhibitors the flexibility of bringing in materials early).
If that sounds easy, it’s only because Tanari and his staff make it so.
The reality is that CSS, an Auto Shows of North America sponsor, manages the critical labor component that results in a virtual city of displays – many of them with the square footage of decent-sized home – all of which require assembling, then disassembling and preparing those same displays for shipping to their next destination.
The CSS staff bring together a small army of carpenters, Teamsters, ironworkers and stage hands to make it all come together.
Tanari’s rise from soldier to general began years ago, when he worked in the paint shop of a local display company. As he moved up in the company, taking on more and more responsibilities, he moved his office to Cobo Center, which was a client at the time. When the company was sold, Tanari could see the writing on the wall as far as his future with the firm was concerned. And it wasn’t looking good.
“They’d replaced me with someone that I’d hired,” he says. “I knew it was just a matter of time before I would be gone.”
With what amounts to a two-month moving in period, it’s a major undertaking but one that Tanari and his crews have come to both understand and tackle with enthusiasm, dedication and single-minded purpose.
And they get it done.
“We’re dealing with hundreds of pieces of equipment,” says Tanari, referring to the scissor lift, booms, and forklift trucks – equipment that exhibitors require to assemble their mammoth displays. “It took years to know where to go to rent the equipment, plus getting the people to operate it.”
The challenge is compounded due to the size of Cobo Center, which is, by all accounts, undersized for the demand on space, including just 17 loading docks. But Tanari works with what he has, meaning CSS does a remarkable job of orchestrating the flow of equipment and displays.
“It’s quite a project,” says Tanari. “There aren’t too many other places that are quite like this.”
He ought to know. Even though the Cobo Center venue is the largest one for CSS, the company is involved in other shows throughout the country. At Cobo Center, the company is contracted for its services by organizers of February’s Detroit Boat Show as well as the Detroit Autorama, held a month later.
And then there’s next year’s NAIAS, planning for which CSS begins almost immediately after the show ends in January. This past year, the schedule was even more hectic, the result of Super Bowl XL being hosted in the Motor City and Cobo Center being the venue for the NFL Experience, a pre-game extravaganza that included autograph sessions, clinics, and chats with coaches and players.
What took two months to put together had to be disassembled and removed from Cobo Center in just six days.
Tanari and CSS made it happen, a hurculean task for which Rod Alberts, executive director of both the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the NAIAS, was grateful.
“It takes a great deal of effort and, particularly, coordination of everyone involved in producing a show like the North American International Auto Show,” says Alberts. “The people of Convention & Show Services, including Fred Tanari and the entire team, do an exemplary job of making sure the myriad of exhibits we have come together when we need them. They are a vital part of what we do and we’re very grateful for their dedication and attention to detail. It’s a job that simply couldn’t be done without them.”
Tanari says teamwork is critical to getting the work done.
“The biggest thing is having the cooperation of everyone,” he says, again referring to the trust issue that CSS has built with organized labor.
That cooperative spirit includes giving exhibitors, whose complex displays require extensive knowledge to put together, the ability to use the same crews year after year, a practice that wasn’t always consistent with union practices.
“We’ve seen a big difference in the way we’ve been able to operate, again based on trust and explaining what’s needed,” says Tanari. “When an exhibitor leaves, they’ll have a list of people who worked their display and we’ll ask for those same people next year. If they’re available, we’ll get them.”
It’s a mutually beneficial set up: for CSS, for labor, and for the exhibit companies.
“To keep this show at the quality that it is, to make it as successful as it is, everyone understands how important it is to cooperate. You work together.”
Edmonton: Long lines despite advance ticket salesMaybe it was the traditionally tough winter weather in one of Canada’s most northerly cities. Or perhaps it was cabin fever and people succumbing to the urge to simply get out and do something.
Bob Vilas, executive vice president of the Edmonton Motor Dealers Association and show manager, quickly went into high gear as the lines lengthened for the late January event.
“Our staff along with those of Northlands [where the show is held] instructed Ticketmaster, who had every available ticket seller on duty, to print 1,800 adult tickets,” says Vilas. “They went out and started selling tickets to those in line that we could accommodate with cash purchases to facilitate faster entry into the show.”
The result? Gone in 30 minutes.
“We repeated this on four occasions throughout Saturday and Sunday, when we had record attendance for both of these days.”
Vilas was pleased with the reception of various specialty displays, including exotics, hot rods, tuners, drifters and virtually every type of motor sport represented.
New participants at the show included BMW and Mini and a Hummer display as well. New corporate displays helped drive the public’s enthusiasm for the show, says Vilas.
One was the appearance of Michael Schumacher’s 2003 Formula One World Championship Ferrari. Canadian driver Alex Tagliani, who now drives for Team Australia, made an appearance at the show.
“We ended up with six Lamborghinis, six Ferraris, the Carerra GT supercar and a number of British luxury vehicles, including the Aston Martin DB9 convertible,” says Vilas.
One of the key changes for the show in recent years has been the introduction of interactive elements to the show, something that’s more and more expected, says Vilas.
“We’ve addressed a number of issues by having these elements as part of the content. We’ve found that the show is now a family destination where all members can find something of interest. It’s also extended the time spent at the show by patrons and has widened the appeal to more women and young members of a family.”
Montreal: New ‘green future’ display strikes a chordOn route to a greener future.
It’s more than a wish; it’s a new feature the Montreal International Auto Show has introduced, the intention to capitalize on public interest and automaker response to a push for more eco-friendly vehicles as the price of fuel climbs and concerns over the effects of pollution remain high on the public’s agenda.
“This is not a feature exhibit,” says Diane Belair, executive vice president of both the show and the Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation. “It’s a permanent new segment for us.”
With displays that include a manufacturer emphasis on alternative energy, the “Greener Future” area is sponsored by the federal government’s Natural Resources Canada and the province’s electric generator, Hydro-Quebec.
Dedicating 10,000 square feet of a total of 365,000 square feet in exhibit space, the show was able to incorporate the presentation of a new awards category – Best New Alternative Power Vehicle – from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).
AJAC named the Honda Civic Hybrid as its 2006 winner in the category.
In 2005, the event’s inaugural year, the event raised some $150,000 for foundations attached to major hospitals in the area. This year, that number more than doubled to $316,000 with increases in sponsorships and a widening of the organizations benefiting from the evening. And with more beneficiaries comes more attendance.
The charity preview event is something of a transition from previous years, where the “preview” was more of an industry.
“Now it’s open to the public,” says Belair. “It makes for a nice donation on the part of the auto industry.”
While there are many similarities to auto shows elsewhere in North America, Belair says Montreal has its differences, as does the rest of Canada. One is the type of displays likely to be seen.
“I just came back from Chicago,” said Belair in an interview with The Auto Show Report. “Canadian shows probably pay more attention to feature exhibits.”
Even then, Belair noted a number of differences between Montreal and Toronto, home of the Canadian International Auto Show.
On the similarity side of the equation, shows like Montreal, being owned by the local dealership organization, have vehicle sales as their driving motivation, even if it might otherwise affect attendance at the auto show.
“We were down just a notch,” says Belair. “But that happens every time we have a good year in vehicle sales, which we did, with sales up 2.3 percent.”
The connection between vehicles sales and auto show attendance may not be universally shared among auto shows, but it does fit with exit surveys that show the number one reason for attending the show is to shop for a new vehicle.
“It’s not very surprising,” says Belair.
Editors Note: Is there a link between auto show attendance and the year’s vehicle sales? E-mail your thoughts and experiences to email@example.com. Results will be published in an upcoming issue of The Auto Show Report.
Portland: Weather cooperates (it rained) at Northwest’s selling showAhh, the weather.
“That’s good show weather,” says Barbara Pudney, of the Paragon Group, which produces the show and enjoyed another sold-out event.
Greg Remensperger would agree. As executive vice president of the Metro Portland New Car Dealers Association, he notes the event was a success from an attendance perspective, something that’s particularly important given its status as one of but two “selling” shows in the U.S. (the other being Louisville).
“Our dealers had a very good response from the show,” says Remensperger. “January and February are always tough months here and they look to the auto show for help.”
“We’d had 30-plus days of straight rain,” says Remensperger. “People needed to get out and we gave them the opportunity to do something.”
Besides the cars themselves, show goers came out to see a bit of biker heaven in Terri Lyn Link, owner of Sandy, Ore.-based Siren Custom Cycles. While the focus on motorcycles is nothing new at Portland (every year there is a motorcycle showcase), Link is notable as the first woman to win a biker’s build competition. She also designs and sells a line of clothing for women bikers and held a fashion show as part of her appearance.
While concepts were not as prevalent as in other years, Remensperger says a proliferation of redesigned production vehicles seemed to make up the difference, especially given the selling nature of the show.
Other features at the Portland show included a promotion of automotive career opportunities through a show floor kiosk set up in cooperation with Oregonlive.com, which features current jobs available in the industry.
Providence: East Coast show gets boost from DetroitFor Jack Perkins, timing is everything, particularly as it applies to the Northeast International Auto Show in Providence, R.I.
The last time The Auto Show Report interviewed Perkins (in 2004), the executive vice president of the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association had talked about how the Super Bowl game had coincided with the last day of the show, and one of the teams was a hometown favorite, the New England Patriots.
While timing is still important, this year Perkins emphasized how being immediately after Detroit’s North American International Auto Show sets the tone for his event.
“I think we benefit from that,” says Perkins, referring to the media interest and heightened industry awareness that comes from the Motor City. “We get a positive spin from the Detroit show and that creates real excitement for us.”
Another timing factor is how the Rhode Island show has little area competition with which to concern itself.
“Boston and Hartford are fall shows,” notes Perkins.
Still, it’s the “after Detroit” timing that most benefits the event. “A lot of things are held up until Detroit,” says Perkins. “We get the benefit of being after that. The falls shows aren’t able to show vehicles that are waiting for the Detroit introductions.”
Perkins also says the affiliation with the Motor Trend Auto Shows organization helps, especially with the publicity generated.
The Ford Reflex concept car and Dodge Caliber concept were also shown.
There were also numerous motorcycle exhibits from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, BMW, KTM, Moto Guzzi and Ducati.
Special events this year included an appearance by Boyd Coddington, host of the Discovery channel TV show American Hot Rod.
Kids Day (the last day of the show) featured an appearance by the ever-popular SpongeBob SquarePants, who posed for pictures (the first 200 in line received a complimentary photo).
Perkins was pleased to report that attendance for the show was up more than 10 percent from a year earlier.
And even more important is the response from local dealers, who are expecting a boost in sales following the event.
“It was a very good show,” says Perkins. “Any way you measure it.”
San Jose: It’s ‘the city’ in the Bay AreaIt’s one of the 10 biggest cities in the country. And its dealers reportedly sell three vehicles for every one in the city up the road.
“We have more people and more sales,” says Smith. “It’s only in exhibit space that we’re not the dominant show.”
Yet the 280,000 square feet in the San Jose McEnery Convention Center is still large enough to have Smith dedicate some 80,000 square feet to a new Aftermarket Alley, a special area for car customizing enthusiasts. In that exhibit, DUB magazine was able to showcase several personalized vehicles owned by celebrities in the music and sports industries.
Smith expects to see a Ride and Drive component incorporated into next year’s Aftermarket Alley space.
But even beyond the vehicles being displayed – and they were considerable – Smith is reaching out to appeal to an audience that’s decidedly technologically oriented (remember, we’re talking about Silicon Valley).
With that in mind, Smith and his association published the official show program online in a unique “click through” format from Real Read. Unlike other online formats, the publication, Bay Area Auto Trends, gives viewers a feeling they are reading a paper-based program, but with the enhanced ability to click on index items and jump to pages. Display advertisements appear exactly like a printed publication.
“It was a great way for us to go,” says Smith.
San Jose also benefited from an association with Auto Shows of North America partner Adstrategies, which is now the show’s media buyer and provides important survey results to Smith’s organization.
“Before, any surveys we did had very low numbers in terms of the number of people responding,” says Smith. “We quadruped our responses this time and that will give us the information we need to make further improvements to the show.”
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
Gary Thomas, ATAE Chairman
Jennifer Lindsey, ATAE Executive Director
Peter Hodges, ASNA Chairman
The Auto Show Report
J.D. Booth, editor