ASNA Logo Volume 5, Issue 7 - July 2007
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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
  • Genuine super hero car coming to an auto show near you
  • Road & Travel announces nominees for 'Car of Year'
  • Brady named Automotive Hall of Fame Industry Leader of the Year
  • PR agency lauded for work on Oklahoma City show
  • Jury narrows field for North American Car/Truck of Year honors
  • Comings and Goings

    Show Profiles

  • Boston: With double the space, show is buzzing
  • Hartford: With growth, show becoming more regional
  • Los Angeles: With new dates settling in, growth continues
  • Orlando: Busy convention center forces one-year date change
  • Phoenix: More advertising, expanding database part of future plans
  • Seattle: Show continues to set its own standard
  • Tampa: Show generates strong interest while helping charity

    Show Directory

  • Alphabetical listing of ASNA shows and dates for 2006-2007

    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.

    Genuine super hero car coming to an auto show near you

    What more can you say about a car that whisks four super heroes through the air at 550 mph at an altitude of 30,000 feet? If you've seen the Marvel Comics' movie "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" you've already had a glimpse. First shown at the Frankfurt International Motor Show and, now, North American shows, too, beginning this month in San Diego, the vehicle, which sports the Dodge's signature crosshair grille with ram’s head logo, can separate into three sections, each with deployable wings, and is able to maintain the same speed and performance as the entire craft. Well, at least in the movie. And, yes, it has a Hemi.

    Fantastic Four Car

    Road & Travel announces nominees for 'Car of Year'

    As the Road & Travel Magazine “International Car of the Year” (ICOTY) program approaches its 12th annual event Jan. 12, 2008, on the eve of the North American International Auto Show, the panel of automotive journalists has named its top three choices in some 10 categories.

    Road & Track Editor Tom Bryant will be presented with RTM’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

    For “International Car of the Year,” nominees include: Chevrolet Malibu; Honda Accord Sedan; and Cadillac CTS. In the “International Truck of the Year” category, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid; Mazda CX-9; and Chrysler Town & Country have made the short list. As part of the event, RTM will also present its fifth annual “Lifetime Achievement Award,” this year honoring Tom Bryant, editor-in-chief of Road & Track.

    Courtney Caldwell will produce RTM’s “12th Annual International Car of the Year Awards”

    The first awards event to judge new vehicles based on how they reflect lifestyle and the car buying and ownership experience, ICOTY celebrates the emotional relationship between a vehicle and its owner, and how well automakers accomplished that goal, says Road & Travel editor and ICOTY creator, Courtney Caldwell.

    “The emotionally compelling theme on which we present our awards represents the relationship consumers have with their cars,” says Caldwell. “It’s about how cars reflect our lifestyles and image of self – an attitude most consumers identify with.”

    In addition to the top ten ICOTY awards, RTM will present the fourth annual “Heart String Award,” honoring an automaker and its advertising agency for the most emotionally compelling car commercial for 2007. The ICOTY jury will also present the first ever “Earth Angel Award,” recognizing the manufacturer with the most significant strides on environmental initiatives worldwide.

    Brady named Automotive Hall of Fame Industry Leader of the Year

    Phillip D. Brady, who for the last six years has served as president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, has been named “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Automotive Hall of Fame. The honor is in recognition of Brady's unwavering commitment and key support of the industry as a whole, says Jeffrey K. Leestma, AHF president. "There are always a number of very deserving candidates to consider for Industry Leader of the Year. Phil Brady is one who simply stood out in the view of the selection committee and his being honored is one that resounds with all who hear of it."

    Phillip D. Brady

    Those include Rod Alberts, president of the Detroit Automotive Dealers Association, and immediate past chairman of the Automotive Hall of Fame.

    "Phil Brady has made and continues to make very substantive contributions to the automotive industry as a whole and the very important retail component of this industry. It's gratifying to see those contributions being recognized by the Automotive Hall of Fame, recognition that is very appropriate and certainly deserving. We all share in wishing Phil congratulations for such a high honor."

    Brady will be honored at the AHF Annual Awards Luncheon in conjunction with the NADA Convention, Feb. 10, 2008, in San Francisco. For information on the event, contact the AHF at 313.240.4000.

    PR agency lauded for work on Oklahoma City show

    A public relations agency in Oklahoma City won four industry awards from the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, three of them related to its work on the Oklahoma City International Auto Show, held Mar. 8-11, 2007. Jones Public Relations, Inc., headed by Brenda Jones, won the “Best of Show,” “Best of Campaigns,” and the “Upper Case Award” for Public Relations Campaigns. “Jones PR is a true strategic partner to our show,” says ATAE Peter Hodges, Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association, which presents the Oklahoma City International Auto Show, now in its 91st year. “Brenda and her team work very hard and contribute to the success of our show. They are very deserving of these prestigious awards.”

    Jury narrows field for North American Car/Truck of Year honors

    An independent jury has selected the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord as finalists for the 2008 North American Car of the Year. North American Truck of the Year finalists are the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and Mazda CX-9. Winners will be announced on Jan. 13 at a news conference at the start of media days at the North American International Auto Show.

    Finalists for the North American Car of the Year award are, from left, the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Malibu and Honda Accord. Len Katz Photo.

    Comings and Goings

    Scott Clemons

    Scott Clemons, a well-known and respected member of the auto show community, has joined Freeman as national sales manager, exposition services. Clemons, who was most recently at the Donald E. McNabb Company, a flooring specialist, will continue to be based in Detroit. At Freeman, Clemons will provide that expertise for the specialist applications of the auto show marketplace.

    Ray Day

    Ford Motor Company's Ray Day, previously executive director of corporate communications, is now vice president of communications, replacing the retired Charlie Holleran. Day reports to Jim Farley, group vice president of communications, who recently joined Ford from Toyota. Day, 41, was quoted by The Detroit News as saying the company plans to "tell the Ford story even more aggressively and unlock the goodwill and pride that customers, employees, dealers and everyone with whom we associate have for the Blue Oval."

    Brendan Flynn is the new director of communications for the LA Auto Show. Immediately prior to joining the show, he worked as a vice president at Fleishman Hillard International Communications, spearheading marketing and public relations for Yahoo! Autos, Jiffy Lube, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car and custom car show Hot Import Nights. Flynn began his career at Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations, where he helped launch new vehicles for Hyundai. A native Los Angelino, he has a bachelor's degree in journalism from California Polytechnic University.

    Curt McAllister, a seasoned public relations professional (most recently with John Bailey & Associates in Troy, Mich.) has joined Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. , Inc. as product news manager for Midwest corporate communications. At Bailey, he helped manage the agency's automotive division, working with clients such as Hyundai and Volkswagen. At Toyota, McAllister will manage news programs in 15 states, working with journalists in southeastern Michigan and other metropolitan areas in the Midwest.

    Chrysler and its vice president of communications are parting ways. Jason H. Vines, who began his career at the automaker in 1983, left in 1998 to become vice president-communications for Nissan North America. Two years later, Vines became vice president-communications at Ford Motor Company, returning to Chrysler in 2003 in his most recent role. Chrysler's news release also announced a realignment of the corporate communication function, with Nancy Rae, senior vice president of human resources, assuming responsibility for the corporate communications group. Internal and corporate communications, including media relations, will be managed by David Barnas, who has been with the group six years.

    Jason Vines, second from left, is shown in a special AutoLine Detroit TV program (produced by John McElroy, left). Vines is flanked by Steve Harris, vice president of communications at General Motors, and Charlie O'Halleran, far right, the just-retired vice president of communications at Ford.

    Boston: With double the space, show is buzzing

    It's not that the New England International Auto Show hadn't been eyeing the new Boston Convention & Exhibit Center, with its 500,000 square feet of space and ceilings that start from 42-feet at the walls and reach 100-feet in the center. It's just that consumer shows – auto shows are in that category – weren't permitted until very recently.

    Environmentally friendly vehicles are a popular auto show attraction these days, including at Boston's New England International Auto Show.

    Barbara Pudney, show producer at Paragon Expo, says the move is a very good thing.

    "We used to have a tent set up to accommodate all that needed to be there," says Pudney. "Now we have all this space – it's absolutely gorgeous."

    The New England team put together a show that will likely set new standards for the space, but mostly they added features that weren't possible in the 290,000 square feet they had in the Boston Expo Center.

    "Besides having all of the exotics, we were able to bring in a number of classic versions, thanks to the Museum of Transportation," says Pudney. "It was a very nice contrast to the new models."

    In its first year at the new Boston Convention Center, the auto show made a big splash, including this display of Corvettes that saw one model suspended from the ceiling.

    The show, held Nov. 28-Dec. 2, was able to attract at least two hot North American showings – Saab's 93 Turbo X and the Nissan GT-R, which was unveiled in October at the Tokyo International Motor Show, and again in LA in November.

    Dr. Amar Bose, whose world-famous eponymous company had its start in the area (he was a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), unveiled a new suspension system for automobiles. Jack Roush, of Roush Fenway Racing, made an autograph signing appearance, as did Red Sox legend Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd. And, there was also an autograph signing session by rally racing star Alex Roy.

    Motorcycle stunts also played a role in the show, with three daily appearances by former Xtreme Trials Champion Tommi Ahvala.

    The American Trucking Association's “Share the Road” highway safety program was also featured as an initiative to reduce the fatality and accident rate on America's roadways. Attendees learned safe driving tips from professional truck drivers on site.

    How fast can you change a tire? In the Boston show's Pit Stop Challenge show goers went up against the pros--virtually of course.

    Another show feature was a radio station contest in which listeners sent in photos of tricked out vehicles; a "people's choice" award resulted in a winner who traveled to Montreal with DJ Lyndon Byers (a former Boston Bruin) to see the Bruins play the Canadiens.

    The New England show also featured a Dodge Grand Caravan giveaway (courtesy of the New England Dodge Dealers, which had done the same for the Connecticut show). But this time, a quiz show format was organized with the ultimate winner being one who correctly answered questions from the product specialist's presentation on the vehicle.

    Profile: New England International Auto Show

    Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2007

    Next year:
    Dec. 3-7, 2008

    Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

    Exhibit Space:
    516,000 square feet

    Adults, $12; Children (6-12), $6; under 6 free

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

    Show Contact:
    David Williams, ATAE
    Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association

    Produced by:
    Paragon Expo

    Show Web Site:

    Hartford: With growth, show becoming more regional

    It's a refrain often heard among auto show producers: if there was more space, we could sell it.

    More cars of every shape and size: that's what an auto show brings to its market, including the Connecticut International Auto Show in Hartford.

    The Connecticut International Show, held Nov. 16-18, is doing just that; last year, the first in which Paragon Expo took over from the retiring Ed Isenberg, exhibit space was sold out. This past show, organizers expanded its space, renting the Connecticut Convention Center's ballroom – another 40,000 square feet of space – and sold that as well.

    At the same time, the Connecticut show managed to see a 14 percent increase in attendance.

    The secret? Paragon Expo's Barbara Pudney attributes the bump in gate action to a combination of advertising and media attention.

    "What we did was increase the frequency of our advertising buy," she says. "Instead of doing 60 second spots on radio, we did a tremendous amount of 15 second spots. We also had lots of different features in the spots but we made sure we had the show name, date and location."

    A Kids Stop Pit Stop area was a popular destination for the young ones.

    Connecticut also continued to cultivate good media relationships in the area, the result being positive pre-, during and post-show coverage. Numerous radio stations had various personalities make appearances or live remotes at the three-day event.

    With the extra space in the ballroom, organizers were able to put all the luxury lines in one placed. "It gave an exclusive sense to that area," Pudney notes, recalling how the addition of live jazz entertainment fit nicely with the luxury vehicle atmosphere.

    And even though having just one elevator ("one vehicle at a time") made it something of a logistics challenge, it's a setup likely worth repeating, especially since people were permitted to actually sit in the exotics, not something that's typical.

    The show also featured a Kid's Stop Pit Stop play area, giving parents the opportunity of checking out everything else at the show.

    Suzuki's Blizzard concept car provided its own special kind of heat at the auto show.

    Show organizers also worked with the regional dealership organization (New England Dodge Dealers) to give away a Dodge Grand Caravan.

    Additional contests, all designed to build attendance, included an hourly giveaway of lift tickets to Okemo and Sunapee mountains and gift certificates for area stores and restaurants. A Richard Petty Driving Experience contest featured a $1,500 gift certificate and a $200 NASCAR prize pack.

    A $500 gas card giveaway and a "night on the town" prize that included chauffeured limo transportation, a salon makeover, and theater tickets was also part of the show.

    And the Hartford Courant newspaper, a show sponsor, came to the party with a totally tricked out Dodge Ram, a blue beauty entirely redone and refurbished, complete with airbrushing.

    The bigger facility (now 160,000 square feet, the show was previously in the 63,000-square-foot Connecticut Expo Center) has also contributed to a broadening of the show's reach.

    "It's growing from a city show," says Pudney, referring to its Hartford location. "Now it's more of a statewide event and we're pulling people in from New Haven, Fairfield County and Springfield. It's a much broader circle."

    Profile: Connecticut International Auto Show

    Nov. 16-18, 2007

    Next year:
    Nov. 21-23, 2008

    Connecticut Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    160,000 square feet

    $10 for adults; children 6-12, $5; Fridays only seniors $8; children under 6, free.

    Show Hours:
    Fri & Sat: 11 am-10 pm
    Sun: 11 am-5 pm

    Show Contact:
    Stephen F. Gabriel
    Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, Inc.
    36 Trumbull Street
    Hartford, CT 06103

    Produced by:
    Paragon Expo

    Show Web site:

    Los Angeles: With new dates settling in, growth continues

    With the LA Auto Show, held Nov. 14-25, settling into its second year of its new dates, "bigger" seems to be the operative word.

    Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses the media outside the LA Auto Show.

    "It's obvious that manufacturers are committing more resources to the show," says Brendan Flynn, the show's new director of communications. "We also saw more North American debuts and a 35 percent increase in attendance during our press days." Public days’ attendance was also up on a daily basis, says Flynn.

    "People are getting used to the new dates," he says, noting that last year's attendance had slipped slightly, most likely due to the date change. "They're settling into the timing now." The Thanksgiving holiday weekend significantly boosted attendance, says Flynn. "We had a four-day final weekend instead of two days. That made a big difference."

    So did the commitment of manufacturers to the show.

    "We saw larger and more elaborate exhibits," says Flynn. "That was evidenced not just by looking out at the show floor – we had to order double the number of motors used to lift the racks of lights used by exhibitors. It's one of those tangible measurements we look to."

    Show stealer? The Nissan GT-R makes its NA debut.

    That and a significant increase in the amount of freight that was brought into the Los Angeles Convention Center. Which meant organizers found themselves shifting into high gear to accommodate a much busier show.

    "We expanded everything," says Flynn. "The media center, where we had an overflow room, our headcount for breakfasts and lunches, all were up this year."

    Flynn points to strong executive participation among auto manufacturers, including appearances by Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Nissan/Renault's Carlos Ghosn, GM's Bob Lutz and Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli.

    A continuing theme for LA is that of design, a logical extension of the geographic emphasis Southern California has had on that part of the overall automotive industry.

    The show's “Design Los Angeles” conference included a "RoboCar 2057 Design Challenge.” The challenge: provide a vision of the future by depicting a vehicle that incorporates artificial intelligence engineered to make life easier and more attractive to customers 50 years from now. Eight studios participated. The winner: Volkswagen's Slipstream design sketch.

    Volkswagen's Slipstream design sketch took top honors in this year's Design Los Angeles competition.

    Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc., was impressed with all the entries.

    "In the end, it came down to which team had the most innovative and fun design that could be best applied to a daily lifestyle. Volkswagen's designers showed passion and ultimately created a brighter vision of 2057."

    A little closer to present day was the “2008 Green Car of the Year” event, sponsored by Green Car Journal. The winning vehicle was the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, a vehicle that offers a 30 percent boost in fuel efficiency compared with a standard V-8.

    Green Car Journal Publisher Ron Cogan says GM's accomplishment in bringing hybrid technology to a full-size SUV can't be overstated. "For years consumers have been buying SUVs in increasing numbers, but with larger vehicles generally comes poorer fuel economy. An 'equalizer' has been needed… and the two-mode hybrid system in the Tahoe is clearly that equalizer."

    Flynn sees the future of the LA Auto Show one that will continue to offer manufacturers more opportunities to introduce vehicles that might otherwise be overlooked.

    "A lot of them want to introduce high end luxury vehicles and exotics or small, more urban vehicles. I think next year, we'll see a steady growth as manufacturers recognize what LA has to offer."

    Honda showcased its FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, which it touts as the world's first.

    Profile: LA Auto Show

    Nov. 14-25, 2007

    Next Show:
    Nov. 19-30, 2008 (Media Days 19th and 20th)

    Los Angeles Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    760,000 square feet

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

    Show Hours:
    Opening Friday, 11 am-10 pm; Saturdays, 9 am-10 pm; Sundays, 9 am-8 pm; Mon.-Wed., 11 am-10 pm; Thanksgiving Thurs., 9 am-8 pm; Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving), 9 am-10 pm.

    Show Contact:
    Charlie Gill
    Executive Director
    Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association

    Produced by:
    Andy Fusezi

    Show Web site:

    Orlando: Busy convention center forces one-year date change

    In one of those rare breaks with tradition, this season's Nov. 15-18 Central Florida International Auto Show wasn't held over Thanksgiving Weekend, which presented Barbara Miller with one of her own challenges.

    The Can-Am Spyder received strong interest at the Orlando show as ATAE Barbara Miller takes a ride.

    "I had to learn how to cook again," quips Miller, who for the last several years has looked to the Orlando Convention Center staff to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for those brave souls working the show.

    Finding her way around the kitchen wasn't the only challenge she faced.

    "Actually, going into the show, we didn't know what to expect," says Miller, who heads the Orlando-area dealer organization. "There were a lot of unknowns going in. We've always been five days during Thanksgiving and this year it was a four-day show a week before."

    Even with those date changes (a one-year issue related to long-term scheduling at the convention center), Miller says the auto show experienced only a slight decline in attendance.

    "Stuff," the Orlando Magic mascot was on hand as well, along with two of the team's cheerleaders.

    Considering the challenges organizers faced, notably a parking issue related to four smaller shows and a larger event that encroached on space normally used by show attendees, Miller says she was "very, very pleased with the way things went."

    Even better news: next year, they'll go back to the traditional Thanksgiving dates.

    Still, this year's show included a number of highlights, including the first-ever vehicle introduction, the unveiling of the Corvette Z06 Official Pace Car for the 2008 Daytona 500, the 50th anniversary of the classic race. Driver Kevin Harvick was at the show to unveil the vehicle.

    Toyota's Off Road On Site Adventure, which came to this year's Orlando show, included a new over hill climb with tunnel underneath.

    Four separate Ride & Drive events were featured at the show: Toyota's Off Road On Site Adventure, the GM Experience, the Can-Am Spyder Roadster (a three-wheel specialty vehicle designed and built by Canada's Bombardier Recreational Products) and Chrysler's Mobile Showcase.

    As usual, the auto show featured lots to do for kids, including a climbing wall in the Dodge display and a Kids' Day with Ronald McDonald.

    There were also appearances by Orlando Magic players J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson, sponsored by Chrysler Jeep and Dodge respectively.

    Miller says the show experienced a spectacular 54 percent increase in e-ticket sales this year, something she says is bound to continue to gain ground.

    The official pace car of the Daytona 500 was unveiled at the Central Florida International Auto Show.

    Also on the ticket front, color coding of comp tickets allows show organizers to gauge the redemption response from various sources - red for tickets distributed for college and high school blood drives, yellow for those distributed to automotive students.

    An ongoing legacy associated with the auto show is the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association $10.4 million Professional Automotive Training Center, located on the campus of Seminole Community College. Last January's dedication of the facility culminated a 10-year process which saw the CFADA raise a total of $3 million (matching state funds doubled that amount).

    The center, which now houses CFADA offices, hosts a monthly sales training program and other workshops and includes a 2,000-square-foot automotive showroom.

    Profile: Central Florida International Auto Show

    Nov. 15-18, 2007

    Next year:
    Nov. 26-30, 2008

    Orange County Convention Center, Orlando

    Exhibit Space:
    561,000 square feet

    Adults (13 and over), $9; Seniors (62 and over), $5; Military (Active with ID), $5; High school and college students (with ID), $5; Children (7 to 12), $3; 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

    Produced by:
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Web site:

    Discount Coupons:
    $2 off adult admission coupons available at McDonald’s restaurants and Web site. Partnered with Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign, $2 off adult admission with new, unwrapped toy. Wednesday was Orlando Sentinel newspaper day with $3 off adult admission.

    Phoenix: More advertising, expanding database part of future plans

    When do people decide to go to the auto show?

    When the expansion to the Arizona Convention Center is opened (within the next two years), the new space (shown in construction phase) will connect to the existing once a wall (behind the Chrysler display shown) is removed.
    Knox Ramsey, who heads the Valley Auto Dealers Association in Phoenix, thinks it's a lot closer to the actual event than you might think, one reason this year he concentrated the advertising spending in the few days leading up to the Arizona International Auto Show, Nov 22-25.

    "It gave us more frequency," says Ramsey. "The result was that we actually increased attendance a little this year."

    The event also benefited from the strong public relations efforts of Spin PR's DeeDee Taft, says Ramsey. "We got a lot of play in the newspaper."

    Ramsey says he's pleased with how the show played out, especially given the competition among other car-related events in the Phoenix area.

    "We have a number of things people want to go to," he notes. "We have hot rods a week or two before. And there are tent sales that take place, plus the Barrett-Jackson event, all of which compete for the interest of the car enthusiast."

    The question, Ramsey says, is "how to distinguish your event from the other events.”

    The answer: “We work very hard to separate ourselves."

    Yes, his strategy includes extensive promotion. But it's also what is said about the auto show that Ramsey says is important.

    "One of the things we concentrate on is that this is a non-selling show, which means people are going to be in a consumer-friendly environment, where they're able to get information about vehicles that are available, without being pressured in any way."

    Construction of the new Arizona Convention Center facility continues to pose its own set of challenges as the auto show works around the activity.

    Ramsey is also a believer in reaching out to potential consumers through an increasingly popular method of communication - e-mail.

    "We're continually looking for ways to capture e-mail addresses, helping people buy tickets online if that's something they'd like to do. And we're also reaching out to organizations in town, getting them discount tickets that they can offer to their members as well."

    One very effective pre-show marketing tool was the placement of a $2 discount sticky note on the Arizona Republic newspaper a day before the show.

    "We had a pretty significant redemption on that," says Ramsey. "And we have a great relationship with the newspaper."

    Show organizers also worked on building as much media attention for some of the more unusual vehicles on display, including the Smart car. "Most of the time it had a huge crowd of people around it," says Ramsey. "It was definitely a draw."

    In the meantime, crowds continue to gravitate toward the one place they can see every make and model available at their dealers.

    Other featured displays included the CNN Warrior One Hummer as well as appearances by several Phoenix Suns players.

    The show also included two successful Ride & Drive events: Chevy featured its Malibu, Ford brought a selection of vehicles.

    As far as the future is concerned, Ramsey says the auto show is more than halfway through a three-year expansion effort that will ultimately see the Phoenix Convention Center double its space. In the meantime, spectacular weather is making that transition a lot easier than it might be if the show were in a more northerly location.

    "It's especially the case when we have to move people around due to the expansion."

    Still, Ramsey is pushing for improvements.

    One area: reaching out to even more contacts. "We have to work harder at building up the database and communicating with people by e-mail," he says. "Sure, we don't want to become pests, but we'll probably be looking at making a ticket offer to people we've got a connection with and doing so as the next show gets closer."

    Profile: Arizona International Auto Show

    Nov. 22-25, 2007

    Next show:
    Nov. 27-30, 2008

    Phoenix Civic Plaza

    Exhibit Space:
    254,000 square feet

    Adults, $9; Seniors (62 plus), $5; Military, $5; Students, $5; Children (7-12), $5; 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
    Valley Automobile Dealers Association

    Produced by:
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Web site:

    Seattle: Show continues to set its own standard

    Jim Hammond may be running out of superlatives to describe what's clearly an auto show that just keeps getting better and better.

    Not exactly street-ready, but still a big hit with those who attended the Seattle International Auto Show was this toy car store in the middle of the action.

    The producer of the Seattle International Auto Show, held Oct. 31-Nov. 4, says the event was "the most comprehensive we've ever had."

    One key measurement was the sheer size of the exhibits brought to the Qwest Field Event Center.

    "We had some 1.25 million pounds of freight arrive here," says Hammond, who also runs the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association. "There was so much freight we were running out of space to store the crates; we had to use warehouses across the street."

    Clearly not a hardship.

    The Spyker Laviolette was one of the those "look, but you might not be able to buy" vehicles that was showcased in Seattle.

    Hammond was equally impressed with the quality of the displays as he was with the quantity.

    "GM blew us away," he says. "They were just amazing, not only in bringing all their brands, but their green kit, the hybrids, hydrogen cars, electric vehicles; it was a huge thing for us in a city that's very green."

    A bevy of alternative fuel vehicles were on hand at the show, among them biodiesel and full electric.

    Hammond pointed to a good selection of exotics, including the Lotus Exige as well as displays by Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Jaguar, Lotus, Maserati, Aston Martin and Porsche that widened the appeal of the event.

    Even a display by boutique Dutch manufacturer Spyker, with its high end Laviolette vehicle, was featured.

    All the excitement of a game show and the live action too--the Match It game at the Seattle International Auto Show.

    Other displays included those by Microsoft (with its Sync partnership with Ford) and Benchmark Audio, which outfits vehicles with state-of-the-art systems.

    Hammond says he was especially impressed with a full-size "Match It" game show exhibit by, one of the show's sponsors. The set included big screens a live announcer and link ups with shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco, which also took part in a $25,000 sweepstakes. "It was very high energy and exciting."

    Another sponsor, State Farm (which has naming rights to the event) had three locations throughout the building, including one with a 200 mph simulator that attracted its own never-ending lines.

    From a vehicle standpoint, the Harold E. LeMay Museum, based in Tacoma, Wash., was once again featured at the show. "We give them an entire section to themselves," notes Hammond. "They bring some of their very extensive collection of premium vehicles to us every year."

    Show sponsor State Farm kept its present and future customers busy at the show with these "driving pods."

    High school students, especially from the automotive technician programs across the state, made it a point to visit the auto show. Provided with discount tickets, it was commonplace to see dozens of buses lined up to take their turn in learning more about the industry they plan to work in.

    Hammond was impressed with how the media supported the show, including two special automobile sections – one by the business department, the other the auto department – published by the Seattle Times.

    The show continued its "First Night for Charity" in support of Junior Achievement of Washington, the third year for the event. Hammond points to generous support by Toyota, which provided a Highlander Hybrid to give away, and also gives credit to the Chicago Auto Show in helping Seattle develop the charity event. "It takes time to grow an event like this," notes Hammond, who says current money raised is about $100,000 a year.

    Once again, the Seattle show continued to take extra good care of the product specialists and narrators who work the event, providing a special area with refreshments and massage treatments.

    "We're known for taking care of the people who work here."

    Profile: Seattle International Auto Show

    Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2007

    Next Year:
    First or second week of November, depending on NFL schedule (show shares building with Seattle Seahawks).

    Qwest Field Event Center

    Exhibit Space:
    500,000 square feet

    Adults, $10; Children (under 12) free

    Show Hours:
    Wed.-Fri.: noon to 10 pm; Sat.: 10 am-10 pm; Sun.: 10 am-7 pm

    Show Contact:
    Jim Hammond, ATAE
    Executive Director
    Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association

    Produced by:
    Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association

    Show Web site:

    Tampa: Show generates strong interest while helping charity

    In Tampa Bay, last year's experiment with yachts gave way to a different sort of water-related attraction: rubber ducks.

    Vehicles from the DuPont Registry are a perennial hit at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show.

    George Wilson, whose Greater Tampa Automobile Dealers Association owns the show, is quick to point out that having a half dozen or so yachts wasn't a bad idea. It just wasn't necessarily something that made a big difference.

    "In that respect, it was more of a neutral," says Wilson.

    So what about those ducks?

    Held Nov. 8-11, the Tampa Bay International Auto Show put on a "Lucky Ducky Derby," with proceeds going to the Second Harvest Food Bank. With tickets sold at the auto show, the event (a block away) generated a good deal of interest as a multitude of rubber ducks were tossed into the Garrison Channel, then funneled into one location.

    Crowds are what auto show producers most like to see--besides those concepts and new car models, of course.

    A $5 "adoption donation" fueled the Second Harvest fundraiser.

    "We gave them [the Second Harvest] the space to sell the tickets," notes Wilson.

    For its part the auto show got to see what show organizers most want to see: more people. And more vehicles. Some 400 vehicles were on display this year, including a good selection from the world famous DuPont Registry.

    The auto show was also one of the featured stops for CNN's Warrior One, the Hummer that earned its reporting stripes in Iraq before being overhauled and put on tour.

    Wilson says the typical Tampa Bay weather made for great attendance figures, so much so that for the first time in recent memory, there were 15-20 minute line-ups for tickets.

    "If only to wish." Still, manufacturers like BMW are counting on the excitement generated by the auto show to boost sales.

    Besides a great selection of vehicles, other highlights included the traditional VIP luncheon, this year featuring keynote speaker Todd Lassa, Detroit editor of Motor Trend magazine.

    Two Ride and Drive events (by GM and Volvo) took place in front of the Tampa Convention Center. GM brought its GM Experience, which included the new Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Pontiac G6 GXP Street Edition, GMC Sierra Denali, Saturn Aura, Saab 9-3 Convertible and Hummer H3. And Volvo showcased its all-new Volvo C30 and XC70 vehicles.

    Concept cars featured at the show included the Chrysler Airflite and Dodge Tomahawk. Most of the looks of the Airflite (mainly the front and rear) are said to be based on the Crossfire; the seven-spoke road wheel design is based on the Pacifica. The Viper-powered Dodge Tomahawk concept vehicle (that resembles a motorcycle) is a four-wheel, single-passenger vehicle that combines art-deco styling with extreme engineering. Each pair of wheels is separated by a few inches and each wheel has an independent suspension. The 500-horsepower Viper V-10 engine powering the dual rear wheels gives the vehicle a potential top speed of nearly 400 miles per hour.

    Other concepts at the show included the Chevrolet Sequel, Ford Reflex, Ford Shelby GR-1 and Suzuki Hip Hop.

    Profile: Tampa Bay International Auto Show

    Nov. 8-11, 2007

    Next Year:
    Nov. 6-9, 2008

    Tampa Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    250,000 square feet

    Adults (13 plus), $9; 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

    Produced by:
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Web site:

    Discount Coupons:
    $2 off on Web site

    Auto Shows of North America Show Directory

    Albany Auto Show
    4/4/2008 - 4/6/2008

    Empire State Plaza Auto Show
    11/2/2007 - 11/4/2007

    New Mexico International Auto Show
    4/25/2008 - 4/27/2008

    Orange County Auto Show
    10/2/2008 - 10/5/2008

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution International Auto Show
    4/19/2008 - 4/27/2008

    Austin American Statesman Auto Show
    12/7/2007 - 12/9/2007

    Baltimore International Auto Show
    2/7/2008 - 2/10/2008

    Bethlehem, PA
    Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show
    3/27/2008 - 3/30/2008

    Alabama International Auto Show
    11/8/2007 - 11/11/2007

    New England International Auto Show
    11/28/2007 - 12/2/2007

    Buffalo Auto Show
    2/6/2008 - 2/10/2008

    Calgary International Auto & Truck Show
    3/12/2008 - 3/16/2008

    West Virginia International Auto Show
    1/18/2008 - 1/20/2008

    Charlotte International Auto Show
    11/15/2007 - 11/18/2007

    Chicago Auto Show
    2/8/2008 - 2/17/2008

    Cincinnati Auto Expo
    2/21/2008 - 2/24/2008

    Cleveland Auto Show
    2/23/2008 - 3/2/2008

    Columbus International Auto Show
    3/8/2008 - 3/16/2008

    Dallas Auto Show
    4/2/2008 - 4/6/2008

    Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show
    2/8/2008 - 2/10/2008

    Dayton Auto Show
    3/21/2008 - 3/25/2008

    Denver Auto Show
    3/26/2008 - 3/30/2008

    North American International Auto Show
    1/19/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Edmonton Motor Show
    2/28/2008 - 3/2/2008

    Fort Worth
    Greater Tarrant County Auto Show
    3/13/2008 - 3/16/2008

    Central California International Auto Show
    11/2/2007 - 11/4/2007

    South Carolina International Auto Show
    1/18/2008 - 1/20/2008

    Harrisburg, PA
    Pennsylvania Auto and Boat Show
    1/23/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Connecticut International Auto Show
    11/16/2007 - 11/18/2007

    First Hawaiian International Auto Show
    3/6/2008 - 3/9/2008

    Houston Auto Show
    1/26/2008 - 2/3/2008

    Indianapolis Auto Show
    12/27/2007 - 1/1/2008

    Kansas City
    Greater Kansas City International Auto Show
    3/5/2008 - 3/9/2008

    Las Vegas
    Las Vegas International Auto Show
    11/23/2007 - 11/25/2007

    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles Auto Show
    11/14/2007 - 11/25/2007

    Louisville Auto Show and Sale
    2/22/2008 - 2/24/2008

    South Florida International Auto Show
    11/9/2007 - 11/18/2007

    Greater Milwaukee Auto Show
    2/23/2008 - 3/2/2008

    Minneapolis/St. Paul
    Greater St. Paul & Minneapolis International Auto Show
    3/8/2008 - 3/16/2008

    Montreal International Auto Show
    1/18/2008 - 1/27/2008

    New Orleans
    New Orleans International Auto Show
    2/29/2008 - 3/2/2008

    New York
    New York International Auto Show
    3/21/2008 - 3/30/2008

    Oklahoma City
    Oklahoma City International Auto Show
    3/6/2008 - 3/9/2008

    Midlands International Auto Show
    1/24/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Central Florida International Auto Show
    11/15/2007 - 11/18/2007

    Philadelphia International Auto Show
    2/2/2008 - 2/10/2008

    Arizona International Auto Show
    11/22/2007 - 11/25/2007

    Pittsburgh International Auto Show
    4/17/2008 - 4/21/2008

    Portland International Auto Show
    1/24/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Northeast International Auto Show
    1/24/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
    3/7/2008 - 3/9/2008

    Rochester International Auto Show
    2/27/2008 - 3/2/2008

    Sacramento International Auto Show
    11/9/2007 - 11/12/2007

    Saint Louis
    Saint Louis International Auto Show
    1/23/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Salt Lake City
    Utah International Auto Expo
    1/18/2008 - 1/21/2008

    San Antonio
    San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
    11/8/2007 - 11/11/2007

    San Diego
    San Diego International Auto Show
    12/26/2007 - 12/30/2007

    San Jose
    San Jose International Auto Show
    1/10/2008 - 1/13/2008

    Seattle International Auto Show
    10/31/2007 - 11/4/2007

    Spokane International Auto Show
    2/15/2008 - 2/17/2008

    Tampa Bay International Auto Show
    11/8/2007 - 11/11/2007

    Greater Toledo Auto Show
    1/24/2008 - 1/27/2008

    Canadian International Auto Show
    2/15/2008 - 2/24/2008

    Vancouver International Auto Show
    3/29/2008 - 4/6/2008

    Washington Auto Show
    1/23/2008 - 1/27/2008


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

    Denise Brennan, ATAE Chairman

    Jennifer Lindsey, ATAE Executive Director

    ASNA Focus Group Steering Committee
    Mike Gempp, Philadelphia International Auto Show
    Holly Riedel, Greater Milwaukee Auto Show
    John Sackrison, Orange County Auto Show
    Shayne Wilson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution International Auto Show

    The Auto Show Report
    Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

    J.D. Booth, editor

  • ASNA Partners

    ASNA Manufacturing Partners