ASNA Logo Volume 5, Issue 7 - July 2007
Image Collage

the Auto Show Report
A compilation of news and developments for and about Auto Shows of North America. To find out more, visit www.asna-atae.com

Contents:

Industry News
  • Automotive Hall of Fame announces inductees
  • Leases on the rise in face of long purchase contracts
  • Toyota cuts production of big vehicles
  • Automotive X Prize to begin next year in NY
  • Comings and goings

    Show Profiles

  • Charleston: Show extends its geographic reach, attendance grows
  • Chicago: Show meets space shift challenge, survives frigid weather
  • Edmonton: Show sizzles, market expands
  • Honolulu: High fuel prices give show green spin
  • Salt Lake City: Clicking then, accelerating now
  • Toronto: Strong promotions, good weather delivers breakthrough year
  • Washington: Show continues to be forum for green discussion

    Show Directory

  • Alphabetical listing of ASNA shows and dates for 2007-2008



    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 inductees

    Eight automotive luminaries, among them Formula 1 Driver Phil Hill, Motorola founder Paul Galvin and his son Bob, are among those to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in October. The list, announced at a meeting of the International Motor Press Association in New York, held in conjunction with the New York International Auto Show, also includes the late Bob Irvin, an automotive journalist who worked for The Detroit News, Automotive News and AutoWeek; William Metzger, Detroit's first auto dealer; Jack Telnack, the chief designer of Ford who led the development of the original Taurus; Mort Schwartz, an industry notable who organized the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium; and pioneer automaker John North Willys. The induction ceremony will take place on Oct. 7, 2008 at the Hotel Ritz, not far from the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.




    Leases on the rise in face of long purchase contracts

    Dealers and automakers are promoting leases as a way to lower payments, especially in the face of longer consumer loans. The efforts appear to be working: in 2007, J.D. Power and Associates said leases represented 19.3 percent of new-vehicle sales; in the first two months of 2008, that rate rose to 21.7 percent. On the buying side, the average new-vehicle loan increased from 61 months in 2003 to 64 months last year.




    Toyota cuts production of big vehicles

    It's seen as a rare move, but Toyota is cutting production of its Tundra pickups and Sequoia SUVs in Indiana and Texas. Softer sales are being cited by the automaker, which will slow down the production cycle. The Sienna minivan, built on a separate line in Princeton, Indiana, is not affected by the slowdown.




    Automotive X Prize to begin next year in NY

    The X Prize Foundation, which made headlines for its $10 million space flight competition, is putting up an equal amount for the development of a 100 mpg vehicle. The first stage of the competition will begin in New York next year. The announcement was made at the New York International Auto Show. More than 60 teams - none of them representing the world's major automakers - have signed up for the event. Progressive Insurance has signed up as title sponsor, funding the $10 million prize.





    Comings and goings

    Mark C. McNabb, who returned to Nissan last July as senior vice president of sales and marketing, is leaving on April 1. Nissan cited personal reasons in a release. Brian Carolin, currently senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan Europe, will succeed McNabb and be based at the company's headquarters in Tennessee.

    Mark McNabb Brian Carolin



    Charleston: Show extends its geographic reach, attendance grows

    Chalking up a single-digit increase in attendance at the West Virginia International Auto Show, especially following last year's 25 percent increase, has Ruth Lemmon smiling.

    The "Luxury Loft" was a returning feature at the West Virginia International Auto Show.

    The event, which was held Jan. 18-20, 2008, benefited from further refinements to the show's advertising strategy, which Lemmon says started last year.

    "Each year we go a little farther out geographically," says Lemmon, who heads the West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association. The reason? Quite simply, Lemmon, her staff and show producer Motor Trend, have come to trust the exit survey data.

    "When we look at the surveys, we see they're driving farther to get to the show, some even beyond two hours.?"

    Lemmon also credits Jimmy Angellino of National Convention Services, the show's new decorator, for helping give the event a fresh look.

    West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin addressed an opening ceremony gathering at the auto show and cut the ribbon, notably in front of a specially designed carpet provided by National Convention Services.

    "Some of the visuals were different, we had new carpet and there were new visuals as well," says Lemmon, adding that she's had various firms handling decorating over the years, all of which have done an admirable job. "But each one brings something different."

    Angellino says NCS saw the opportunity of working with the West Virginia Show (they've already been asked back next year) as key to its diversification. "Our goal is to become more than just a freight moving company," he says. "With West Virginia, we wanted to make the show a little more exciting than the typical decorating job might be."

    Another highlight of the auto show was the VIP reception that raises funds for Hospice of West Virginia.

    "The event is very well supported by the entire community," says Lemmon.

    Returning to the show was the 15,000-square-foot "Luxury Loft," located on the second floor of the Charleston Civic Center and showcasing vehicles from Audi, Porsche, Lexus, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz among others.

    The Mustang Club of West Virginia came through with a collection of vintage pony cars; Pam Lambert brought a collection of vintage Chevrolet Corvettes; and the Golden Oldies Street Rod Association displayed several of their classics as well.

    Additional highlights included promotions such as the "Two-Fer" (buy one, get one free admission for college students). There was also a discount program with One Stop, offering a buy one, get one free coupon with the purchase of eight gallons of fuel.

    An ongoing challenge, although certainly not unique to Charleston, is the amount of space available to the auto show. "It's our biggest issue," says Lemmon, who says any additional space is likely at least a few years away.

    In the meantime, she's working to continue building on the momentum of the last few years.

     
    Moving vehicles into an auto show sometimes takes a little more muscle, such as this exercise at the West Virginia International Auto Show.   Making the auto show as attractive as possible for attendees was the task given to National Convention Services, the show's decorator this year.

    Profile: West Virginia International Auto Show

    Date:
    Jan. 18-20, 2008

    Next show:
    Jan. 16-18, 2009

    Place:
    Charleston Civic Center

    Exhibit Space:
    110,000 square feet

    Tickets:
    Adults, $7; Seniors (62 plus), $4; Children (7-12), $3; under 6 free

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

    Produced by:
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Contact:
    Ruth Lemmon, ATAE
    President, West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association
    rlemmon@wvcar.com, 304.343.4158

    Show Website:
    www.motortrendautoshows.com/charwv

    Discount Coupons:
    $1 off on Website






    Chicago: Show meets space shift challenge, survives frigid weather

    Certainly, last year's decision by General Motors to dramatically increase its space at the Chicago Auto Show was something to which Jerry Cizek was looking forward.

    Dressing up and checking out what the auto industry has to offer has become a tradition in many auto show cities, including Chicago.

    Yet Cizek, who runs the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, admits it was still something of an unknown, at least prior to the show itself.

    "We had to move 17 other exhibitors," notes Cizek. "Initially, there was some concern as to how that would work out and there were questions, but we made a point of talking to all of them and everyone was very pleased with the results."

    One of the factors was making sure exhibitors whose displays were built for a back wall were accommodated appropriately.

    "VW, BMW and Audi in particular have back wall displays, and Kia has a huge back wall. We had to key on where we wanted to place them," says Cizek.

    On the attendance front, Cizek says a frigid first weekend was tough, but that quickly rebounded, the end result being a slight uptick over last year.

    Blake Humphrey and Jackie Rohner of Rock Island, Ill., won the Chicago Auto Show's "Journey of a Lifetime" contest, which included being married at the show and driving away in their own Dodge Journey crossover vehicle.

    The two-weekend show, held Feb. 8-17, 2008, translates into three distinct audiences, says Cizek. "We have the first weekend people, middle of the week people and the final weekend. With families being so busy, if they go to one weekend, they're almost certainly going to have something else planned for the second weekend."

    The challenge, then, is to concentrate on building weekday attendance.

    "We do that through various promotions and discounted tickets which can't be redeemed on weekends. Even in interviews, when we're asked the best time to come, the answer is always: 'during the week.'"

    All in all, Cizek says he was pleased with the gate numbers.

    "We would have been happy to stay where we were, but we're very pleased it ended up where it did."

    As part of its "First to 100" commemorative show, the Chicago Auto Show turned at least part of McCormick Center into a "through the years" display of vehicles.

    Those pleased included Cizek's dealers.

    "A lot of people lose track of the fact that it's about moving cars," he says. "Dealer employees play an active role in manning the booths and dealers look forward to having a show at this time of the year."

    One interesting development is one the Chicago Auto Show instituted that allows exhibitors to show one "certified" used vehicle in their line-up, a reflection of the current market conditions.

    "Sales of certified used vehicles are way up here in Chicago," says Cizek. "When manufacturers came to us and said this was a way for them to call attention to the fact that their cars are reliable, we responded."

    Highlights of this year's Chicago Auto Show included a partnership with Mother Proof, a Colorado-based organization that promotes "family friendly" vehicles.

    Chrysler Vice-Chairman and President Jim Press shared the stage with the new Dodge Challenger as the vehicle was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show.

    The organization's Website underscores the importance of the market. "Mother Proof mom-reviewers represent the fastest-growing segment of automotive consumers. According to research, women purchase 52.5 percent of new cars and influence 85 percent of all car sales."

    From Cizek's perspective, the initiative is a tangible way to boost the percentage of female attendees. "Even though we know and understand the influence women have in a vehicle purchase decision, we're trying to make it easier for them."

    The Chicago Auto Show continued with its "Best of Show" competition, this year's top honors going to the Dodge Challenger.

    Other category winners included the Cadillac CTS Coupe (Best Concept), the Challenger (Best World Introduction) and Chevrolet (Best Exhibit).

    The show's "First Look for Charity" event repeated its success of previous years, raising more than $2.8 million and giving away three vehicles. The fact that show chairman Bob Loquercio has dealerships for Hyundai, Scion and Toyota was likely influential in the choice of vehicles: a 2008 Hyundai Veracruz, a 2008 Scion xD and a 2009 Toyota Corolla.

    Organizations benefiting from the event included:

    Advocate Hope Children's Hospital, Autism Speaks, Boys & Girls Cubs of Chicago, Campagna Academy, Cancer Health Alliance of Metropolitan Chicago, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, Children's Memorial Hospital, Clearbrook, The Cradle Foundation, Franciscan Community Benefit Services, Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities,Ronald McDonald House Charities, Misericordia Heart of Mercy, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, Spina Bifida Association of Illinois and St. Coletta's of Illinois Foundation.

    Cizek lauded McCormick Place caterers for creating a standout menu for the event. "It was like having dinner out."

    Profile: Chicago Auto Show

    Dates:
    Feb. 8-17, 2008

    Next show:
    Feb. 13-22, 2009 (Feb. 11-12 media days)

    Place:
    McCormick Place

    Exhibit Space:
    1.3 million square feet

    Tickets:
    Adults, $10; Seniors (62 plus) and Children (7-12), $5; under 6: free with accompanying adult

    Show Hours:
    Every day, 10 am-10 pm, except last day, 10 am-8 pm

    Produced by:
    Chicago Automobile Trade Association

    Show Contact:
    Jerry Cizek III, ATAE
    President
    Chicago Automobile Trade Association
    630.495.CATA
    JCizek3rd@cata.info

    Show Website:
    www.chicagoautoshow.com






    Edmonton: Show sizzles, market expands

    For those who operate in markets where auto sales continue to suffer, this might be a time to break for a coffee.

    Edmonton Motor Show organizers work hard to attract all kinds of visitors, with special features like opportunity to race by remote control.


    Maybe even one with a little extra kick to it.

    The reason? Edmonton, capital city of Alberta, a province with no debt that sits on proven oil and gas reserves greater than those in Saudi Arabia (yes, really), is booming when it comes to the automotive market.

    And that makes the Edmonton Motor Show, held Feb. 28-March 2, 2008, one of the bright spots on the continent, certainly so in the eyes of Bob Vilas, who heads the Edmonton Motor Dealers Association, owners of the event.

    More space? No problem.

    Edmonton is undergoing a doubling of the Northlands AgriCom facility, one that will take the auto show from its current 245,000 square feet to the full half million it will have by 2010.

    In fact, if one were to look for a negative, it might be the expected expansion woes the auto show has had to undergo, to the point where any outdoor activities - the show had Toyota's Off-Road On-Site Adventure last year - were set aside due to construction around the site.

    Vilas is using this period of relative "pain for future gain" to plan ahead, notably with manufacturers who've been clamoring for more space.

    "We've already sold most of the extra space," says Vilas. "It's our way of being proactive in dealing with the expansion, providing manufacturers with a presentation that gives them a picture of what to expect."

    Vilas' vision is a show that will be "SEMA-like," referring to the wildly popular Specialty Equipment Market Association extravaganza in Las Vegas. The difference, of course, is that unlike SEMA, the auto show will be open to the general public.

    Vehicles, no matter how big (or small) give show goers a dose of real excitement.

    A first step occurred this year, with Edmonton adding an aftermarket section that included a number of tricked out vehicles, including a Ford F-350 with the popular Guitar Hero linked up to a 50-inch plasma screen.

    By 2010, Vilas expects the aftermarket section to include five distinct sections - tires and wheels, electronics, restyling, truck accessories, and power and performance.

    Vilas says that while Edmonton dealers already sell more trucks than any market in Canada, the market is also home to several top dealers in the country, among them Kia, Nissan, Toyota and Dodge.

    "Our market has been very much affected by the growth in Alberta," he says. "The strong economy has meant the show has grown as well. A lot of people here are buying."

    Indeed, eight years ago there were 65 dealers in the market. Today, there are 82.

    "Kiss Your Astra" was a marathon of a different sort, the winner taking home a new Saturn Astra vehicle.

    This year's show included a contest that had vehicle customizers compete in five categories, with the winner - in this case having done a full restoration on an original Hemi Charger - getting a $10,000 accessory "shopping spree."

    Saturn sponsored a "Kiss Your Astra" contest, a marathon event that saw the winner pucker up for some five hours and 43 minutes, taking the Sunday "kiss off."

    But there was more. Much more. Vilas says manufacturers stepped up to the plate with some terrific content to display at the Edmonton Motor Show. "It was a year where we had a lot of sizzle."

    It was also one where more people attended the show - the second best year ever and five percent more than last year.

    Profile: Edmonton Motor Show

    Date:
    Feb. 28-March 2, 2008

    Next year:
    March 5-8, 2009

    Place:
    Northlands AgriCom

    Exhibit Space:
    245,000 square feet

    Tickets:
    Adults, $14; Seniors/students, $12; Family Pass (2 adults, 3 students or younger), $30

    Show Hours:
    Thurs.-Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sun., 10 am-6 pm

    Produced by:
    Edmonton Motor Dealers Association

    Show Contact:
    Bob Vilas, ATAE
    Executive Manager
    Edmonton Motor Dealers Association
    bvilas@emdacars.com, 780.423.2401

    Discount Coupons:
    Advance ticket sales on admission, $12

    Show Website:
    www.emdacars.com/motorshow






    Honolulu: High fuel prices give show green spin

    With gas prices now officially having broken through the $4 a gallon barrier (on Maui), Dave Rolf of the First Hawaiian International Auto, held March 6-9, 2008, says it's no wonder much of the attention was focused on hybrid technology and other strategies for saving fuel.

    At the fork in the road: take it. Visitors to the First Hawaiian International Auto Show (there were 3.5 percent more this year) are in the car buying mood.

    "It was like one big science fair," says Rolf, who heads the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association, sponsors of the show, referring to a "Green Trail" that led show goers from vehicle to vehicle.

    "We knew there was an awful lot of interest in fuel economy issues, but manufacturer reps were telling us that 95 percent of the discussions were starting with gas mileage."

    Which is just fine with Rolf. "The auto show is an ideal place for car buyers to compare technology."

    Indeed, Rolf thinks the next five years will bring more change than the previous 100.

    The auto show is doing its part to showcase technology about to or soon to hit dealer showrooms, including hybrids like Chevrolet's Tahoe. "You have this Moby-sized vehicle that gets outstanding mileage, the same kind as you'd expect from a smaller car. It's amazing."

    The Hawaii Convention Center, home of the auto show, is said to be one of the nation's most beautiful facilities.

    Rolf is also smiling over the auto show attendance climbing 3.5 percent over last year, which had taken a 15 percent hit over the year previous. And he is anticipating the latest increase is a harbinger of future sales.

    Highlights of this year's show included the return of Bentley as an exhibitor in the exotics section of the event, bringing a $215,000 model that attendees gazed at longingly. "It was three to four people deep on a regular basis," notes Rolf.

    Another perennial feature of the show is the Teacher of the Year, which involves the free use of a vehicle for a year. In earlier years, the promotion honored seven teachers, making this year the point where a total of 50 cars have been presented, with past honorees also featured in a large display at the entrance to the show.

    "We've received a tremendous amount of exposure for the program over the years," says Rolf, referring to the vehicle and its 'apple' insignia on both sides with the mention of the dealer association having donated the first year lease (most recipients take over the lease on their own).

    Bentley made a return to Honolulu after a 15-year absence, showcasing this $215,000 convertible.

    Rolf says a 12-month free subscription for Motor Trend magazine, offered by the namesake production company, received a lot of positive attention among show goers.

    "That tickled a lot of people I spoke to," he says. "It was a fabulous promotion."

    The show also featured a preview night, this year attracting more than 400 dealers, associate members, legislators and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

    Rolf also points to extensive media coverage of the show in helping drive attendance.

    "We had more than 90 minutes of morning and evening news coverage and more than 45 radio interviews from the floor of the show."

    The Hawaii dealer association has made a tradition of honoring teachers, displaying the recognition at the entrance to the auto show.

    Profile: First Hawaiian International Auto Show

    Dates:
    March 6-9, 2008

    Next show:
    March 26-29, 2009

    Place:
    Hawai'i Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    200,000 square feet

    Tickets:
    Adults, $7; Seniors (62 plus), students, military $5; Children (7-12), $4, under 6 free

    Show Hours:
    Thursday & Friday, noon-10:30 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10:30 pm; Sunday, 10 am-7 pm

    Produced by:
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Contact:
    Dave Rolf, ATAE
    Executive Director, Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association
    drolf@hawaiidealer.com
    808.593.0031

    Show Web site:
    www.motortrendautoshows/honolulu






    Salt Lake City: Clicking then, accelerating now

    Last year, Craig Bickmore said the Utah International Auto Expo was "starting to click."

    Chevrolet's up and coming Camaro has become a key crowd pleaser at many auto shows, including Salt Lake City's Utah International Auto Expo.

    This year, it's even better - and that in spite of a huge storm on the final day of the four-day show, held Jan. 18-21, 2008.

    "We were absolutely deluged with snow," says Bickmore, who runs the Utah Automobile Dealers Association. "That was a 30 percent hit for us on that day."

    Still, attendance was so strong on Friday and Saturday that the auto show came out almost even.

    "We were accelerating our way to a record attendance before the snow arrived," says Bickmore, who credits a continued strong support from the entire media community in Salt Lake City for the popularity of the show.

    "They like being a part of it and they understand the impact the industry has," says Bickmore. "The entire media community comes together in support of the auto show."

    They may not fit the average budget, but exotics are nevertheless nice to look at, if only to dream.

    A return event this year was another display of vintage collector vehicles by noted enthusiast Ardell Brown, a retired RV dealer. Another feature was a display of exotics from Steve Harris Imports, also a repeat from last year. Last year's display of vintage Mustangs gave way to a selection of Corvette vehicles.

    Other highlights included a special display of two customized Highway Patrol vehicles - a customized 2002 Chevrolet Camaro and a restored 1950 Ford Custom 2-door sedan - both courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol Public Information and Education as an effort to promote greater traffic safety in Utah. "In 2007 Utah had a high number of over 280 fatal traffic accidents. Our hope is to decrease this number through community education and awareness," said Sergeant Blaine Robbins of the Utah Highway Patrol.

    The fifth-annual Utah International Auto Expo VIP Preview Party featured a performance by Governor Huntsman and his band "Politically Incorrect." The event continues to support the auto dealers' "Good Wheels" program, distributing more than $250,000 in the last six years to various individuals and organizations and providing funding for additional Highway Patrol troopers to be on the road looking for impaired drivers during the holiday season.

    The signature carpet design and signage at Motor Trend shows like Utah give show goers cues to follow in checking out all that's new in autos.

    Profile: Utah International Auto Expo

    Dates:
    Jan. 18-21, 2008

    Next Show:
    Jan.16-19, 2009

    Place:
    South Towne Exposition Center

    Exhibit Space:
    300,000 square feet

    Tickets:
    Adults, $7; Seniors (62 plus) and Children (7-12), $4, under 6 free

    Show Hours:
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-9 pm; Monday, 10 am-8 pm

    Produced by:
    Motor Trend Auto Shows

    Show Contact:
    Craig Bickmore, ATAE
    Executive Director
    Utah Automobile Dealers Association
    craigb@uada.com
    801.484.8845

    Show Website:
    www.motortrendautoshows.com/utah






    Toronto: Strong promotions, good weather delivers breakthrough year

    Tom Tonks calls the 2008 Canadian International Auto Show, held in Toronto Feb. 15-24, 2008, a "breakthrough."

    Toyota's "iReal" vehicle made an opening ceremony appearance at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, part of the automaker's sponsorship.

    "First of all, we had no downside factors - no weather issues and no events that would otherwise have impacted attendance," says Tonks, who heads the Toronto Area Automobile Dealers Association in addition to heading the auto show team.

    But clearly that alone wouldn't make the Toronto show one of the key events on the auto show calendar.

    It may more likely be the fact that Tonks capitalizes on a key fact: the capital city of Canada's most populous province is one of the most ethnically diverse in the country, and quite possibly in North America.

    And Tonks targets them all.

    "We have between five and eight different promotions going on," he notes. "Each of them is targeted at a different media grouping, and each of those has special demographics, some ethnic, some economic. As a result, we've pretty much covered all of the social and economic demographics."

    Tonks has also honed a number of giveaways, which he then leverages with the media the auto show uses to promote the event.

    New vehicles such as this Corvette ZR1 are what brings Toronto area visitors to the Canadian International Auto Show every year.

    One example is a promotion the auto show organized with the National Post, which targets a business-oriented, affluent audience. The "Win the Perfect Moment" gave entrants the chance to win a Lexus RX350, courtesy of the local dealer association.

    "It's very much a win-win-win across the board," says Tonks, who attributes a steady increase - 9 percent over last year - at least in part to promotions of this nature.

    "We spend more than $1 million on media," he adds.

    Another reason for the boost in attendance may be the advent of a new legal holiday in Ontario. Family Day, which was widely recognized (schools, banks and many businesses were closed, although federal workers were still on the job), gave Tonks and his team the opportunity to develop special pricing to boost what would have otherwise been an ordinary Monday.

    "We gave the first 5,000 visitors a free program, and the first 2,000 families received a Mattel Hot Wheels car," he says. "Plus we had a pizza special specifically geared to families."

    The auto show also extended its customary weekend programs, which feature childcare services and free parking as well as shuttle bus service.

    The GTA in Motion exhibit at the Canadian International Auto Show makes the point: cars are the solution to urban mobility issues, not the problem.

    This year's boost in attendance is something of a reversal in trends for the Toronto show, organizers having three years ago dramatically raised prices - to $20 a ticket.

    "We did have some deterioration in the numbers of people who attended after we raised the price," admits Tonks. "But we made up for it in overall revenue."

    And one important point: the $20 ticket is before discounts.

    "There have always been a parallel group of discounts," says Tonks. "Everyone has ample opportunity to get a discounted admission. We may have the highest price but we probably have one of the highest discounts - $5 off a ticket."

    The rationale for the higher ticket price was to position the auto show in the category of other forms of entertainment - many of them costing much more.

    "At the same time, you've got to be careful about being too cavalier," cautions Tonks. "There are other factors at work as well."

    Still, Tonks says the higher ticket prices did not result in a dramatic drop-off in attendance. "There was a bit of slippage, but the new price is well established now and having a diversity of programs at the show has helped."

    Toyota also displayed its Hybrid X concept at Toronto this year.

    Another bright spot for Toronto has been its e-ticket system, which was custom developed by Badge Studio, a local company. While running the program is somewhat costly, mostly because of the number of entrances to the event, Tonks says as sales increase (there were 10 percent more e-ticket sales compared with last year) the revenue/cost ratio will improve.

    Toronto is also eyeing the public policy landscape when it considers adding features to the show.

    This year that included a special GTA in Motion (the region is known as the Greater Toronto Area), which brought in students from the local Humber College School of Design, who showcased various auto-related solutions to urban transportation challenges.

    "It's our way of trying to address the issues of urban sprawl and traffic congestion," says Tonks. "Our point is that the automobile is part of the solution, not the problem."

    The Canadian International Auto Show, as it has in the past, also featured its VIP preview evening, complete with three different musical acts, including Bedouin Soundclash, the Quintessential Boys and April Wine.

    Profile: Canadian International Auto Show

    Dates:
    Feb. 15-24, 2008

    Next show:
    Feb. 13-22, 2009

    Place:
    Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Rogers Centre

    Exhibit Space:
    850,000 square feet

    Tickets:
    Adults, $20 (Mon.-Thurs. $15 with coupon); Children (7-12), $7, under 6 free

    Show Hours:
    Daily 10:30 am-10 pm, final Sunday 10:30 am-6 pm

    Produced by:
    Toronto Automobile Dealers Association

    Show Contact:
    Tom Tonks, ATAE
    General Manager, Canadian International Auto Show/Toronto Automobile Dealers Association
    tomt@autoshow.ca, 416.407.7472

    Show Website:
    www.autoshow.ca






    Washington: Show continues to be forum for green discussion

    Like it or not, public policy debate in the United States remains firmly centered in Washington, D.C., one reason Gerry Murphy is continuing to position the Washington Auto Show, held Jan. 23-27, 2008, as one where key discussions and interactions take place.

    Antwaan Randle El, star wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, welcomes a fan at the show's career day.

    The effort, launched in earnest last year, is gaining momentum, says Murphy, who heads the Washington Area New Car Dealers Association.

    "That's especially true among the offices of the various OEMs," he adds. "They're very supportive of rolling out a Tier One global auto show that can support dialogue among industry and members of Congress as well as the public policy establishment."

    Murphy says recent discussions around the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) are a perfect example, the idea being that having legislators and regulators aware of industry concerns is key to the overall health of the auto industry.

    An even bigger part of that is a continuing move to green technology, again one where the auto industry has an obvious contribution to make when it comes to helping shape public policy.

    Dealers and industry representatives are seeking a next generation of employees to fill the vacancies they either have or are anticipating. Career days like the one at the Washington Auto Show are key to that strategy.

    "All of these conversations to some extent are related to how we'll become more fuel efficient and better at keeping the environment clean," says Murphy. "Clean air is something that the federal public policy establishment is going to have their hands in."

    Murphy saw clear evidence of that interest at this year's auto show.

    "We had cabinet secretaries and agency heads as well as their staff come over during the media days for VIP tours," he says.

    This year's show included the Green Car Journal's Green Car Summit, a one day media day event that included several noted auto industry panelists, among them: Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Co.'s senior vice president of sustainability, environment, and safety engineering; Gregory Cesiel, fuel cell vehicles program director at General Motors; Reg Modlin, director of environmental and energy planning at Chrysler; Tom Stricker, director of technical and regulatory affairs, environment at Toyota; and David Geanacopoulos, director of industry-government relations at Volkswagen of America.

    Washington Wizards small forward Caron Butler was also on hand to sign autographs at the Washington Auto Show.

    Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com, who also moderated the panel, said progress is being made.

    "Activities unfolding in the automakers' labs and in the showroom provide a convincing argument that great effort is being made to meet these challenges," says Cogan. "What's often missing is context - the realities of how and when advanced technologies and alternative fuels will make it to market in meaningful ways, and which really offer the greatest potential for change."

    Murphy says another key area where the Washington Auto Show is playing a role is providing an opportunity for embassies to launch discussions with legislators and regulators, something Germany started a year ago and continued this year.

    Attendees at the auto show got their opportunity to take one of several vehicles through their indoor paces at Camp Jeep Washington.

    Their message: clean diesel technology (already available in Europe where some two thirds of vehicles are so-powered) can make a significant contribution in North America.

    "Right now the regulations don't encourage it," says Murphy.

    Highlights of this year's show included a Media Day keynote presentation by Mark LaNeve, GM?s North American vice president of vehicles sales, service and marketing, who discussed the company's deployment of more than 100 Chevrolet Equinox electric vehicles (powered by hydrogen fuel cells) in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

    This year's show, running on the heels of Detroit's North American International Auto Show, meant Washington didn't benefit as much from the usual practice - having vehicles introduced in the Motor City, flat-bedded then moved to Washington.

    Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty used the Washington Auto Show as a backdrop for an on site radio interview.

    But that will change next year, when Washington moves its dates to February, which Murphy says will be better for other reasons as well.

    "Congress will be in session and that will help us."

    It will also be a time when a new administration will be trying to define itself, especially in the areas of transportation and energy, notes Murphy.

    "Next year will be very interesting in that regard."


    Profile: Washington Auto Show

    Date:
    Jan. 23-27, 2008

    Next show:
    Feb. 10-14, 2009

    Place:
    Washington Convention Center

    Exhibit Space:
    725,000 square feet

    Tickets:
    $10 for adults, $5 children (12 and under); $8 for senior citizens & military

    Show Hours:
    Wed-Sat, Jan. 23-26, 10 am-9 pm; Sun., Jan. 27, 10 am-6 pm.

    Produced by:
    Washington Area New Auto Dealers Association

    ATAE Contact:
    Gerry Murphy, CAE
    202.237.7200
    gm@wanada.org

    Show Web site:
    www.washingtonautoshow.com

    Discount Coupons:
    $2 off coupon from any participating Wendy's






    Auto Shows of North America Show Directory

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

    Albany
    Empire State Plaza Auto Show
    11/7/2008 - 11/9/2008

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

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

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

    Austin
    Austin American Statesman Auto Show
    12/4/2008 - 12/7/2008

    Baltimore
    Baltimore International Auto Show
    2/5/2009 - 2/8/2009

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

    Birmingham
    Alabama International Auto Show
    11/13/2008 - 11/16/2008

    Boston
    New England International Auto Show
    12/3/2008 - 12/7/2008

    Buffalo
    Buffalo Auto Show
    2/4/2009 - 2/8/2009

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

    Charleston
    West Virginia International Auto Show
    1/16/2009 - 1/18/2009

    Charlotte
    Charlotte International Auto Show
    11/20/2008 - 11/23/2008

    Chicago
    Chicago Auto Show
    2/13/2009 - 2/22/2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Detroit
    North American International Auto Show
    1/17/2009 - 1/25/2009

    Edmonton
    Edmonton Motor Show
    3/5/2009 - 3/8/2009

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

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

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

    Harrisburg, PA
    Pennsylvania Auto and Boat Show
    1/22/2009 - 1/26/2009

    Hartford
    Connecticut International Auto Show
    11/21/2008 - 11/23/2008

    Honolulu
    First Hawaiian International Auto Show
    3/26/2009 - 3/29/2009

    Houston
    Houston Auto Show
    1/24/2009 - 2/1/2009

    Indianapolis
    Indianapolis Auto Show
    12/26/2008 - 1/1/2009

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

    Las Vegas
    Las Vegas International Auto Show
    11/28/2008 - 11/30/2008

    Los Angeles
    Los Angeles Auto Show
    11/19/2008 - 11/30/2008

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

    Miami
    South Florida International Auto Show
    11/7/2008 - 11/16/2008

    Midland, Mich.
    Northwood University International Auto Show
    10/10/2008 - 10/12/2008

    Milwaukee
    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
    Montreal International Auto Show
    1/16/2009 - 1/25/2009

    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

    Omaha
    Midlands International Auto Show
    1/22/2009 - 1/25/2009

    Orlando
    Central Florida International Auto Show
    11/26/2008 - 11/30/2008

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

    Phoenix
    Arizona International Auto Show
    11/27/2008 - 11/30/2008

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

    Portland
    Portland International Auto Show
    11/22/2009 - 11/25/2009

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

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

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

    Sacramento
    Sacramento International Auto Show
    11/6/2008 - 11/9/2008

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

    Salt Lake City
    Utah International Auto Expo
    1/16/2009 - 1/19/2009

    San Antonio
    San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
    10/2/2008 - 10/5/2008

    San Diego
    San Diego International Auto Show
    12/31/2008 - 1/4/2009

    San Jose
    Silicon Valley International Auto Show
    1/8/2009 - 1/11/2009

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

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

    Tampa
    Tampa Bay International Auto Show
    11/6/2008 - 11/9/2008

    Toledo
    Greater Toledo Auto Show
    1/22/2009 - 1/25/2009

    Toronto
    Canadian International Auto Show
    2/13/2009 - 2/22/2009

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

    Washington
    Washington Auto Show
    2/10/2009 - 2/14/2009





    Credits/Contacts:

    Automotive Trade Association Executives
    8400 Westpark Drive
    McLean, VA 22102
    703.821.7072
    703.556.8581 - fax
    www.info@atae.info

    Kevin Mazzucola, ATAE President
    mazz@adagp.com

    Jennifer Lindsey, ATAE Executive Director
    jlindsey@nada.org

    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

    joe@joepr.com

    J.D. Booth, editor
    jd@jdbooth.com




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    ASNA Manufacturing Partners