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ASNA 2.0 - The Auto Show Report

Auto shows are stronger than ever. Spread the word.

We're back. And I'm not just talking about the auto industry, although the last few years have certainly been among the most challenging we've ever faced.

"We're back," in the this case, refers to the formal communications of Auto Shows of North America, a committee of Automotive Trade Association Executives. Though our committee was active and continued to meet in 2009 and 2010, we put our newsletter and Website on hold for a while. Today, however, we're back with a new look and a new outlook reflective of a reenergized industry.

Our goals for ASNA are as relevant--perhaps more so--than ever: promote, highlight and spread the word about what is universally acknowledged as the number one way for automakers to get their products in front of a buying audience.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith
That, of course, is the auto show. With 65 shows running every year throughout North America, each one committed to making the experience as exciting, educational and useful from a pre-purchase standpoint as it can be.

For ASNA members, this newsletter will be one of our "face forward" opportunities to make an important connection.

And our Website (asna-atae.com) is also in the process of seeing a refresh, and we expect the site to bring even more visitors who look to us as the "voice of the auto show industry."

The reality remains that the correlation between auto show attendance and vehicle sales is direct and substantial. And when the public attends our events, dealers rack up impressive numbers.

I'm personally thrilled and excited to see the rebirth of ASNA as an industry organization that understands, anticipates and speaks for those who continue to put their heart and soul into bringing vitality to the auto industry as a whole.

I'm also grateful for the hard work that continues to be done by a team lead by Joe Rohatynski,, a true auto show PR guy, who was involved in the early days of ASNA and continues to breathe creativity into our endeavor.

Welcome back. Welcome aboard.

Steve Smith
Automotive Trade Association Executives

Greetings from Detroit

It gives me great pleasure to reconnect with you on behalf of the new "Auto Shows of North America," or as I like to call it ASNA 2.0. I'd like to extend my appreciation to the ATAE / ASNA Committee--Steve Smith, Stacey Castle, Rod Alberts, Tom Kwiatek, Greg Remensperger, Scott Roth, Mark Schienberg and, of course, Jennifer Colman--for welcoming me back on board as editor of "The Auto Show Report."

I became involved with ASNA when it was originally launched in 2002 by a new auto show committee lead by Rod Alberts and Kevin Mazzucola. We presented the inaugural issue of The Auto Show Report in November of that year, and published continuously until our most recent newsletter was e-mailed in December, 2008.

Stacey Castle
Stacey Castle
Rod Alberts
Rod Alberts
Tom Kwiatek
Tom Kwiatek
Greg Remensperger
Greg Remensperger
Scott Roth
Scott Roth
Mark Schienberg
Mark Schienberg
Jennifer Colman
Jennifer Colman

The Auto Show Report remains the only newsletter dedicated to covering each of the 65 auto shows in North America. The newsletter and Website (also being reintroduced soon) are intended to provide a communications network that links together leadership from North American auto shows, manufacturers, exhibit houses, design studios, and other auto show vendors so that all may learn from each other, share ideas, and improve relationships.

Joe Rohatynski
Joe Rohatynski
The Auto Show Report will contain many of the same features from previous editions with some obvious upgrades, and a general freshening-up. We'll profile shows, report on industry news affecting the business of auto shows, and let you know about people coming and going to help keep your auto show contact list current.

In the coming weeks you'll be hearing from me and members of my team--all experienced writers with significant auto show experience--as we begin publishing the 2011-2012 schedule of newsletters.

And, by the way, we'd love to hear from you . . . if there's something of interest you'd like to share and have published in the newsletter . . . your newsletter . . . by all means send it along. Good photos are particularly welcomed, too.

On behalf of the editorial staff of The Auto Show Report--J.D. Booth, Marc Harlow and Kyle Chura--thanks again for your support.

It's good to be back.

Joe Rohatynski

New ASNA committee chair looks forward to open communications

Stacey Castle, who is both executive director of the Sacramento International Auto Show and chair of the ASNA committee of Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE), says she's looking forward to seeing the association of auto shows grow.

"We've made great strides already," said Castle, referring to last summer's meeting that brought together a number of manufacturers and auto show producers from across the country. "Next year's meeting will build on that success and I'm very excited about seeing that happen."

As a starting point, Castle and her fellow ASNA committee members are already beginning plans for next summer's meeting, to be held at Park City Utah, July 10-11, 2012.

"Having everyone sit down together in one place is something that has a great deal of merit," added Castle. "Working together, we can demonstrate just how important auto shows are as an integral part of the marketing process."

Industry News

Foresight Research gives thumbs up to ROI for auto shows

When he was a staff member for Chrysler, Steve Bruyn says there was little question that an auto show was one of the very best ways to market vehicles.

But what about the question to which most financial managers want an answer? In other words, what's the Return on Investment?

Steve Bruyn
As chief executive officer at Foresight Research, based just north of Detroit in Rochester, Mich., Bruyn thinks he's coming up with an answer. And increasingly, some of the world's largest automakers are seeing the light.

If the process Bruyn and his team at Foresight follow seems complex, maybe it should be--especially when you're dealing with millions of dollars invested in various auto shows throughout the world. But it's also the kind of assurance that's welcome by those who allocate funds to various other marketing sectors, putting auto shows on an even keel.

That methodology includes a combination of exit interviews, extensive analysis of the individual displays in a show, and a correlation of the census data in the market represented by an individual auto show.

Foresight then takes a "one year after" look at the auto show, with a series of follow up questions that measure what factors influenced a purchase decision.

Bruyn says the year-later follow-up produces some interesting insights.

"People look out surprisingly far when it comes to preparing for their new purchase," he notes, adding that they'll go to an auto show even when their existing lease expiration might be months away.

"We're able to track the influence of the auto show in great detail, by brand, individual shows, all kinds of stuff."

Foresight then does its own number crunching, using an extensive set of algorithms that it developed over a year and a half.

The result: a remarkably close correlation between the number of households that attend an auto show and the number of vehicles that are ultimately sold in the market.

More information on Foresight's methods and insights will appear in future issues of The Auto Show Report.

Camp Jeep heads to the Great Northwest:

Indoor Ride and Drive a first for Portland

The newest addition to the Portland International Auto Show is also the first appearance in the Northwest Region for the Camp Jeep national touring phenomenon, providing an opportunity for hip Portlanders to experience what more than one million people have from cities including Anaheim, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New York, San Diego, Washington D.C., and Frankfurt, Germany.

Camp Jeep is an interactive adventure zone that gives show visitors the opportunity to experience the rugged capabilities of the Jeep brand. Participants ride with a professional 4 x 4 driver over a course that is designed to showcase five attributes of the vehicles: ground clearance, traction, stability, articulation and suspension. Six Jeep vehicles will be featured in Portland: the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Patriot, and Jeep Compass.

"Jeep is distinctly suited for the Northwest and our rugged, outdoor lifestyle," says Greg Remensperger, executive director of the Portland show, which runs Jan. 26-29, 2012, at the Oregon Convention Center.

"Having it indoors is a bit of an irony when you think about it," says a smiling Remensperger. "But we have the space inside the convention hall, our customers are excited, and we're absolutely thrilled to partner with Jeep on this event."

Industry art shines at Automotive Hall of Fame

Bill Chapin, director of the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich., decided to take an underutilized area of this important small museum and convert it into a gallery space to show and promote automotive art.

Steve Purdy
The first work to be presented is by multi-media automotive journalist Steve Purdy of Williamston, Mich., who's been photographing classic and collector cars for more than 30 years. Purdy specializes in bold and colorful images of hood ornaments, known in the old car community as "mascots," badges, reflections and other old car details.

The show is called "Mascots and Marques" and is comprised of 30 large images of everything from the classic Packard "Donut Chaser" to the Lalique crystal mascots of the 1930s. There's even an aftermarket British mascot honoring the "Associated Order of Froth Blowers." Other featured marques include Hudson, Pierce Arrow, many Chrysler and GM images, and Jaguar.

More information at www.automotivehalloffame.org.

Purdy 1 Purdy 2

KIA debuts new Rio at SEMA show

Kia Motors America debuted its new B-Spec Rio 5-door race car at the recent 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The vehicle was prepared by Kia racing partner Kinetic Motorsports, which will provide racers with parts even as it competes with its own B-Spec racer. Kia unveiled five additional vehicles during its SEMA press conference, including two cars built by the world famous West Coast Customs (WCC). Additional vehicles were conceived and built in-partnership with the popular lifestyle magazine, Antenna, as well as GoGoGear.com.

Kia Forte
This hockey inspired Kia Forte 5-door
made its debut at the SEMA show.

Indian truck maker may finally get stateside, via Korea

Mahindra & Mahindra, the Indian truck maker that has been unsuccessful in reaching the U.S. market through export of its vehicles, may ultimately be making the move through a Korean subsidiary, according to reports. Ssangyong Motors, which specializes in SUVs, says it plans to sell vehicles in the U.S. within two to five years. Ssangyong, which recently sold 70% of the company to Mahindra & Mahindra, said it needs the time to fulfill emissions and safety requirements. It sees a sales potential of up to 20,000 units a year.

Urban Vehicles of the Year announced

Decisive magazine has announced its "Urban Vehicles of the Year" awards: the Hyundai Veloster, Range Rover Evoque, and Toyota Prius Plug-in. A panel of independent automotive journalists made the selection over a period of several months of test drives and evaluation from among dozens of vehicle candidates. Decisive magazine's Urban Vehicles of the Year are featured in the magazine's winter issue, available online at www.decisivemagazine.com. Award winners and finalists will be honored at the 16th Annual Urban Wheel Awards, the official Multicultural Event of North American International Auto Show 2012, on Jan. 8, 2012, at MotorCity Casino in Detroit.

People on the Move

Tony Cervone
Tony Cervone
Tony Cervone, who has a long history as a communicator in the auto industry, is now at Volkswagen Group of America, where he became executive vice president, Group Communications, in March 2011. At VW, Cervone is responsible for all aspects of corporate communications. Prior to joining VW, he was senior vice president of corporate communications at United Airlines, a position he took after leaving General Motors in early 2009. Reach him at tony.cervone@vw.com.

Scott McKee
Scott McKee
Scott McKee joined Kia Motors America as its director of public relations in June, 2011. Previously vice president of marketing at iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations, McKee now provides Kia with strategic communications counsel and oversees its second-year racing program. He reports to Michael Sprague, VP of marketing and communications. Earlier in his career, McKee held management positions in communications, motorsports and events at Land Rover, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Mercedes Benz USA. Reach him at SMcKee@kiausa.com.

Michael Ofiara
Michael Ofiara
Michael Ofiara joined Kia Motors America as public relations supervisor in June, 2011. Ofiara covers media relations for the Midwest and east coast, and also handles public relations for Kia Motorsports. Previously, Ofiara was road test coordinator at Automobile Magazine. Reach him at mofiara@kiausa.com.

Nick Twork
Nick Twork
Nick Twork joined Porsche North America as manager of Product Communications earlier this year. Twork, who oversees product-related media activities in the U.S. market, came to the automaker from GM, where he did public relations for Cadillac. Reach him at nick.twork@porsche.us.

Related to the Twork move, Gary Fong is Porsche's product experience manager and Dave Engelman is media relations manager, both reporting to Twork. Reach Fong at gary.fong@porsche.us. Reach Engelman at dave.engelman@porsche.us.

Dianne Craig
Dianne Craig
Dianne Craig, who since March 2009 has been Ford's general manager for the U.S. southeast market area (encompassing five states with some 520 Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers), becomes president of Ford Motor Company of Canada effective Nov. 1. She replaces David Mondragon, who has been Ford's top executive in Canada since August 2008. Mondragon becomes general marketing manager for the company's Ford and Lincoln divisions in the United States.

Lou Vitantonio
Lou Vitantonio
While he already has one auto show under his belt, Lou Vitantonio is still relatively new to most of his auto show colleagues. In January 2010, Vitantonio, who previously was director of legal and regulatory affairs for the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers Association, became president of the GCADA. He replaced Gary S. Adams, who will continue as president of the Cleveland Auto Show through 2014. Adams stepped down from the role of GCADA president after 23 years of service. The Auto Show Report will feature an interview with Vitantonio in an upcoming issue. In the meantime, he can be reached at lvitt@gcada.org

Show Profiles

Orange County: Major Ride & Drive effort helps increase attendance

The season-leading Orange County Auto Show
had an increase inattendance of at least 30%
over last year, say organizers.
As the first of some 65 auto shows around North America for the 2011-12 season, the Orange County International Auto Show had what every show director wants: a dramatic increase in attendance.

In the case of Orange County, that's a 32.5 percent increase over last year's number, and John Sackrison, executive director of the Orange County Auto Dealers Association, is pleased.

"We had huge success with our show," he says. "With Camp Jeep as an example of some of the highlights, and worldwide introduction of the Honda CRV concept, plus manufacturers increasing their use of ride and drives, it was a very good year for the Orange County show."

Sackrison said the ride and drive segments of the show were very well received by show goers. Among the automakers participating:
  • the GM "Experience the Ride"
  • the "Ford Drive One Experience"
  • the "Toyota Drive Center"
  • the "Hyundai Drive Experience"
  • "The Chrysler Drive"
  • and the "Volkswagen 2012 Beetle and Passat Test Drive Experience."
The show also featured Camp Jeep Anaheim, which had many riders running back to the end of the line to take the Jeep through its paces a second time.

Orange Country Orange Country
Both VW with its Beetle and Ford with its Focus were front and center as two of several
ride and drive events at the season-opening Orange County Auto Show.

Profile: Orange County International Auto Show

Sept. 22-25, 2011

Anaheim Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
525,000 square feet

$10 adults (13 and over), $6, seniors (62+), $5, students (with ID), children (12 and under), FREE.

Show Hours:
Thursday, 4 pm-10 pm; Friday, noon-10 pm; Saturday, 9 am-10 pm; Sunday, 9 am-7 pm.

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
John Sackrison, ATAE
President, Orange County Automobile Dealers Association

Show Website:

Seattle: Northwest's first out of the gate event shines

If you could pick one color to describe the Seattle International Auto Show, it would have to be green.

Seattle Fun
Jim Hammond, who, as executive director of the Puget Sound Auto Dealers Association, has wrapped up the Nov. 2-6, 2011 event, says a decidedly eco-friendly leaning among potential show goers is the reason.

"We're a pretty green show," notes Hammond, as he and his team look back at another successful event.

Top on Hammond's list of highlights was the introduction of the Fisker Karma, what is considered by many to be among the elite of all fully electric vehicles. "We've had prototypes before," says Hammond, "but this is for sale."

Adding to the excitement was the appearance of Henrik Fisker himself.

Other highlights include the CODA, an all-electric vehicle that will go 150 miles on a charge, and the Mitsubishi I.

And Ford featured its new Electric Focus at the Seattle Show.

Hammond said a wide range of exotics at the show, from Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin--even a $400,000 Rolls-Royce--were popular with attendees.

Hammond was also pleased to see an upswing in attendance at the show, a reflection of the overall market. "Sales are going very well here."

Exhibits like the one set up by AutoTrader.com provide a
hands-on experience at the Seattle Auto Show.
Checking out the latest new cars, especially under the hood,
is what attracts new car buyers.

Profile: Seattle International Auto Show

Nov. 2-6, 2011

CenturyLink Field Event Center

Exhibit Space:
350,000+ square feet

$11, adults, children 12 and under FREE, seniors, $9. Show has a number of discount ticket opportunities.

Show Hours:
Wednesday and Thursday, 1 pm-8:30 pm; Friday, 1 pm-9 pm, Saturday, 10 am-9 pm; and Sunday, 10 am-5 pm.

Produced by:
Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association

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

Show Website:

San Antonio: Show includes full range of 2012 models

Having joined the San Antonio Auto Dealers Association as president just three years ago, Pam Crail is a relative newcomer to the auto show scene. Make no mistake, however, she's well entrenched in the mechanics of the San Antonio Truck & Auto Show, which was held Oct. 27-30, 2011.

Crail, who came to the association from the state level Texas Auto Dealers Association, where she specialized in legislative affairs, said the introduction of e-tickets for the first time in the show's 43-year history has set a new standard in convenience for show goers.

Free parking continued to be a popular and necessary feature of the show, which is held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio.

"We provided a free, continuous shuttle from the Alamodome to the convention center," notes Crail.

Despite the fact that the downtown area doesn't have a lot of space around the convention center, Crail says she's pleased that Toyota came with a very popular ride and drive event at this year's show. With a number of displays, including one featuring vintage military vehicles, novelty cars and a full range of 2012 vehicles, plus the chance for visitors to win a 2012 Fiat, Crail said interest in the show was exceptionally high.

San Antonio San Antonio
The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center was the place to be for area car enthusiasts
as they took in the San Antonio International Auto Show. Photos by Robin Jerstad.

Profile: San Antonio International Auto Show

Oct. 27-30, 2011

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
300,000+ square feet

$8 adults, 10 and under FREE.

Show Hours:
Thursday, 2 pm-10 pm; Friday, 2 pm-10 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 11 to 7 pm.

Produced by:
San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association

Show Contact:
Pam Crail, ATAE
President, San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association

Show Website:

Show Directory

Albany Auto Show
3/9/2012 - 3/11/2012

Empire State Plaza Auto Show
11/4/2011 - 11/6/2011

New Mexico International Auto Show
4/13/2012 - 4/15/2012

Orange County Auto Show
9/22/2011 - 9/25/2011

Atlanta International Auto Show
3/14/2012 - 3/18/2012

Austin American
5/18/2012 - 5/20/2012

Motor Trend International Auto Show—Baltimore
2/9/2012 - 2/12/2012

Bethlehem, PA
Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show
3/22/2012 - 3/25/2012

Alabama International Auto Show
11/10/2011 - 11/13/2011

New England International Auto Show
1/12/2012 - 1/16/2012

Buffalo Auto Show
2/8/2012 - 2/12/2012

Calgary International Auto & Truck Show
3/14/2012 - 3/18/2012

West Virginia International Auto Show
1/27/2012 - 1/29/2012

Charlotte International Auto Show
11/17/2011 - 11/20/2011

Chicago Auto Show
2/10/2012 - 2/19/2012

Cincinnati Auto Expo
2/16/2012 - 2/19/2012

Cleveland Auto Show
2/25/2012 - 3/4/2012

Columbus International Auto Show
3/15/2012 - 3/18/2012

Dallas Auto Show
3/21/2012 - 3/25/2012

Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show
2/10/2012 - 2/12/2012

Dayton Auto Show
2/23/2012 - 2/26/2012

Denver Auto Show
3/21/2012 - 3/25/2012

North American International Auto Show
1/9/2012 - 1/22/2012

Edmonton Motor Show
3/1/2012 - 3/4/2012

Fort Worth
Greater Tarrant County Auto Show
1/29/2009 - 2/1/2009

Central California Auto Show
11/18/2011 - 11/20/2011

South Carolina International Auto Show
1/13/2012 - 1/15/2012

Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Auto Show
1/26/2012 - 1/29/2012

Connecticut International Auto Show
11/11/2011 - 11/13/2011

First Hawaiian International Auto Show
3/30/2012 - 4/1/2012

Houston Auto Show
1/25/2012 - 1/29/2012

Indianapolis Auto Show
12/26/2011 - 1/1/2012

Jackson, MS
Mississippi International Auto Show
1/23/2009 - 1/25/2009

Kansas City
Greater Kansas City International Auto Show
3/7/2012 - 3/11/2012

Las Vegas
Las Vegas International Auto Show
11/25/2011 - 11/27/2011

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Auto Show
12/4/2009 - 12/13/2009

Carl Casper Custom and Louisville New Car Auto Show
2/24/2012 - 2/26/2012

South Florida International Auto Show
10/23/2009 - 11/1/2009

Greater Milwaukee Auto Show
2/25/2012 - 3/4/2012

Minneapolis/St. Paul
Greater St. Paul & Minneapolis International Auto Show
3/10/2012 - 3/18/2012

Montreal International Auto Show
1/13/2012 - 1/22/2012

New Orleans
New Orleans International Auto Show
3/16/2012 - 3/18/2012

New York
New York International Auto Show
4/6/2012 - 4/15/2012

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City International Auto Show
3/5/2009 - 3/8/2009

Oklahoma City
OKC Auto Show
3/2/2012 - 3/6/2012

Midlands International Auto Show
1/19/2012 - 1/22/2012

Central Florida International Auto Show
11/24/2011 - 11/27/2011

Philadelphia International Auto Show
1/28/2012 - 2/5/2012

Arizona International Auto Show
11/24/2011 - 11/27/2011

Pittsburgh International Auto Show
2/17/2012 - 2/20/2012

Portland International Auto Show
1/26/2012 - 1/29/2012

Northeast International Auto Show
2/2/2012 - 2/5/2012

Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
3/23/2012 - 3/25/2012

Rochester International Auto Show
3/1/2012 - 3/4/2012

Sacramento International Auto Show
11/11/2011 - 11/13/2011

Saint Louis
Saint Louis International Auto Show
1/26/2012 - 1/29/2012

Salt Lake City
Utah International Auto Expo
1/13/2012 - 1/16/2012

San Antonio
San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
10/27/2011 - 10/30/2011

San Diego
San Diego International Auto Show
12/29/2011 - 1/1/2012

San Jose
Silicon Valley International Auto Show
1/5/2012 - 1/8/2012

Seattle International Auto Show
11/2/2011 - 11/6/2011

Spokane International Auto Show
2/10/2012 - 2/12/2012

Tampa Bay International Auto Show
11/18/2011 - 11/20/2011

Greater Toledo Auto Show
1/26/2012 - 1/29/2012

Canadian International Auto Show
2/17/2012 - 2/25/2012

Vancouver International Auto Show
4/3/2012 - 4/8/2012

Washington Auto Show
1/27/2012 - 2/5/2012


Automotive Trade Association Executives

8400 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102

Steve Smith
ATAE President
San Jose International Auto Show

Jennifer Colman
ATAE Executive Director

ASNA Committee

Stacey Castle, committee chair
Sacramento International Auto Show

Rod Alberts
North American International Auto Show

Tom Kwiatek
Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show

Greg Remensperger
Portland International Auto Show

Scott Roth
Louisville New Car Show

Mark Schienberg
New York International Auto Show

The Auto Show Report

Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

J.D. Booth, writer

Marc Harlow, writer

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