Even though the ASNA Summer Meeting is just a few days away (July 10-11 at the Stein Eriksen Lodge
in Park City, Utah), it's not too late
to register for this important and unique auto show conference.
With a keynote speaker, Dutch Mandel, editorial director of Autoweek
, already confirmed,
organizers are also pleased to have heard positively from several automakers, including Buick,
Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, GMC, Jeep, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ram, Subaru,
Toyota, and Volkswagen, plus others who are still firming up their plans.
Part of the agenda will feature an OEM question and answer panel with Grace
Morgan of GM, Joe Gallant of Nissan, Valerie McMahon of Kia, Bo Puffer of
Chrysler and Tim Glynn of Volkswagen. Following the OEM panel will be an
exhibit house question and answer panel with Greg Redmond from GPJ, John
Pugh from Czarnowski and Scott Stubbs from H.B.
Attendees will see a DVD presentation - “As An Industry How Do We Get the Message Out
About the Influence of Auto Shows on the Purchase Experience?” as well as a presentation
on “How to Successfully Advertise Auto Shows by Thinking Out of the Box.”
National representatives from Univision, Pandora, and YuMe will discuss alternative media
choices and there will be a presentation on advertising auto shows to smart phone users.
A round table discussion with participating OEMs, exhibit houses, and allied industry will be
followed by an evening networking reception.
ATAE Stacey Castle, ASNA chair, who says she is happy to answer any additional questions,
can be reached at 916.635.2728.
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
George P. Johnson
Recreation Vehicle Industry Association
Touch A Prize
American Financial Services Association
Computerized Vehicle Registration
Fern Expo Services
Gail & Rice
Gulf States Toyota
National Association of Dealer Counsel
Reynolds and Reynolds
Romanelli Event Services
Road & Track
magazine will soon be moving its editorial offices from
Newport Beach, Calif., to Ann Arbor, Mich.
Publisher Hearst, which is based in New York, has named Larry Webster
the magazine's new editor-in-chief, replacing Matt DeLorenzo
had been automotive editor of Popular Mechanics
, another Hearst title, since
January 2010. Prior to that he was Detroit editor for PM
and had worked at
Car and Driver
, which is based in Ann Arbor.
Julie Hamp, a former senior PR executive who left General Motors for
the soft drink and snack industry, is back in the automotive field—as chief of U.S.
communications at Toyota. Hamp, who joined PepsiCo in 2007, joined Toyota in
late June. She replaces Jim Wiseman, who retired after 23 years at the
automaker, the last two years in the top communications job. Hamp is a graduate of
Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Mich., and holds a post-graduate degree from the
Harvard Business School. She is based in Torrance, Calif., reporting to Toyota Motor
Sales USA CEO Jim Lentz.
Travis Parman has joined Nissan Americas as its new director of
corporate communications. Parman comes to the automaker from Pulte Group,
where he was vice president of corporate communications. He previously
worked at Lockheed Martin and held numerous positions at General Motors
before joining Pulte. At Nissan, Parman will be responsible for aligning the
automaker's communications efforts throughout the Americas. He will lead the
teams responsible for all corporate communications activities including regional,
manufacturing and policy communications, philanthropic efforts and crisis and
The Chicago Auto Show has assembled a new communications and marketing
team it says will help keep pace with trends in the ever-changing traditional
and social media landscape. The moves include Mark Bilek as director
of communications and technology; Tim McBride as director of
marketing; and Jennifer Morand as senior public relations and
social media manager. Bilek, who first joined the Chicago Automobile Trade
Association in 2006, will now oversee communications at the Chicago Auto
Show, the CATA and the organization's web-based sales portal -
DriveChicago.com. New to the team is McBride who
has stints as director of marketing for the NHL
Phoenix Coyotes and Loyola University of Chicago athletics on his resume.
Morand is also new to the CATA, having worked at Foodmix Marketing
Communications and prior to that Weber Shandwick, where she was media
spokesperson for the "got milk?"
Stephen Berger has been named vice president of operations at Source
Interlink Media, the corporation behind Motor Trend Auto Shows. Berger, who
works out of the company's Harrisburg, Penn., office, comes to Motor Trend
from MCR Federal, LLC, where he helped relocate more than 8,500 people at a
government intelligence office to a new $3.2 billion facility in the Washington, D.C.,
area. At Source Interlink, Berger will also work on Endurocross and MiniMotoSX
races. Before his work at MCR, Berger was an officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
He has a bachelor of science degree from the United States Air Force Academy and
an MBA from Virginia Tech.
Andy Fuzesi, who for more than two decades has run the LA Auto Show
as its general manager, will step down from that post next January. Fuzesi will
continue to own half of the privately held parent company, and will remain an
officer in a strategic role. Lisa Kaz, whose grandfather had worked for
the Chicago, Cleveland and Miami auto shows, remains president of the company.
The LA Auto Show is endorsed by the Greater LA New Car Dealers Association.
While attendance at this season's Motor Trend International Auto Show Baltimore
was neither up nor down, ATAE Peter Kitzmiller
, president of the Maryland
Automobile Dealers Association, has reason to be happy, especially thinking back to
what happened to the show two years ago.
"We had a huge blizzard - 38 inches of snow - which basically wiped out one of
our days altogether," said Kitzmiller. "Last year we made up for it with a dramatic
This year's event was steady from an attendance standpoint. It was also one where a
significant change in marketing tactics seems to be taking hold, said Kitzmiller.
"We used to rely fairly heavily on newspaper advertising," he noted. "That has been
skewed dramatically. Now we're concentrating on TV, radio and, of course, Internet,
with a big push in social media."
Kitzmiller said while it's still early days for gauging the success of the show's online
presence, he's very pleased with the e-ticket program, which has grown "leaps and
He's also found success in the Ride and Drive phenomenon, this season adding
Chrysler to a repeat experience hosted by GM.
Profile: Motor Trend International Auto Show Baltimore
Feb. 7-10, 2013
Baltimore Convention Center
240,000 square feet
$10, adults; $6, seniors (Thursday and Friday), $8, seniors (Saturday and Sunday), $6, military (with any DOD ID), $4, children (7-12), FREE, children under 7 and 12 and under on Family Day (Sunday).
Thursday, noon-10 pm; Friday-Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-7 pm
Motor Trend Auto Shows
ATAE Peter Kitzmiller, President, Maryland Automobile Dealers Association
Ah, the weather.
For Jim Tolkan
, who for the last three years has headed the Auto Dealers
Association of Mega Milwaukee, it's just a fact of life, especially this past season
when a snowstorm on the Friday of the Milwaukee International Auto Show
resulted in a 60% drop in attendance over the previous year.
Even so, the show recovered, logging about a 5% increase in attendance overall. "We
probably would have had a 10-15% bump in traffic had it not been for the snow,"
Again, weather is one of those issues that is beyond the control of any auto show in
the northern part of the continent, something Tolkan recognizes as much as anyone.
"What we try to do every year is mix things up a bit with different
A particularly successful initiative, now in its third year, is a display of certified used
"It generated immediate results for the dealers that participated in the display,"
Another initiative that Tolkan said brought in additional traffic was a display of
exotic cars, even though there isn't a local dealer in the region.
"Attendees like it," said Tolkan. "It brings them into the show and that's a good thing
for everyone who does exhibit vehicles people can buy."
Ride and Drive events by GM, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Subaru were also
predictably popular with attendees.
Another display at the show that generated traffic was a small collection of "movie"
cars from the Volo Auto Museum
about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee.
And high school and college students from the area were able to come to the
show free on Tuesday morning, where they took part in a 45-minute program on
When it comes to marketing overall, Tolkan said he deviated somewhat from
the advertising format offered as part of the Motor Trend package. "We
decide to do original radio and TV spots, which were a bit more localized."
The outreach efforts included a contest Tolkan had first introduced a year ago with
some success—the opportunity to bring a vintage car to display at the show. "We
had as many as 50 applicants and about a dozen winners, with one from each
decade beginning in 1900."
One interesting lesson applied this year came from the show's experience with Groupon
the year before.
"We discovered that people who buy tickets online anyway were gravitating toward
Groupon, which meant we weren't really attracting new visitors. All it did was move
the visitor who was otherwise buying a full-price ticket to a two-for-one deal."
Profile: Greater Milwaukee Auto Show
February 23 - March 3, 2013
Frontier Airlines Center
240,000 square feet
$10, adults; $8, seniors 65+, Monday - Thursday; $8, students; $5, children (7-12); FREE, children under 6; FREE, children 12 and under on Sunday's Family Day.
Saturdays, 10 am-10 pm; Sundays, 10 am-6 pm; Monday-Thursday, 3 pm-9 pm; Friday, 1 pm-9 pm
Motor Trend Auto Shows
ATAE Jim Tolkan, President, Automobile Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee
, 414.359.9000, ext. 4
A first-ever Ride and Drive at the Albany Auto Show, one of two separate annual
events in New York's state capital, has organizer Kim Perrella looking ahead to even
more of what's become the most interactive auto show experience.
"We'll pursue more," said Perrella. "The GM Ride and Drive we hosted got people
talking and made it very exciting for everyone."
Perrella, who is vice president of the auto show and member relations at Eastern
New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers, Inc., said the show provided
a "phenomenal boost" to the area, with a 29% increase in attendance over last year.
That itself was remarkable, given the relative stability of the Albany area, which is
somewhat insulated from the economic ups and downs due to its consistent base of
"We never had the lows that other areas of the country experienced," said Perrella.
Attendance was further boosted by great media coverage and, yes, cold weather.
"It was nice enough to get out, but cold enough that people wanted to be indoors,
which made the auto show a great place to visit once you were out of the home,"
The most important result of the show, of course, was how it affected dealer sales.
And Perrella said the Albany show came out shining.
"It was a nice push," she said, adding that sales across the board were in the range of
the 29% boost in show attendance.
"Buyers were ready to get out there," noted Perrella, "and the display of vehicles
was just what they needed to give them a little extra incentive to do just that."
Profile: Albany Auto Show
March 9-11, 2012
Times Union Center
50,000 square feet
Adults, $7.50; Children (under 12) free (accompanies by adult).
Fri. noon-8 pm; Sat. 10 am-8 pm; Sun. 11 am-5 pm
Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers
ATAE Deborah Dorman, President, Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers
Kim Perrella, show manager
For ATAE Shayne Wilson
, the Atlanta International Auto Show couldn't have
had a better 30th anniversary show than it did from March 14-18.
"We had a sold out show floor, a big increase in attendance and a lot of enthusiasm
from exhibitors and attendees alike," said Wilson, president of the Metro Atlanta
Automobile Dealers Association.
Vehicles not seen before in the area included Kia's GT Concept as well as a number
of pre-production models from several of the 34 different manufacturers on the
"We are also thankful for the added support given by the manufacturers who
produced Ride & Drive events onsite, stated Wilson. “These test drives have added
a whole new dimension to the auto show experience."
Ride & Drive participation in Atlanta increased substantially with 12 different
manufacturers taking part. Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Kia, Toyota and Volkswagen
vehicles were all stationed in the front driveway of the GWCC, while Cadillac,
Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram vehicles were located in the upper turnaround
between the facility and the Georgia Dome.
"Our location on the street level of Northside Drive is perfect for Ride & Drive
events, since attendees can sign up in the lobby and then just walk outside for the
test drives. It can’t get any easier than that," said Wilson.
While Wilson said he always expects opening day jitters for an event as large as
the 2012 Atlanta International Auto Show, those were quickly forgotten as a large
crowd gathered at the box office prior to the noon opening.
"Attendance remained strong throughout opening day, making it an even bigger
success than last year," said Wilson, who added that the rise in attendance
continued throughout the five-day run.
"That included another very successful Seniors Day on Thursday and a blockbuster
Saturday that was one of the biggest days ever for the auto show."
In all, the show posted a 25% increase over last year.
"That’s no small accomplishment, considering that we had a very good show last
year,” added Wilson.
Highlights of the show included an official Media Day, with a press breakfast that
included an area unveiling of the 2013 Dodge Dart.
The Media Day included press conferences at displays by Ford, General Motors,
Fiat, Kia and Nissan. And the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association held its
annual meeting following lunch.
Also featured was Mike Luckovich
, political cartoonist for the Atlanta
. The two-time Pulitizer Prize winner autographed copies
of his cartoon honoring the 30th Anniversary of the Atlanta International Auto Show,
which was printed on the back of the floor plan in the Official Show Guide.
The local Fox affiliate was on site with its Storm Chaser vehicle throughout the
show. Touted as the most advanced mobile weather lab and live TV production
vehicle in the southeast, the vehicle is equipped with the latest broadcast and
meteorological technology to provide life-saving information to viewers about
A number of the station’s on air personalities appeared at the show on Saturday,
signing autographs and posing for photos. This included their chief meteorologist
, who spent over six hours meeting his fans.
As expected, the auto show brought in several costumed characters for the
weekend, including Marvel's Captain America and Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob
SquarePants, both well-received.
The auto show also presented a Wild West Weekend in the Congress Center lobby.
This special salute to the Old West included lariat and bullwhip exhibitions, fast
draw artists, music, an authentic 19th century chuck wagon, and an appearance by
the Lone Ranger himself.
Nationally recognized car-buying expert Adam Goldfein
held a one-hour
seminar on Saturday. Prior to this, Goldfein hosted a two-hour live broadcast on AM
The auto show’s official website - GoAutoShow.com
- was very popular with the public,
attracting over 70,000 visitors from March 1 through the close of the show. Over
11,000 of these visits took place on the Saturday of the event, which is a testimony
to the show’s popularity.
The website is the sole promotional outlet for the official Atlanta International Auto
Show Club. Its membership has been growing steadily for the past four years, and
now has a roster over 5,000 strong. Club members receive special discounts, as well
as advance news on the debuting vehicles and special attractions.
The first-ever mobile app for the Atlanta International Auto Show was launched in
February and it didn’t take long for thousands of enthusiasts to download it. This
service will be an important tool in the marketing of the show for many years to
come and a great advertising opportunity for dealers and manufacturers alike.
Profile: Atlanta International Auto Show
March 14-18, 2012
Georgia World Congress Center
600,000 square feet
Adults $10, Children (6-12) $5 (under 6 free)
Wed.-Thurs. noon-9 pm; Fri. noon-10 pm; Sat. 10 am-10 pm; Sun. 10 am-8 pm
Metro Atlanta Automobile Dealers Association
Shayne Wilson, ATAE President, Metro Atlanta Automobile Dealers Association
Now who in their right mind would be smiling after a bright, sunny day gave way to
two days of overcast, drizzly conditions?
The director of an auto show, of course.
His name is Tom Kwiatek
, who runs the Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show in
his role as executive director of the Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association,
which represents the third largest selling area in Pennsylvania.
Kwiatek said the event began with one of the weakest openings he can
recall—"beautiful, no humidity, the kind of weather where no one in their right
mind wanted to be inside."
Thankfully from an auto show perspective, that all changed on Saturday and Sunday.
"It turned out to be the biggest Saturday in our history," said Kwiatek of attendance
that surged 18-20% over previous years. "And we also had the strongest Sunday we
Located on the athletic campus of Lehigh University, training camp for the NFL Philadelphia Eagles
auto show uses three buildings - two of them permanent, a third located in a rented
tent that the auto show assembles for that purpose.
It's a short walk between buildings, and attendees are not only used to it, but love
the experience, said Kwiatek.
For starters, parking is plentiful and free.
"We've been able to do a great job in making the buildings very attractive," said
Kwiatek. "Everything is pushed back, and the flooring and carpeting is protected.
You'd never know there were bleachers there," he added, referring to one of the
main buildings, the Stabler Center.
The show included a "green passport" program that did a great job highlighting
alternate fuel vehicles as well as those with exceptional fuel economy.
Also featured were two Ride and Drive programs from Ford and Chevrolet.
A hydrogen vehicle on display gave experts on site the opportunity to answer
questions about the future of that technology.
Also on display were a collection of Concourse d'Elegance, a NASCAR simulator and
an RV display with some 30 models available to peruse.
Kwiatek said a background in running large events has helped during his three
years as head of the dealer association.
"People coming in don't know what they want yet when they arrive. They do want
to touch and feel and they're interested. Our job is to show them what's possible and
what's out there. The next step is theirs."
"One of the best shows we've ever had."
For someone like ATAE Don Hall
, who serves as president and CEO of the
Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, and has seen at least 25 years of auto
shows come and go, that's quite something.
But Hall, whose organization works with the producer of the Motor Trend
International Auto Show-Richmond, said he believes the three-day event, held
March 23-25, delivered the kind of buzz that will have lasting effects in the local
"Both local dealers and manufacturers did a wonderful job this year," said Hall.
Recovering from a soft market but not quite back to record attendance
figures, the event was nonetheless one from which dealers have already
benefited, said Hall.
Part of the dynamic in Richmond is the importance the dealer association
puts on the show itself.
"We're not so much obsessed with the income from the show," said Hall, whose
state association runs the event on behalf of Richmond dealers. "For us, it's about
traffic, which drives interest at the dealer level."
Having two Ride and Drives, from GM and Toyota, contributed to that traffic
Which is not to say there weren't challenges. A Saturday punctuated with tornado
watches resulted in at least part of the day being impacted from an attendance
standpoint - "we were locked down," said Hall.
And Sunday morning - well, in the south "folks go to church here."
Yet overall, Hall stood by his assessment that the show itself was one of the best he's
"When you have more going on, everybody is happy because people are here and
they're checking out the new cars, the same vehicles they're going to be out in
dealerships in a few days buying or leasing."
A Friday morning breakfast for automotive students included former US
Congressman J.C. Watts
as a motivational speaker. As many as 400
attendees received a free pass to the auto show.
Profile: Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
March 15-17, 2013
Greater Richmond Convention Center
150,000 square feet
$9, adults; $5, seniors; $5, active military (with ID); $3, children (7-12); FREE, children 6 and under and 12 and under on family day.
Friday 10 am-10 pm;
Saturday 10 am-10 pm;
Sunday 10 am-6 pm
Motor Trend Auto Shows
ATAE Greater Richmond New Car Dealers Association
Don Hall, CEO
(804) 545-3004, firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a fond farewell to what may be the sole remaining auto show to be based in a
Even so, Paul McGeachie
, who manages the Vancouver International
Auto Show, is looking forward to next year's event in a renovated
Vancouver Convention Centre
"It's not that we didn’t like B.C.
," said McGeachie. "But the new facility makes it so much easier for a
number of reasons."
Notably among those is being able to use exhibits produced for other venues in the
auto show circuit without special modifications required.
"We were faced with that all the time," said McGeachie. "Having the only stadium,
which was oval and bi-level, required custom designed exhibits, which was only
made easier by the fact that we were last on the circuit of Canadian shows."
While the Vancouver Convention Centre will make the people involved in moving
in and out a lot happier, this year's show, however, was no slouch when it comes to
being a crowd pleaser.
I've been in that building for 20 years, either with the auto show or the
boat show, and it was the best consumer show you could ever have in that
The auto show was also successful in boosting its attendance to a charity
preview event (up from 600 to 800 tickets) that benefits Special Olympics British Columbia
Next year, McGeachie expects to see changes to that event, taking advantage of a
glass front dining area he calls a "billion dollar view."
From a highlight standpoint, this year's show included a near unanimous grouping
of manufacturers as well as a "step up" as far as automaker displays was concerned.
"The industry has definitely bounced back," noted McGeachie.
Included in that resurgence was the ability of the auto show to increase the display
area devoted to aftermarket products.
Profile: Vancouver International Auto Show
April 2-8 2012
250,000 square feet
$15 adults; $10, seniors, $4, children (7-12), $30, family pass (two
adults, two children 12 and under); $25, multi-day pass
Tuesday-Friday, noon-10 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-6 pm
New Car Dealers Association of BC
Paul McGeachie, Executive Director
In many respects the location of the New Mexico International Auto Show might
be considered a dream for a dealer organization like the one ATAE Charles
"We're centrally located in the state, which is home to three Air Force bases and
three national labs, including Los Alamos
said Henson, president of the New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association.
What that means is that car and truck buyers—and in New Mexico the emphasis is
on trucks—have continued to make their way to their local dealers, good times or
"Our numbers have been very consistent," said Henson of a show that has only been
in existence some eight years.
An economy that has heavy involvement in agriculture, as well as oil and gas
plus ranching, means the half-ton pickup is the backbone of the New Mexico
"As long as the economy stays consistent, there's a constant need for trucks," said
Henson. "Without a doubt, New Mexico is all about trucks."
In urban areas of the state, that translates into SUVs and minivans. "They are the city
version of what we drive in the rural areas," added Henson.
Asked to define the character of the New Mexico International Auto Show,
Henson will most likely respond with one key word: family.
"That's the number one highlight for our show, the program we try to put
together that will bring families together for a fun event," said Henson.
"As a result, we have great family participation with fun things for
And no alcohol served.
One of Henson's "hot buttons" relates to keeping drunk drivers off the state's
highways, and he's been determined from the very inception of the show to make
sure the dealer association keeps alcohol and motor vehicles as far away as possible.
"There's no alcohol served here. It's a source of pride to us," he said.
What the show did provide were opportunities for show attendees to participate
in Ride and Drive events, notably from Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat and Dodge -
with presumably at least a truck or two in the lineup, which appeals to a state where
embracing the outdoors is part of an overall lifestyle.
"We're a state of 'do-ers'," said Henson. "We're a lot like the old west in a number
of ways: people go out for work or recreation and we have the outdoors, the lakes,
mountains, canyons and desert to go out and do the things you want to do."
Profile: New Mexico International Auto Show
April 19-21, 2013
Albquerque Convention Center
125,000 square feet
$8, adults; $5, seniors, $5, military (with any DOD ID), $5, children (6-12), FREE, children 5 and under, and 12 and under on Family Day (Sunday).
Friday 12 noon-10 pm;
Saturday 10 am-10 pm;
Sunday 10 am-7 pm
Motor Trend Auto Shows
ATAE Charles Henson, President and CEO, New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association
Automotive Trade Association Executives
The Auto Show Report
8400 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102
ATAE Executive Director