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ASNA - The Auto Show Report
Volume Nine, Issue Three - March 2014
In This Issue:

Industry News
» Save the date for another great ASNA Summer Meeting
» Freeman acquires audio visual solutions provider
» GM may follow Ford's lead in putting aluminum to work
» Auto industry patents leap 18%
» Industry may be tempering growth projections
» Intel joins with auto industry to make driving safer
» Industry should do more to tap Social Media
» Will auto growth stall? Some analysts say 'yes'
» Cost may trump features when it comes to coveted young market

Show Profiles
» Las Vegas: Connecting with the residents, not tourists, is key
» Orlando: Renovations continue, but show keeps up momentum
» Phoenix: First class facility, pent up demand drive show
» San Diego: Later date, return to five days a formula for success
» San Jose: Red hot market fuels show

» Show Directory
» Credits/Contacts

Industry News

Save the date for another great ASNA Summer Meeting

ASNA members will want to save the date for the annual Summer Meeting, this year to be held July 8-9, 2014 at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Calif. As is the case in previous years, Summer Meeting attendees will meet for receptions on both Tuesday and Wednesday, with an all-day gathering on Wednesday. Planning for the Summer Meeting is well underway and details will be forthcoming in future issues of the Auto Show Report.

Freeman acquires audio visual solutions provider

Freeman, a well-known provider of services to auto shows and other live events, is acquiring AVMG, an audio-visual solutions provider based in Richardson, Tex. In a release, Freeman said the acquisition will enhance the solutions and expertise available to customers in both organizations. AVMG is said to possess unique insight and capabilities for industry-specific meetings such as its work in the medical events space. Freeman complements those capabilities by offering a broader suite of solutions and resources, expertise, scalability and on-the-ground suppport.

GM may follow Ford's lead in putting aluminum to work

General Motors has apparently locked up supply contracts with two aluminum suppliers - Alcoa and Novelis—as a precursor to a possible introduction of an all-new aluminum pickup truck for the 2018 model year. Even though the move from steel to aluminum is considered risky by some, weight may be the overriding factor. New welding techniques may be part of the pro-aluminum argument, however. And while the latest generation of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups are only slightly lighter than their predecessors, a move to aluminum would make a substantial difference. GM is also reportedly working on alternative welding techniques that may reduce production costs.

Auto industry patents leap 18%

The auto industry's international patent filings increased by 18% in 2013, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. A push for new technologies to lower exhaust emissions is seen to be at least one of the drivers. In 2013, 4,275 patents were filed by auto manufacturers, compared with 3,606 in 2012. Patent applications jumped 84% from 2010, when 2,322 were filed, WIPO said. Regulators around the world are demanding that automakers increase fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide pollution levels, a challenge that has forced manufacturers to invest in more efficient engines and new lightweight technologies. The rise in the number of patents comes as car companies are increasingly relying on software and powerful computers to help make cars safer, more entertaining, more fuel efficient and better at solving problems.

Industry may be tempering growth projections

In what is being described as a sure sign that automotive executives may not be as upbeat about their market growth projections, the internal forecasts for automakers in 2014 now roughly equals what analysts expect the overall market to be. That almost never happens, according to Crain’s RubberNews.com. Typically, combined share forecasts come to as much as 130% of the market, a sign of scaled back expectations and concerns about excess inventory. Automotive industry analysts watch the combined forecasts of automakers closely, viewing any disparity as a possible danger signal.

Intel joins with auto industry to make driving safer

Consumer demand is driving a move by Intel, best known for its presence in Windows-based personal computers, to increase its partnerships with automakers that see the integration of technology as imperative. Analysts predict that by 2016 in-vehicle connectivity and basic online content will become critical buying factors for consumers. Intel's introduction of Infinit's InTouch system is one example—and the first to feature the Intel logo on the startup screen. Another sign of Intel's momentum in this area is the creation of a $100 million Connected Car Fund that would target early stage investment opportunities for vehicle infotainment systems, on-road communications and driver assistance technologies such as gesture recognition.

Industry should do more to tap Social Media

A group of marketing executives says the automotive industry should be doing more to leverage the power of social media in its sales efforts. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, publisher of "Turning Social Feeds Into Business Leads," says auto industry marketers are in various stages of adopting social marketing strategies and practices. "Social represents an important marketing frontier for the automotive industry," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. "Senior marketers recognize its capacity to deliver actionable, real-time insights that can help drive overall marketing effectiveness. Now they need to take the next step by integrating social more directly into the sales funnel and using it as a new platform for delivering qualified leads."

Will auto growth stall? Some analysts say 'yes'

At least some auto analysts are predicting an eventual "stalling" of annual growth in sales, perhaps a cresting of 100 million vehicles within the next decade, according to an article by Bloomberg News writers Jeff Green and Keith Naughton. One of those analysts is IHS Automotive, which says industry production estimates of more than 120 million vehicles by 2016 is more than 50% greater than last year's worldwide sales of 82 million. One reason for the new predictions is the view that the automobile may not be the best choice for people who are increasingly migrating to cities. "No one is saying car sales will suddenly fall or that car companies are dinosaurs," said the article. "But car companies may have to adapt to a world with less car buying and more car sharing, more cars that drive themselves, and fewer hot rodders."

Cost may trump features when it comes to coveted young market

While the young, educated and upwardly mobile may be a coveted market for automakers, an article by Jacyln Trop of the New York Times is suggesting cost is often more of a reality to that demographic than automakers might think. The percentage of new cars registered to buyers aged 18 to 34 has remained flat, wrote Trop. A recent survey by Deloitte found four out of five respondents identified cost as the main barrier to buying or leasing a vehicle. Trop also quoted Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer, who said it was no surprise that cost remains key to younger buyers. "The economy still isn't supporting employment as well as it should, and this is particularly true for young people."

Show Profiles

Las Vegas: Connecting with the residents, not tourists, is key

Obviously, Las Vegas has earned a reputation for attracting a steady stream of visitors.

But when it comes to the Las Vegas International Auto Show, it's the local residents—the ones that live and work in the area—who receive all the attention.

As Steve Freeman of Motor Trend Auto Shows explains, the goal is simple: "If the gamblers come to the show, that's great. But our goal is to sell cars in that market."

One key market, Freeman says, is the 85,000 people who work in the casinos and hotels along the fabled strip. "We may be avoiding the guests, but we want the employees."

Indeed, a special ticketing package to that demographic was successful in boosting attendance, which was up two percent over the previous year.

But Freeman, who is vice president and assistant general manager of Motor Trend Auto Shows, is really never satisfied, as any dealer would expect.

The goal, he says, is to continually evaluate how the show performs and make adjustments.

That includes meeting with the two associations Motor Trend works for in producing the show: the Southern Nevada Franchised New Car and Truck Dealers Association (headed by Terry Mayfield) and the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association (lead by Wayne Frediani).

This year's show had two Ride and Drives, with Ford and Chrysler participating. "Chrysler actually had several different models and some might count the total as five Ride and Drives going on at any one time," said Freeman.

Another popular element was the free parking available to attendees.

Making the auto show experience an enjoyable one is key, added Freeman. But so is making sure the producers keep up with the changing technology.

"What we did three or four years ago may not be relevant today, especially when it comes to connecting with technology. Our ongoing goal is getting our message out with the media our audience is using."

Profile: Motor Trend International Auto Show - Las Vegas

November 25-27, 2013

Las Vegas Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
200,000 square feet

Adults, $9; Seniors (62 plus), $6; Military, $6; Children (7-12), $6; under 6, free; Kids Day - Sunday (12 & under), free

Show Hours:
Fri.-Sun., 9 am-7 pm

Show Contact:
Lauren Holzman
VP, Public Relations, Motor Trend Auto Shows
Lauren.Holzman@sorc.com, 858.523.0001
Terry Mayfield
Executive Director, Southern Nevada Franchised New Car & Truck Dealers Association
ATAE Wayne Frediani
Executive Director, Nevada Auto Dealers Association

Show Website:

Orlando: Renovations continue, but show keeps up momentum

ATAE Barbara Miller is nothing if not patient.

As show director of the Central Florida International Auto Show (and executive vice president of the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association), Miller has been adjusting to the realities of a much-needed renovation project at the Orange County Convention Center.

It hasn't been easy—but Miller and her team were up to the task.

"We experienced a lot of changes this year," she said in a typically understated manner about how the massive project has affected the show.

"There's a perception that the halls were long and narrow, but some of the changes we've had to adjust to include reconfiguring the entrance to the show. Previously people were able to look down on the exhibit space when they crossed a footbridge. With the renovations underway, that's all changed."

As Miller begins the planning for the next show, talk about "what went well" will undoubtedly include things like the first appearance in Orlando of Camp Jeep, a decidedly hands-on display that gets top marks at every auto show where it makes a stop.

And show organizers will also continue to tweak parking—always a challenge given the number of Ride and Drive exhibitors and the fact that shuttle buses come from a mile and a half away.

With attendance essentially steady compared with previous years, Miller said activities in one of America's top tourist destinations invariably has an impact on the number of show visitors.

"We're always up against whatever else is on that weekend—whether it be the Thanksgiving weekend shopping or the theme parks. It's just what we have to deal with, and we do our best to make it the best possible experience."

Miller did make an adjustment to show hours, closing one hour earlier on the weekend (from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m.) but adding an hour on the last day of the show (from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.).

"All in all, we were very happy with the way things turned out," added Miller. "Everyone had a lot of fun."

Profile: Central Florida International Auto Show

Nov. 24-27, 2013

Orange County Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
321,300 square feet

$10 adults (13 and over), $5 seniors (65+), $5 military (with ID), $5 students (under 21 w/ID), $3 children (7-12), FREE children 6 and under.  Family Day, Sun. Nov. 30 (12 & under) FREE

Show Hours:
Thanksgiving Day: 12 noon – 9 pm; Friday and Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm; Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
ATAE Barbara Miller
Executive Vice President
Central Florida Auto Dealers Association

Show Website:

Phoenix: First class facility, pent up demand drive show

While ATAE Knox Ramsey of the Arizona International Auto Show in Phoenix can't be faulted for being upbeat about posting a 15.7% attendance increase over last year, the real good news is a significant increase in the percentage who say they intend to buy a vehicle.

Indeed, more than half (51% compared with last year's 42%) expressed in an electronic survey done by the show that they would be visiting a showroom in the next 12 months.

And with industry observers acknowledging the solid link between expressed intention and ultimate dealership sales figures, that can only mean good news for Ramsey and members at the Valley Auto Dealers Association, which owns the show.

"That's obviously a good sign that we have a very strong market here."

Having what Ramsey called the "first class" facility—the Phoenix Convention Center—certainly doesn't hurt, especially when it comes to having high ceilings, great lighting and a layout that makes for stress-FREE operation of the 13 Ride and Drives featured at the show.

"We've had manufacturers tell us that our show provides one of the best spaces anywhere for these types of features," said Ramsey, referencing the fact that visitors entering the show pass the Ride and Drive section on their way to show exhibits.

Having a fully staffed registration table near the entrance turned out to be beneficial as well, he added. "We hand our guests the show layout and assist with anyone asking for more information."

That table is also a spot where the production company, Motor Trend Auto Shows, offers complimentary one-year subscriptions to Motor Trend magazine.

For Ramsey's organization, having visitors fill out the free subscription form is a long-term benefit. "It's a very convenient way to build an accurate database that we use to reach out through direct marketing to people who genuinely like to go to the show every year, even if they're not necessarily in the market for a car or truck."

Phoenix may also be bucking another national trend in that its residents seem to be readers of daily newspapers. "Just under 20% of visitors said they heard about the auto show through newspapers, which is identical to TV," said Ramsey. "Which means it remains a very important method of communicating for us."

And if there's any doubt shows like the Arizona International Auto Show are doing what dealers intend, consider the story of one visitor who left the show, headed to a local Mercedes-Benz dealership, and bought three new vehicles, one for himself and one each for two of his daughters.

"It was a good day for one of our members," quipped Ramsey.

Profile: Arizona International Auto Show

Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 2013

Phoenix Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
325,000 square feet

Adults, $11; Seniors, Children (7-12), Military, $7; children under 6 admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult.

Thurs., 9 am-7 pm; Fri.-Sat., 9 am-9 pm; Sun., 9 am-7 pm

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
ATAE Knox Ramsey
602.468-0888 ext. 104

Show Website:

San Diego: Later date, return to five days a formula for success
Organizers also shake things up by rearranging floor plan

Dean Mansfield, president of the New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County, knows that there’s a lot riding on the success of the San Diego International Auto Show (SDIAS).

“We know that the manufacturers are watching closely,” said Mansfield. “We need to continue to think creatively and act differently each and every year to keep their attention, especially since we precede the Detroit show.”

The SDIAS team has worked hard to maintain that level of excellence, consistently delivering one of the top-rated shows in the Western United States. And, the 2014 show, which returned to its five-day format, opening on New Year’s Day, was no different judging from the large, steady crowds. The show reported a 10% attendance increase over 2013.

The holiday opening did not daunt show director Kevin Leap.

“We typically run during the New Year’s holiday, and January 1st tends to be one of our strongest days,” said Leap. “Opening on New Year’s Day was like having Saturday attendance mid-week. You can’t ask for more than that.”

Leap, who continually thinks of ways to invigorate the show, also created a modified floor plan, moving manufacturers from traditional locations, sometimes filling the space with feature items like a portable movie theater.

“We want to provide as much exposure as we can for each of our exhibitors,” said Leap. “By rearranging the floor plan, attendees are able to see more of the show as they make their way toward a chosen brand or feature destination.”

One thing that didn’t change, according to Leap, was the popularity of the Ride & Drive events. The SDIAS continued to offer what is thought to be the largest number of indoor-outdoor Ride & Drive opportunities (14) for a show its size.

“We are in a unique position to be able to facilitate a large contingent of Ride & Drives,” said Leap. “With street access both in front and in the rear of the Convention Center, we can position manufacturers without encroaching on their space, providing an ideal setting for their products and show attendees.”

The fact that the show is considered a success by automakers motivates the team to work even harder, added Mansfield.

“We have a brief window when the attention of the industry is focused on San Diego,” said Mansfield. “We don’t take that for granted, which is evident in our solid relationships with the OEMs.”

Profile: San Diego International Auto Show

Jan. 1-5, 2014

San Diego Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
525,000 Square feet

$12 adults (13 and over), $9 seniors (62+), $9 military (with ID), $8 children (7-12), FREE children 6 and under. Family Day, Sun., Jan. 4, (12 and under) FREE

Show Hours:
Jan. 1–4, 10 am – 9 pm, Jan. 5, 10 am – 7 pm

Produced by:
New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County

Show Contact:
Kevin Leap
San Diego International Auto Show

Show Website:

San Jose: Red hot market fuels show

Let's just call it what it is: a brand new show.

That's what ATAE Steve Smith, president of the Silicon Valley Auto Dealers Association, did when he and his team essentially rebranded the Silicon Valley International Auto Show.

"It had a whole new look to it," noted Smith, referring to the impact of a substantial increase in square footage of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, which, with a 60,000 square foot expansion, can go as high as 550,000 square feet in total.

"That's a big deal for us," said Smith. "For starters there's a new grand ballroom, which we used for the exotics category."

What some might consider "eye candy" was effectively used to entice visitors into the rest of the show. In the case of the San Jose show, there's likely a higher percentage of "lookers" who actually become customers.

"We have one of the highest household incomes in the nation and the highest educational levels," added Smith. "When you tie it all together, those vehicles are right up front for those people to see."

A tie-in with Dupont Registry Live helped provide even more momentum.

"It was a huge draw for us, with a Bugatti Veyron and Porsche 959 part of the consignment that made it to the show," said Smith.

In the end, the show enjoyed a very healthy 11.4 percent increase in attendance.

"Last year, we sold 80,000 cars in this market," said Smith. "That's the best we've done since 2002, which says a lot about pent up demand."

That, he added, will likely continue for at least the next couple of years.

For this year, continuing expansion activity at the convention center worked its way into the amount of space available for Ride and Drives, coordination efforts that will likely be part of planning efforts for the next show.

"We're working hard to make sure the Ride and Drives don't completely overwhelm the convention center and one of the ways we'll do that is by taking some of those into the local streets," said Smith.

Profile: Silicon Valley International Auto Show

Jan. 9-12, 2014

San Jose McEnery Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
340,000 square feet

Adults, $11; Seniors, Children (7-12), Military, and Students (under 21 with school ID), $8; children under 6 admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult.

Thurs.-Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sun., 10 am-6 pm

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
ATAE Stephen C. Smith

Show Website:

Show Directory

Albany Auto Show
3/7/2014 - 3/9/2014

Albany Empire State Plaza Auto Show
10/31/2013 - 11/3/2013

New Mexico International Auto Show
4/11/2014 - 4/13/2014

Orange County Auto Show
10/2/2014 - 10/5/2014

Atlanta International Auto Show
3/26/2014 - 3/30/2014

Austin Auto Show
5/16/2014 - 5/18/2014

Motor Trend International Auto Show—Baltimore
1/1/2015 - 1/4/2015

Bethlehem, PA
Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show
3/20/2014 - 3/23/2014

Alabama International Auto Show
11/13/2014 - 11/16/2014

New England International Auto Show
1/15/2015 - 1/19/2015

Buffalo Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/8/2015

Calgary International Auto & Truck Show
3/12/2014 - 3/16/2014

West Virginia International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/18/2015

Charlotte International Auto Show
11/20/2014 - 11/23/2014

Chicago Auto Show
2/14/2015 - 2/22/2015

Cincinnati Auto Expo
2/18/2015 - 2/22/2015

Cleveland Auto Show
3/1/2014 - 3/9/2014

Columbus International Auto Show
3/13/2014 - 3/16/2014

DFW Auto Show in Dallas
2/19/2014 - 2/23/2014

Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show
2/6/2015 - 2/8/2015

Dayton Auto Show
2/20/2014 - 2/23/2014

Denver Auto Show
4/9/2014 - 4/13/2014

North American International Auto Show
1/17/2015 - 1/25/2015

Edmonton Motor Show
4/10/2014 - 4/13/2014

Fort Worth
DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth
11/6/2014 - 11/9/2014

Central California Auto Show
11/14/2014 - 11/16/2014

South Carolina International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/18/2015

Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Auto Show
1/29/2015 - 2/1/2015

Connecticut International Auto Show
11/21/2014 - 11/23/2014

First Hawaiian International Auto Show
4/14/2014 - 4/16/2014

Houston Auto Show
1/21/2015 - 1/25/2015

Indianapolis Auto Show
12/26/2014 - 1/1/2015

Kansas City
Kansas City International Auto Show
3/5/2014 - 3/9/2014

Las Vegas
Las Vegas International Auto Show
11/28/2014 - 11/30/2014

Long Beach
So Cal Test Drive Expo
4/26/2014 - 4/27/2014

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Auto Show
11/21/2014 - 11/30/2014

Carl Casper Custom and Louisville New Car Auto Show
2/21/2014 - 2/23/2014

Miami International Auto Show
11/7/2014 - 11/16/2014

Greater Milwaukee International Auto Show
2/21/2015 - 3/1/2015

Minneapolis/St. Paul
Greater St. Paul & Minneapolis International Auto Show
3/8/2014 - 3/16/2014

Montreal International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/25/2015

New Orleans
New Orleans International Auto Show
3/21/2014 - 3/23/2014

New York
New York International Auto Show
4/18/2014 - 4/27/2014

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City International Auto Show
3/6/2014 - 3/9/2014

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma State Fair Auto Show
9/11/2014 - 9/21/2014

Midlands International Auto Show
1/22/2015 - 1/25/2015

Central Florida International Auto Show
11/27/2014 - 11/30/2014

Philadelphia International Auto Show
2/8/2014 - 2/16/2014

Arizona International Auto Show
11/27/2014 - 11/30/2014

Pittsburgh International Auto Show
2/14/2014 - 2/17/2014

Portland International Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/8/2015

Northeast International Auto Show
2/7/2014 - 2/9/2014

Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
3/21/2014 - 3/23/2014

Rochester International Auto Show
2/26/2015 - 3/1/2015

Sacramento International Auto Show
10/17/2014 - 10/19/2014

Saint Louis
Saint Louis International Auto Show
1/22/2015 - 1/25/2015

Salt Lake City
Utah International Auto Expo
1/16/2015 - 1/19/2015

San Antonio
San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
11/20/2014 - 11/23/2014

San Diego
San Diego International Auto Show
1/1/2015 - 1/4/2015

San Jose
Silicon Valley International Auto Show
1/9/2014 - 1/12/2014

Seattle International Auto Show
10/16/2013 - 10/20/2013

Spokane International Auto Show
2/14/2014 - 2/16/2014

Tampa Bay International Auto Show
11/14/2014 - 11/16/2014

Greater Toledo Auto Show
2/6/2014 - 2/9/2014

Canadian International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/22/2015

Tulsa Auto Show
3/13/2014 - 3/16/2014

Vancouver International Auto Show
3/25/2014 - 3/30/2014

Washington Auto Show
1/23/2015 - 2/1/2015


Automotive Trade Association Executives

8400 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102

Bob Israel
ATAE Chairman

Jennifer Colman
ATAE Executive Director

ASNA Committee

Greg Remensperger, committee chair
Portland International Auto Show

Rod Alberts
North American International Auto Show

Loretta Allman
Charlotte International Auto Show

Stacey Castle
Sacramento International Auto Show

Mark Schienberg
New York International Auto Show

Loy Todd
Nebraska New Car & Truck Association

Lou Vitantonio
Cleveland Auto Show

Steve Smith
Of Counsel for ASNA Summer Meeting
Silicon Valley International Auto Show

The Auto Show Report

Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

J.D. Booth, writer

Marc Harlow, writer

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