Posted Friday, Jul 17, 2020
Author: Benjamin Rangel
Some believe that the auto show era is going the way of the Dodo. The events of auto shows were already in trouble before the world wide shut down of automakers. Due to the rising costs of displaying and unveiling new vehicles every year at shows worldwide, many brands have abandoned these large shows for independent offsite events or online reveals. With the larger market of consumers being millennials internet shopping is rising in influence. However, the biggest blow to the auto shows is currently the ongoing coronavirus Pandemic.
The largest shows being Geneva, Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo where millions of consumers and auto industry companies meet and create buzz on future vehicle debuts, technologies, and environmental leaps in the automotive creation process. One single event can be upwards of $1.5 million. Terri Toennies, president of the Los Angeles Auto Show, argues that “browsing on the internet isn’t the same as sitting and touching a vehicle.”
“Statistics show 68 percent of attendees are in the market to buy a car within a year,” she added. “Manufacturers skipping shows miss opportunities to expose themselves to new consumers.”
Having 120-year-old history the New York Auto show moved their dates in April 2020 to August 2020 and then canceled off a 2020 show altogether. Mark Schienberg, the New York show’s president had this to say about the current events. “There’s a proven track record of what they do for the industry,” he added. “There are ups and downs in attendance because of weather and school schedules, but attendance is constant. And think about it: Hundreds of thousands of people pay their own money to look at a product that somebody wants them to buy.”
Auto shows officially canceled in 2020:
Being that the world is on a day to day coronavirus pandemic watch, there are still auto shows moving forward with their regularly scheduled programming (These shows are normally set for later in the year).
Auto shows pending in 2020:
The pandemic has made the future of auto shows hazy. Organizers in the United States have set their sights on the recent Hunan Auto Show in China as a guide. Visitors underwent strict identification and health screening, were required to wear masks and were told to wash hands often.
“When our show opens in the fall,” said Ms. Toennies of the Los Angeles show, “we have to decide whether to let people inside the cars. If so, do interiors need to be immediately disinfected? Normally the cars are eight feet apart. Do they now have to be 10 or 12 feet apart?
As a result, the world is different and as businesses and consumers work towards a new tomorrow. Most noteworthy is the main goal to which automakers will focus on the wellness and safety of their staff and attendees.