How important are auto shows?

If there is a constant throughout the automotive world, it is the use of auto shows to display and market the industry's products.

You might wonder why we have so many shows. And you can't help but ask whether they're worth the money that the industry spends on them.

My guess is that few things this industry does are as cost effective as auto shows, both in the United States and overseas.

When you stop and think about it, there simply can't be a more effective marketing tool for retailers and manufacturers.

An auto show enables them to display all the products available for sale. And then they can invite thousands of prospective buyers to come and check out those products. And quite often, they even charge the potential customer an admission fee.

That's a remarkable feat if you can get away with it.

We all know that advertising works wonders. No other category in the country spends as much money as automobiles.

There is national, regional and local advertising. There are local classified ads in the newspapers. And there are radio and TV.

Despite all that, there is always the question about the effectiveness of media advertising. As a well-known retailer once said, "I know half of my advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half."

Automakers and their dealers spend millions of dollars on auto shows, but the money is well spent.

Plus, nothing in this business is more fun than a good old auto show. We have auto shows in small towns all across America, and we have huge international auto shows around the world.

The public seems to flock to all of them simply because they want to see the newest products the industry has to offer.

Within a month, we'll start the newest round of auto shows.

The Washington show opens to the public the day after Christmas. Then comes Los Angeles, followed by the North American International Auto Show, which draws thousands of journalists from around the world to Detroit every January.

So, the shows are about to begin once again. It has been said that America's love affair with the automobile is over. If you know anyone who believes that, take him to an auto show. He'll quickly change his mind.

Tags: Auto Shows

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