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Note to New York: Pair luxury brands with mainstream counterparts

I've covered many auto shows, and I've lived and worked in New York City, but this was my first visit to the New York International Auto Show.

I found the sprawling, multilevel layout downright confusing.

But what really had me scratching my head was the separation of mainstream and luxury brands.

Lexus and Acura? Nowhere near Toyota and Honda. Audi? Nestled next to Porsche and Saab rather than Volkswagen.

Maybe this could be a good thing if you're Lincoln and you're struggling to stand out from the Ford division. In Detroit, where luxury brands are seated next to their parent brands, Lincoln seemed shoved to a corner, almost like an afterthought.

But what if you're Toyota and Honda? There has to be some cachet in resting next to Lexus and Acura. I'm guessing that Joe Q. Public might be more inclined to take a gander at the latest Corolla or Civic if he was ogling the IS C or TSX next door.

And as an auto journalist with sore feet by the end of the day, I admit I have my own reasons for preferring the luxury brands near their mainstream siblings.

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