This year's strong sales shouldn't be a surprise. Increased attendance at nearly all 1999 auto shows promised increased sales. The same was true last year.
New-car dealer associations sponsor more than 70 shows each year in the United States. Six out of 10 families who attend will buy or lease a new vehicle within 12 months. One in four will buy or lease within six months, and one in seven will take possession of a new vehicle within a few days or weeks of attending a show.
Auto shows offer manufacturers and dealers the largest concentration of buyers their salespeople can meet, influence and sell. The key to success is to go there prepared to sell. Rick Kranz of Automotive News spelled that out in his June 15, 1998, column titled 'Let a pro work your auto show exhibit.'
Kranz's conclusion: 'A multimillion-dollar exhibit isn't worth two cents if it isn't supported by a well-trained staff - people who desire to make a good impression for the product and the automaker.'
Los Alamitos, Calif.