Alex Maier, marketing director at Sunset Audi near Portland, Ore., is planning one of the larger parties, with 500 to 600 guests in a World War II-era machine shop converted into an event space. Pyramid Breweries, a West Coast brewpub group, will serve craft beer. Snacks will include gazpacho shots and bacon chocolate-chip cookies.
An Audi dealer in the industrial Midwest, meanwhile, was still searching for young people to invite. Electronic music and quirky food won't resonate with the store's older clientele, but this dealer was determined to throw a good party.
"Some dealers are pooh-poohing this thing," said the dealer, who asked not to be named so as not to harm ties with Audi. "But I'm saying, what the hell? We haven't had a party in a while. We're going all out."