More than half of auto show goers who bought vehicles after attending the events say the shows influenced their purchase decisions, according to a new study commissioned by Auto Shows of North America.
ASNA, a group consisting of 65 auto shows in the U.S. and Canada, says dealers have noticed upticks in traffic following shows in the past, but that was “largely based on anecdotal evidence.”
So the newly released study, titled “The Power of Auto Shows,” dug into this phenomenon to see just how effective the shows really are.
Foresight Research, which conducted the study, surveyed 21,000 local market residents who did not attend a show, more than 8,900 visitors of brand displays, 7,500 new vehicle buyers and 3,000 local market show attendees.
"What we've come to see, in both challenging times and buoyant periods, like the one we are in now, is how the market itself and auto shows across the country seem to align,” said ASNA Chairman Lou Vitantonio today during a press conference announcing the findings. “Dealers in virtually all markets that host auto shows will tell you — when people show up at an auto show, in the days, weeks and months that follow, dealerships become busier places.”
A brand can lose a potential buyer just as quickly as it can gain one during an auto show.
According to the study, 46 percent of attendees say they either “added” brands to their purchase consideration or “subtracted” them.
In another key finding, the study indicates that attendees use auto shows to cross-shop vehicles. Researchers found that 56 percent of visitors compare vehicles and shop before a trip to the dealership.
Hyundai welcomes the cross shoppers.
“At an auto show, you’re always next to someone. We’re not afraid of that. We want that,” said Erik Thomas, manager of auto shows and exhibits for Hyundai Motor America, in an interview today. “We want them to compare the Sonata to the Camry, to the Honda Accord. We know we have something to offer.”
Hyundai is looking at technologies to make its displays more interactive in ways that are both informative and entertaining. Thomas said during the press conference that Hyundai could introduce virtual reality to its set-ups in the coming years with the Oculus Rift headset.
• 44 percent of people attend auto shows to learn about new vehicle technology.
• 70 percent of consumers who were influenced by an auto show talked to product specialists in displays.
• The average attendee is nearly twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
• 75 percent of auto show attendees planned some, most or all of the displays they visited.
• 26 percent of those intending to buy a vehicle in the next 12 months left the show with their minds made up.