So much emphasis has been placed on bikes and mobility at two shows that represent traditional automotive powerhouses — Detroit and Germany — it begs a question: Is there still room for car reveals and enthusiasts who remain fascinated with horsepower and torque? Or, to use multimodal mobility metaphors, has that ship sailed?
"That's a very interesting question," said Lisa Kaz, owner and CEO of ANSA Productions, which plans and produces Automobility LA, which was the first show to adapt to Silicon Valley's interest in the auto industry when it added the Connected Car Expo conference in 2013.
She cautions against painting all shows with the same brush and anticipates that they will stay focused on what excites consumers in their respective markets. In Munich, that may be an emphasis on bikes and e-bikes.
In Los Angeles, it's an emphasis on electric vehicles, which reverberate with the EV startups in the area, government policy and consumers alike.
That's the direction Automobility LA has charted in the past and will continue toward this November. Kaz said that EVs made up approximately 40 percent of the 72 debuts at the 2019 L.A. show, and she anticipates the percentage of EVs will be even higher this year.
"It makes sense that other events aren't going to be embracing it as much because their consumers aren't there and the markets aren't there," Kaz said. "We're much farther into the future in terms of embracing those trends. We have government support for EVs, OEMs interested and consumers. That's a tsunami."
As much as industry and government fingerprints on EV development have shaped the show, so has the pandemic.
Practically and pragmatically, Los Angeles is planning to hold a greater proportion of the show outdoors. That's as much to ward off COVID-19 as it is to meet consumers where their interests lie.
"More people are outdoors now, and their whole lifestyles have shifted," Kaz said. "That trend has accelerated during COVID and because of COVID. People are spending time outdoors; you see boat and RV sales through the roof. They're eating outdoors. We're seeing people value the outdoors and interactive experiences. So that will extend to our space and exhibits."