Where’d You Get Them Wheels? – Auto Shows, Your Dealership and Your Business

Conceptualized Ford Transit Commercial

Conceptualized Ford Transit Commercial

What a beauty!

What a beauty!

Passenger and commercial manufacturers of cars, trucks, vans and more, use shows to guage consumer’s reactions to new releases. I was told by several representatives that cameras monitor attendee behavior. Visual feedback is a strong indicator of what people like, which products attract the most onlookers who in turn stand around trained speakers describing their floor model, what features we point to, our questions and feedback to reps.

And you thought you were just going to look.

Here are a few things I learned about manufacturers;

1. Vehicles presented at an auto show may or may not be released for sale .

2. Release dates are affected by many factors including supplier committments prior to manufacture.

3. Dealerships may be the last to know.

4. Manufacturers offer car show incentives to test drive their products to see how many attendees take the bait.

5. Terrific give-aways are usually in plentiful supply at the start of each show day.

If your business would benefit by having a shiny, new, next year’s model something, consider the wait.  I found my cargo van / mobile office 21 months before delivery and I was one of the first in the country to pre-order and receive it. My van was delivered to me before my dealership received a single one. Moreover, my dealership had no real sense of when it was available for pre-order until the last minute due to the date being repeatedly pushed back. The white van in the picture is similar to the one I ordered.

There are well known custom manufacturers that build vehicles from the ground up. Chances are they won’t be at an auto show. But some will, like food truck converters / upfitters. They specialize in taking the shell of a vehicle, then turning it into the finished product based on your business needs.  In 2012, I saw Ford display a wide array of cars, trucks and vans used by ambulances, police, electricians, plumbers and more. Seen in this photo of a bare bones Transit Commercial High Top in 2012 is still not released in early 2014, even though the factory was built with this model in mind.

Can’t forget banks. They’ll be at the show to promote their financing rates and packages.

copyright 2014

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