One of the things that typically drives the auto world is new cars, major redesigns and other aesthetic updates that shout "I've got the newest one" to family, friends, coworkers and the world. This week the LA Auto Show hits and hopefully the traffic will too.
If SEMA and LAAS are strong indicators of what's to come, hopefully it's a good sign. SEMA attendance and exhibitor counts were down but it was still extremely busy and took me 15 minutes to cross from the end of the North Hall to the far end of the South Hall for a meeting with Tiegen Fryberger at Geckobyte.
LA Auto Show has emerged as a player on the world stage over the past couple of years (considering it's the home of bling) and with this year's list of new models, looks to maintain a strong position. Will the consumers show up? With the Mustang, Volt, Touareg TDI, Mini E and many more, the foot traffic should be a good indicator of what may translate to retail later in 2009.
With less (apparent) media build-up to the show than prior and nearly no dealers talking about it, how are we doing as an industry to build up demand even considering the financial uncertainty? It would be great to have seen a number of dealers in the area (like Sullivan, Sage, Rydell, Rusnak, etc) get together, split the bill, and have an event that gets promoted on the web, have current customers at a catered event adjascent to the show and then everyone hits the floor and checks out the cars.
Even though it's been said before, we have to think and act differently if we expect different results. Don't have a major show in your city? Start your own 'show' or other conecpt and brings your customers and their friends in for no-pressure test drives, 'ask-the-expert' sessions or other ideas that you know more about that I do.
In the end, it's your business. What do you want out of it? New product will always bring in new customes but you can't rest your business on it. We have in the past. This year I've heard that battle cry from so many dealers: "next year we'll have the new blah-blah-blah and that will get customers running through the door" or "the buzz on next year's neezer-nazzer is awesome, so nobody wants this year's model".
Do what you can to excel, not wait. Success comes to those to plan, study and execute, then do it again and again. Remember that you're better off looking into the future in stead of staying in the past. Isn't it great how well we've all done in the past? What are you going to say two years from now?
Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results