What happened to the Houston Auto Show?

from Reddit;

What happened to the Houston Auto Show?

I went for the first time in about 8 years yesterday, I remember every manufacturer was on the showroom floor. This year I lost count of brands that weren’t there. No Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, or Acura just to name a few.

While dodge/Jeep/Chrysler had test drives outside they didn’t have anything on the showroom floor.

Was this due to the nationwide weather or just the event dropping the ball?

Answer:

I think that executives just realized that the show no longer aligned with the Houston market.

Next year’s show will just consist of a single Nissan Altima with paper plates and a half ripped-off front bumper.

intercst

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Several years ago we had one owner group decide it wasn’t worth it and they pulled out.

They have the dealerships for Infiniti, Acura, Volkswagen, Volvo, Audi, Maserati, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, Fiat, and a couple of “next town over” dealerships for Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM.

Needless to say, the “Auto Show” doesn’t have a lot of “autos” in it anymore.

(Meanwhile, that dealership holds a free event called “Cars & Coffee” where they display outside the local mall on a Sunday morning later in the year and before the mall opens for the day, and invite anybody with collector cars to come and show off too. Gets a huge reaction.)

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The Detroit auto show has seen many brands, particularly expensive ones, abandon the show. The automakers complain about the rampant damage done to their cars. (I remember trying out a Mazda3, at the show, that was particularly sad. Not only were many buttons and knobs missing from the interior, several of the nameplates had been pried off the body)

I suspect abandoning car shows is another vector of “customer service is a cost to be minimized”. Not that many years ago, stands at car shows had bins of brochures available, and a few stands offered bags to carry the brochures in. A friend of mine went to a show last year. He reported that a couple stands were still handing out the bags, but no-one had any literature to put in the bags. As I own a VW, I have occasion to be in a VW dealer a couple times a year, to have the car serviced. Over the last couple years, I have noticed they don’t even have brochures in the dealership. You are told, if you want any information, go to the web site.

The Detroit auto show experimented with moving the show to summer, and making more of a theme park with glitz and rides, to cover up the missing brands. That failed, so, next year, the show goes back to January.

Steve