It’s that time of year again… DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids is packed to the rafters with automobile enthusiasts for the Michigan International Auto Show. People travel from hundreds of miles away to catch “reveals” from all the major car and truck manufacturers. You’ll find a little bit of the old (vintage) mixed in with the brand new (concepts), so there’s literally something for everyone. As it pertains to the latter, these proposed designs often utilize this event as a barometer for customer interest, making it one of the most effective forms of marketing new product. More ideas are abandoned than ever make it to the production floor, but within the confines of this fine convention center dreams will be realized.
If you’ve not attended one of these events, this may be the year to do so. With the major three (GM, Ford, and Chrysler, respectively) now creating some distance between their financial bailout, that familiar hum is back in the air. There’s a renewed vibe, almost as if to ask consumers to never lose faith in this industry again. Mind you, to some, these companies still have a ways to go before confidence is fully restored. Nevertheless, representatives from just about every possible brand will be available, and you can bet they feel spending time with them is well worth the sacrifice.
You might consider stopping down before the show ends, which is only a few short days away from the time this brief blog entry is being published. You have only until February 3rd to take in the action, so to speak. Remember, this is the auto industry’s main stage so you can expect the “red carpet” experience from all the key players. If that’s not enough, it’s often quite entertaining to wage a friendly guess on which vehicles will take home the event’s highest honors, including but not limited to Car/Truck of the Year. You can bet JD Power and Associates will be called on to help hand out the hardware. Should your favorite win the grand prize, keep in mind there will inevitably be lease/purchase options to follow, all of which generally push the envelope in terms of competitive pricing.
Please say hello if you happen to see one of us at the show.