Consumer Reports New Cars – November 2019

(Kiana) #1
CAR SHOWS ARE an excellent place for
shoppers to compare and contrast
the latest offerings without salespeople
looking over their shoulders.
Although the biggest events are in
Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and
New York, there are over 50 other auto
shows in cities across the U.S. through-
out the year, where shoppers can
check out cars in person while avoid-
ing the stress of a dealership visit.

Low Pressure
The ability to compare cars side by
side is a major benefit of going to an
auto show, according to Barbara Pud-
ney, vice president of Paragon Group,
which produces auto shows in Denver,
Boston, and other major U.S. cities.
“You’re thinking in your mind,
‘Camry,’ ” she says. “And you suddenly
get to match it to Sonata and Accord, and
they’re right there next to each other.”
Jake Fisher, senior director of auto
testing at Consumer Reports, agrees.
“An auto show is a fast, efficient way
to get into a variety of vehicles from
different manufacturers without the
pressure of a salesperson trying to
close a deal,” he says.

Look Before You Shop
Cars can’t be purchased at auto shows.
Instead of salespeople, auto makers
send trained representatives to answer

questions about the vehicles on display.
Toyota, for instance, sends its product
specialists to an in-depth training
session before auto-show season starts.
“This training involves several days
of brand immersion, hands-on product
learning, and consumer engagement
training,” says Vinay Shahani,
Toyota’s vice president of marketing.
Training continues between shows
as new models roll out.
Not all cars are at all shows. For
instance, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz,
and Porsche skipped the prestigious
2019 Detroit auto show, and some lux-
ury and sports car brands are largely
absent from regional shows, too. The
brands that are present don’t always
take every model to the show floor,
so be sure to ask about any options
or vehicles that aren’t on display.
At the smaller shows, automakers and
local dealers will often display cars
that are already on the market, but
there won’t be any major debuts
or concept cars.

Fun for the Family
At top-tier auto shows, automakers
will have the newest models and show
off concepts that might not go on sale
for years—or ever. Be aware, too, that
some of the production cars unveiled
at shows might not be available to buy
for several months or longer.


Almost all shows have sections
devoted to classic and exotic cars, and
also offer family activities that can help
make the expe ri ence enjoyable for all
ages. Which kind of show you should
attend—and how far you should travel—
depends on the kind of car you’re
looking for.
Although a study by the Auto
Shows of North America found that
57 percent of auto-show attendees
planned to buy a new car within the
next 12 months, Pudney says some
people go just to keep up with the
latest styles, technology, and safety.
“They want to know about it for
when their time comes,” she says.

Want to learn about the latest cars and compare
them to the competition? Head to an auto show.
They’re a great place to find your next vehicle—all
without the pressure to buy.

Auto Show


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