A number of major automotive events began to experience difficulties even before the pandemic, and the coronavirus certainly did not help, as a number of car dealerships were canceled, others were rethought and rescheduled.
Some automakers have reportedly decided to avoid major international events altogether. Lamborghini, for example, is looking for a closer “relationship” with customers, and they believe this can best be set at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Toyota and Lexus actually hosted their own mini car show last week at their US headquarters in Plano, Texas. The media event saw a number of debuts and officials used the panel discussion to discuss the future of traditional auto dealerships.
Car dealerships are still important, they said, as 11 million people visited them every year before the pandemic. However, they acknowledged that the shows are evolving and we may see more digital events in the future. This became common during the pandemic as it was impractical or safe to host large live events.
What the auto show of the future will look like remains unclear, but it could be more consumer-oriented. Officials referred to this, noting that they allow potential customers to view the entire line of models in one event without any pressure from sellers. However, this is difficult to completely abandon.
A recent study highlighted their importance as about 70% of families attending a New York auto show wanted to buy a new car within the next 12 months. What’s more, half of the families who decided to buy a new car said their visit to a car dealership influenced their choice.