Commentary: What If I Attended Another Auto Show This Year?

The Ram ProMaster Reveal
Photo by Randy Stern

First, it was the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Then, it was the Chicago Auto Show. So, what is next?

If I took the Twin Cities Auto Show out of the equation – the answer would be "nothing." I wish that were not the case entirely.

Going to auto shows is part of this wonderful job. Being a part of the media corps, covering pressers of new vehicles, getting interviews or tidbits of quotes and snapping a slew of images – it is all worth it! Then again, I represent a different kind of media where the expectation of instant news is there. Instead, I choose to play it a bit more on a slower pace of pace to focus on quality, not instant gratification.

It works for me. It sounds like it works for you, as well.

So, I ask again – what is next? If doing NAIAS for the first time is off of my professional bucket list, what else could I consider to move the chains further for this site and this career?

Los Angeles.

Why the L.A. Auto Show? The primary reason is quite obvious: It is my hometown. It may not have been my first auto show I ever attended (that distinction goes to the long extinct and import-focused L.A. Auto Expo), but I attended my share of the big show at the Convention Center in my youth. Back in the old days, the Auto Show was in January, while the Auto Expo was in May. There was a time when the Auto Expo was held at the Sports Arena on the corner of Figueroa and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (formerly known as Santa Barbara Avenue).

I would probably not recognize the old venue these days. My last glimpse at the Convention Center included an entire complex with the Staples Center, the Nokia Theater and L.A. Live. It was only a brief glimpse, mind you. That would probably tell you when I was back home last.

To cover Los Angeles is to cover the first major North American auto show of the season. Last year trotted out some major introductions for Kia and Toyota, while providing the stage for vehicles introduced several weeks earlier in Paris and Moscow. Word has it that we should be in for some serious introductions in Los Angeles further down in November.

One might wonder why I would skip New York? The next two shows at the Javits Center will be chock full of amazing introductions that the credentialed media would be overflowing on that show floor. Not to mention that I doubt if the opportunity would arise for me to take the time off to do New York in April. I have already burned through half of my allotted vacation time at my day job because of NAIAS and Chicago – I need to preserve it for other, more exciting things coming up.

Los Angeles represents just more than media days at the Auto Show. It provides an opportunity to return to my hometown to see my family and my old friends again. My last trip in 2008 was amazing as it was Reseda-focused with many friends from my youth gathering together as a precursor for last year’s reunion. Since then, many other friends from my era began popping up on my Facebook feeds.

There are still many friends I do need to visit.

As for my family – my brother, his wife and kids are all I have left, really. It would be great to see them, too. We have not seen each other since 2007. Perhaps this next trip – whenever this will take place – will rectify that.

Maybe I should bring Matthew along to the Auto Show. After all, he has a growing social media presence and was a member of the computing media corps…that should be good enough for the credentialing folks at the L.A. Auto Show.

How would I actually do Los Angeles with covering the auto show in mind? Getting there is not cheap, though Sun Country Airlines (the Twin Cities-based discount carrier) usually has the lowest fares. Getting around might be a challenge, unless a media vehicle is available. Then again, I am not part of the automotive media corps' A-List who could land one with a snap of their fingers. Oh, and petrol is not cheap in Southern California by all means. It sounds like Metro (formerly known as the RTD in my day) is the way to go with their fancy rail system and Metro Rapid buses.

Accomodations might vary. Again, depending on the kindness of friends, strangers, potential ex-lovers and Priceline. Maybe playing the lottery is a better solution here.

I should just keep on dreaming. Los Angeles is my hometown and getting back there is a goal whether the Auto Show is involved or not. It is where the mythical intersection lives – somewhere near the heart of Reseda.

There is always Chicago – next year.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.