Commentary: The Stage is Set For a Truck Summit in Minneapolis

Four months from now, our local auto show will open – with a huge twist.

The Twin Cities Auto Show has been a permanent stop for the work of Victory & Reseda. While it helped this website deepen its commitment to the Twin Cities and Upper Midwest readership, it also is a huge economic engine for the city of Minneapolis.

Thanks to your patronage, the local economy experiences an annual economic impact of $19 Million. Over 41 percent of that figure goes into activities outside of the Minneapolis Convention Center – dining, staying overnight at a nearby hotel, attending a Timberwolves game at Target Center, visiting the Walker Art Museum, buying toiletries you forget to pack at the downtown Target, and so forth.

In turn, the Twin Cities Auto Show helps create an even deeper impact at local dealerships to the tune of $1.1 Billion. Whether you bought a Hyundai Kona or an Aston Martin Vantage, you probably saw it at the auto show and inquired at a local dealership sometime afterward.

These figures may pale in comparison to Tier 1 showcases, such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. However, the Twin Cities/Upper Midwest market offers another form of impact in terms of vehicle sales. Minnesota leads in truck and SUV sales per unit capita, yielding 82% of all new vehicle volume.

If you read any of my content over the past eight years, trucks and SUVs have been featured more prominently than all other four-wheeled vehicles. And, for good reason. With our climate, economy, and a general want of recreation; trucks and SUVs are seen as both necessities and luxuries at the same time, offering optimal traction during the winter and greater utility for individuals and families alike.

Because of all of this that the 2020 Twin Cities Auto Show – the state's largest annual consumer exhibition – will now add the National Truck Summit as part of their overall programming.

The National Truck Summit is an industry-led confab designed to discuss the impact of trucks and SUVs on the USA automotive market. The date has been set for March 6, the day before the opening of the auto show to the general public.

The event will feature consumer focus groups, new truck introductions, a luncheon hosted by Automotive News, and truck capability demonstrations. There will also be a panel will feature a study on the state's consumers and their defection from cars to trucks and SUVs.

Let me say this: In the decade-plus of attending and working the Twin Cities Auto Show, I welcome this new addition to our show. I am proud to be a part of the process that has seen the change in vehicle sales towards trucks and SUVs. I work with these vehicles in hopes that someone would read my thoughts on said vehicle and possibly buy one.

Here's another bragging point: #VOTY16 was won by an SUV. Trucks and SUVs had appeared on the final ballot of #VOTY for the past several years. You will also see that in this year's Long List of Nominees, a vast majority of them are trucks and SUVs.

I know that my core readers – ahem, you – would rather have me talk about sports cars, modded rides, and so forth. However, let's be real. I know some of you have trucks and SUVs – and use them! Therefore, a confab such as this is relevant to the work done on this website.  

The bottom line is this: If you get the invitation to come to Minneapolis to be a part of the National Truck Summit on March 6, 2020 – consider yourself welcome! I hope you could attend this confab and come home with further knowledge of the realities of the automotive marketplace with trucks and SUVs leading new vehicle registrations.

Photo by Randy Stern

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