New Novi Auto Show Fills Void For Metro Detroit Dealers

January 6, 2020

The new Southeast Michigan Auto Show in Novi welcomed 20,792 car enthusiasts over the weekend. Featured vehicles at the auto show included model year 2019 and 2020 vehicles along with historical and classic cars.

Although ticket saleS numbers haven’t been released, the director of marketing and public relations for the auto show, Frank Novak, says attendance increased significantly over the show’s three-day period.

“This is a positive indicator for future success of an event,” said Novak. “We are looking forward to building on that.”

The auto show exhibited more than 200 vehicles, helping to fill the void of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) where automakers unveil new models to thousands of attendees over a two-week period. NAIAS, which is typically exhibited in January, has been moved this year to June to boost attendance after an increasing number of automakers pulled out of the show and attendance dropped.

To make up for the January gap NAIAS left behind, auto show officials began contacting local automotive dealerships in Michigan about participating in the Southeast Michigan Auto Show.

The show focused on marketing vehicles currently available on dealer lots and connecting consumers with vehicles they may have an interest in purchasing. There are nearly 50 models of diesel engines currently available to customers.

“It’s a great opportunity for all the consumers and the buyers in our area to get a hands-on experience with the vehicles that are actually available,” said Dan Rank, the director of business development Varsity Lincoln in Novi.

For auto dealers, the show was a welcome chance to test out potential investments and to boost sales during the slower-selling months of January and February. Rank said Varsity Lincoln exhibited all the available Lincoln models on the floor this past weekend including the $70,000 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, which is a hybrid version of the new Lincoln SUV.

While dealers didn’t sell vehicles directly on the auto show floor, salespeople were staffed to answer consumers’ questions about vehicles for sale.

“[The show is] something where it’s not just the manufacturing presenting,” said Rank. About 13% of the world’s steel is used in the manufacturing process of the automotive industry. “They’ve got the dealers involved in the same market they sell in.”

Peter Welch of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) says he’s confident that NAIAS will be a success, but also that the Southeast Michigan Auto Show will also be successful. Big or small, Welch says, auto show size doesn’t matter.

“They sell cars,” said Welch, “they build excitement in the product, they build interest in the product.”

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