(DETROIT, Mich., July 14, 2015) – For decades, auto dealer groups across the United States and Canada have made the case that the annual events they host – auto shows – are among the most effective ways to reach the car-buying public, offering what amounts to a one-stop, pre-shopping experience before they make a trip to a dealership.
While that argument has been largely based on anecdotal evidence, with dealers telling stories about a spike in traffic in the days and weeks following an event, a formal research study is now confirming the strong link between attendance at an auto show and the likelihood of a new vehicle purchase.
The study – “The Power of Auto Shows” – was commissioned by Auto Shows of North America (ASNA), a group of 65 auto shows from around the United States and Canada, and released today. ASNA members are meeting this week for their regular summer conference, a two-day event being held this year at the historic Dearborn Inn.
Prepared by Foresight Research, a firm that counts several automakers among its clientele, the study makes what ASNA Chairman Lou Vitantonio calls “unassailable evidence” of the link between auto shows and actual vehicle sales in various markets.
Vitantonio, who is also executive director of the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers Association and the Cleveland Auto Show, said the study showed a correlation between people who attended an auto show and the likelihood they would buy a new vehicle at some point in the 12 months following the event. — more — AUTO SHOWS KEY TO
For example, some 57% of those attending an auto show say they intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within 12 months. More than half also said an auto show influenced their decision to buy. ”
Auto shows, large or small, provide a unique opportunity for consumers to see virtually every brand available in a market,” said Vitantonio. “It’s an incredibly effective and efficient way for consumers to do their market research prior to making a purchase.” While the Foresight Research study shows a strong correlation between auto show attendance and vehicle registrations, it also reveals how attendance can translate into word of mouth influence and how likely it is for an individual display to lead to the purchase of a particular brand.
The study confirms several key points, specifically that auto shows:
- Attract, educate and motivate shoppers to visit new car and truck dealerships
- Generate action long after the conclusion of an auto show
- Provide deep engagement with vehicle brands and are pivotal to brand decisions for many buyers
- Dovetail with digital marketing efforts as well as broadcast to assist consumers in their vehicle purchase decision
- Vitantonio points to the ability of auto shows to captivate future customers as being key to the ultimate buying process.
“Auto shows captivate people,” he said. “They educate, entertain and amaze. Consumers know they can see a wide variety of new vehicle technologies, including those that will make them safer on the road, be kinder to the environment and provide them with a more entertaining experience. Plus, all of these can be found under one roof.”
Auto Shows of North America, founded in 2003, is a committee of Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE) formed to provide networking opportunities for ATAE members with responsibility for an auto show. The mission of ASNA is to be the industry resource for auto show information and education, and to provide a network for communication between show executives, manufacturers, other industry affiliates, and media.