QOTD: Once Again We Ask How Auto Show Media Days Can Be Saved

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I hate to repeat QOTDs, and I know I've asked a version of the upcoming QOTD at least twice -- but I am struggling a bit with ideas today, and I am also thinking, still, nearly a week later, about how dead NAIAS was in Detroit.

We wrote about it. Jalopnik wrote about it. Others wrote about it, and many journos posted about it on social. So, how can the media day regain its former glory, if it even should?

I've said my take -- media days are being killed by OEM offsites, the lack of far-out concepts (Lincoln had a concept that espoused radical design this year, but for the most part, concept cars are now thinly-veiled versions of production vehicles), and by giving journalists embargoed material for pre-writing. That last bit means that press conferences rarely surprise.

I know a lot of automotive-media consumers don't give a rat's butt about auto-show media days. But I also know that at least some of you do. I know some of our audience is comprised of industry employees, and I also know that some TTAC readers are the kind of automotive enthusiasts who care about this minutiae. So, I ask you, if you were working for an auto show, how would you save the media day?

[Image: NAIAS]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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Join the conversation
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Sep 20, 2022

    I'm not sure it can be saved. The auto show is an analog experience in a digital world, as it were. Younger people are more interested in a website and app than they are in touching product. And you can do that in the comfort of your home, without going across town to a convention center. Why bother?

  • Dwford Dwford on Sep 20, 2022

    Perhaps the automakers could stop with the intentional "leaks," just for starters. Then maybe take the actual auto show seriously, and stop with the off site side events. Bring everything back to the show.

    As for the show itself, why do we have to pay admission to basically walk through a dealer showroom? Are we paying for the comfort of not having a salesman stalk us?

    • RHD RHD on Sep 23, 2022

      Is this really a priority concern for the average TTAC reader, who is working for a living, raising a family and paying his bills?

  • Wolfwagen Wolfwagen on Sep 21, 2022

    -Stop intentional leaks

    -Stop offsite events

    -Manufacturers need to come up with new interesting designs. Look at Alpha, Canoo, and Rivian.

    -Manufacturers need to develop and show off their technology and engineering (this is where electric cars really suck because an electric motor is an electric motor. think of the engineering back in the day of getting 300+ HP out of a 4-cylinder. Now if they could develop an electric motor that makes 300+ HP and is the size of an alternator that would be truly impressive )

    -I understand that trucks and SUVs/CUVs are hot but not everyone wants one. Bring back coupes, wagons, and 2-door SUVs. Even a concept is better than some of the real offerings

    -Stop making everything look like some soulless blob.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dwford Dwford on Sep 21, 2022

      It's nearly impossible to make the SUV shape sexy or premium looking. Regardless of price, they all look the same, except Maybe the Lamborghini Urus

  • Joe Joe on Nov 02, 2022

    If the automakers saw value in media days and auto shows, there would be media days and auto shows. The world has moved on, traditional auto journalists aren’t the arbiters anymore, consumers couldn’t care less. The question shows a serious lack of self awareness and perceived self importance, common threads throughout journalism today.