Summer Reissue : Showing Off

Is there any point in motor shows, we ask?

(c) autoexpress

The traditional large-format motor show it appears, is dying, as increasing numbers of carmakers are not only baulking at the expense of these lavish affairs but also the fact that in an era where data can target customers far more effectively and cheaply, the car show has for some considerable time now been seen both as something of a blunt instrument as much as a throwback to a more naïve time.

With manufacturers increasingly choosing to make their splashes at smaller, more targeted events, many commentators are predicting that the Motor Show as we know it will continue to lose influence and may eventually die out altogether.

But it’s hardly today or yesterday that its flaws became apparent, after all automobiles are hardly best represented in static settings under harsh artificial lighting, where any issues of finish or the grubby fingerprints of paying guests will be ruthlessly exposed.

Today’s reissue comes courtesy of DTW’s Richard Herriott (still absent with leave), who makes an eloquent and cogently argued case, not simply against the motor show concept itself, but takes well-chosen aim at the idea that car shows and glamour can be anything other than mutually exclusive.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

2 thoughts on “Summer Reissue : Showing Off”

  1. My issue with car shows, and this almost also applies to digital and print content, is that neither medium helps me to ‘see’ a car in the way that I will be seeing it/being seen it, whether in congestion, parked on a drive, on a street or in a car park. And when cars are located in these very quotidian contexts (guess who’s been in France recently), the character changes significantly. There are exceptions. I saw the Mazda 6 at the only motor show I have ever attended. It was easily the best looking car in Geneva that day and it still works for me. But I recently saw a Thesis in the middle of Finistere and suddenly I saw courage and audacity and to use a great word that was recently entered the French language “jemenfountisme”. Only later did I dig out the very useful comment on DTW and thought, my word what a hippo.

    A C6 does the same for me. Some angles are great, and some are debatable. I’ve no idea what it looks like when I’m the one driving it and I see other C6 so rarely, I barely know what they look like to people in a car behind either.

    I think the solution might be where the manufacturers be brave, pocket the salon fees and place a 1000 new models on streets where they can be seen. Possibly with a discrete good/bad/ugly push-button located close by where bystanders can signal their emotional responses. Without getting into questionnaires and clipboards. How does this car look like in an estate in regional Britain, Kensington, rural france etc.

    I’m sure I’m missing something. Maybe it’s my aversion to salesmanship that is speaking out here.

    On a final note- with BJ proposing (I initially wrote ‘committing’ but thought the better of it) to ending ICE sales in 2040, breaking away from petroleum and all the additional technologies and ownership models that portends, this may be also be the occasion to fracture the marketing model including the role of the Salons.

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