Show and tell time for the auto industry

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network

It is that time of the year when the auto industry of not just the U.S., but the world, makes the rounds with Philadelphia the latest stop on the tour. In reality, it is the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP) that has returned the Philadelphia Auto Show to the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Saturday, January 29th to Sunday, February 6th, Super Bowl Sunday, the perfect time to go there ... before you settle in for the opening kick-off.

As is the custom, the event's Media Day and Black Tie Tailgate Preview Gala are scheduled for Friday, January 28th so the public has to wait a day longer. Past experience says it will be worth it. I have been there, to see what I would like and cannot afford and to view that which I am prepared to have on my driveway this year. The auto show will transport you, for just a few moments, to the luxuries of a new Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari or custom Lamborghini, perhaps a Maserati. Then, without missing a beat, bring you down to reality and every manner of automotive excitement and inventiveness, imaginable and, hopefully, affordable. In essence, whether you are happy with your current set of wheels, planning to buy or lease new ones, just looking to see what can't be or what was in bygone days, the Auto Show is worth attending.

The car that is the buzz of the show. Plug it in next to your laptop overnight and then head out in the morning with both. Technology at the head of the show.

"The buzz is back in the auto industry and we want everyone to be a part of it," said Dominic M. Conicelli, chairman of the 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show and president of Conicelli Autoplex. "The Philadelphia Auto Show has always been known as one of the top auto shows in the country and is all about entertaining and educating the consumer. We pride ourselves on this every year. For our 2011 event, key additions have been made that will really enhance the overall vehicle-researching experience for those who come because they are in the market as well as those who join us just to have a good time."

Of those key additions are two special "Ride and Drive" events, which will take place on the last weekend of the show. Hosted individually by Toyota and Kia, these inaugural events will allow Auto Show guests to test drive certain products during their visit. The 2011 Philadelphia Auto Show celebrates another first with the addition of Fiat to its display floor, which brings the total number of participating manufacturers this year to more than 40.

The car that will not be in your garage any time soon but the one that will be in your dreams...with James Bond at your side..outdoing his Aston Martin.
"The show continues to thrive and increase its impact on the fourth largest media market in the U.S.," added Conicelli.

The nine-day Auto Show will be showcasing a range of vehicles including pre-production and green models, concepts, exotics and antiques from all around the world. As one of the nation's biggest auto shows, this one has a proven track record of influence on consumers. In 2010, nearly 90 percent of attendees in the market for a new vehicle reported that visiting the Auto Show influenced their next purchasing decision, according to exit surveys. So, if you go, when you attend, be prepared for your wife or, as may be the case, your husband suddenly falling in love with a particular model that will be on your shopping list very soon.

You have the dates and it is important to be aware of the hours knowing that, ironically enough, parking will not be simple and it will be expensive. That, after all, is what parking facilities do when something as popular as the Auto Show comes to town. Saturday, January 29: 9am - 10pm; Sunday, January 30: 9am - 8pm; Monday, January 31 - Friday, February 4: 12noon - 10pm; Saturday, February 5: 9am - 10pm; Sunday, February 6: 9am - 6pm. Got it? Good. Plan accordingly.

Old school whether it was the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers or Al Capone. These majestic vehicles never lose their grace, impact or appeal.
Happily, just about every manufacturer's display welcomes show-goers to sit inside the vehicles, pop the hood and kick the tires; however no one is allowed to sit in the concept or exotic vehicles. Major bummer since all dream sequences end right there but that is the way it is. The nice part is that this is a non-selling show. That means that no sales are allowed to be made on the floor and no one will pressure you into buying anything. It is a show for you, the consumer, to inspect all angles of the vehicles and have a pressure-free environment in which to do it. The product specialists at each manufacturer booth will be able to answer any questions you may have about the vehicles.

If you think any of those vintage or exotic cars are within your budget...
You gotta be kidding!

You can buy Adult and/or Child tickets (no senior or discount tickets) on their site - or tickets can be purchased at any auto show entrance within the Pennsylvania Convention Center during regular show hours. Group tickets (25 or more) are available at a discounted rate by calling 610-279-5229.

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