Something where we can support and talk to consumers, talk to people in the industry, talk to engineers about new technology and whatever goes into a show. To say that we have cheated the brakes would probably be an understatement.
But everyone understands what happened and how difficult it was and how embarrassing it was. They saw what happened in the world: New York canceled and Anaheim (Orange County Auto Show) canceled. The Geneva Motor Show is bankrupt. I’m not sure Paris is coming back. Frankfurt moved to Munich, but who knows the future of that.
The broadcasts in general have been really dramatically affected or eliminated. We are delighted that our team thought of this outdoor concept before it happened and that they are planning an event that would be more indoor and outdoor. As this pandemic has happened, it has changed the way we think and forced us to evolve. Motor Bella was originally meant to be an addition, something that would be a wonderful addition to our show. Considering that you can only do things in a safe environment right now outside, it really seems like it was the right thing to do.
We are so glad to have it. We are excited about what this represents. And, more importantly, it allows dealers and motorists to come together and talk about cars and the direction of the industry.
This summer, the Chicago Auto Show reinvented itself in its own right, having moved from February. Has the Detroit Dealers Association watch this show for ideas given that it was outside and there was a lot of experience?
We have noted what Chicago has done, and we are aware of it. Our plan was well advanced before Chicago put on its show. Ford is one example – they’ve never done three activations in an outdoor show before, at least not nationally. We’ve taken some of the things that were done in Chicago, and we’re expanding them in just about every way. And then we do a whole bunch of things that Chicago hasn’t done. This is not a review. It’s just the campus that we have and that 1 mile track and what it allows us to do are things you really can’t do in a downtown environment.
Motor Bella will take place when many lots of dealers in the area run out of inventory. East Does Motor Bella still expect to drive business and consumer demand?
This is always our hope and our goal because at the end of the day our events are really focused on retail vehicles and car sales. I don’t mean to say that’s the only reason, but we’re all dealers and we’re a group of dealers. Obviously, this is a business objective. I would say we’re excited anyway.
In our Ford store, we would normally have around 425 cars in stock. Right now we have about 60. Now that’s triple what we had in July and August, so we’re thrilled. But the demand is there. We order more cars, customers come in, and if we have something brand new that hasn’t already been sold that comes off the truck, they buy it. So we have good demand in the market right now. It would be great if we had a lot more inventory, but we still embrace the enthusiasm and the demand, even if we can’t always meet it. It’s our job to try to help the customer. If we can somehow create a potential buyer – whether it’s this week or next week or a month or two months – that’s our goal. We still accept to have that. It will be a little more difficult today to get big numbers, but we will do our best.