The 37th consecutive “Minneapolis Auto Show” in Minnesota USA, took place this past week, and is an annual event that I attend marking the beginning of Spring, and the start of the car season. Featuring an estimated $15,000,000 in new vehicles, this is the 7th largest Auto Show in the United States.
As a long time veteran attendee of this event it is interesting to see how things have changed over the years. This years event was decidedly larger and better than last years, but only because last year was the worst in the history of the show, –a veritable ghost town as major cars shows go. So it was nice to see a stronger showing this year. Conspicuously missing manufacturers were BMW, Porsche, Lotus, Lamborghini, and Ferrari. But to be fair, only BMW, Porsche, and Lotus have been to this car show in the past. That said, Audi, Mercedes, and even a lone Maserati were present.
No, the Minneapolis Car Show was not as grand as it has been, but you could tell a real effort was being attempted in spite of the automotive industries recent economic troubles. It was good to see such a healthy effort after last years depressing and abysmal excuse for a international car show. True, this years show lacked a lot of the pizzazz and prestige of times past, but there was a refreshing realism and down to earth feel this year that was economically soothing if not comforting.
Car shows like these are expensive and hard on the cars too. Thousands of people getting in and out of the cars causes considerable damage with shoe scuffs, and shredded leather seats common.
Star of the show has to be the Audi R8 5.2 hands down. Not that it had much competition. This was a sedate car show by any standard with the absence of Porsche and BMW. They say major manufacturer lead car shows such as this are barometers of economic status, and if so, this years show was a good effort to put a serious face on a dangerously weakened industry. The hope of better times ahead was there, but you could cut the cautionary cloud with a dull butter knife. Here’s hoping for more next year.