2016 San Francisco International Auto Show
As the temperatures drop and the daylight hours get shorter it can only mean that it's time for auto show season, a chance to go to the local convention center and examine the new model year offerings from the major auto-manufactures.
TLP drove over to the San Francisco International Auto Show last week to see what is coming in 2017 and to decide if we should recommend attending this show.
The big auto shows in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Geneva, and rightfully so, are places for emerging excitement as the world's largest automakers use these shows to unveil their latest modela, and sometimes, absurd concept cars that will never go into production, or possibly emerge something truly stunning over the next few model years. Autoshows, like the one in San Francisco provide a little more of a high-end experience as compared to shows in smaller cities like our home of Sacramento, where local dealers can be responsible for the exhibits versus a factory effort.
Let’s be realistic. Most days at an autoshow will not provide the type of user experience a potential car buyer is looking for. If you show up with the goal of sitting inside 10 cars and getting a good overview of the features of each vehicle, chances are that you will not get near that number as you will need to elbow your way through crowds to get to the car or truck you’re looking for, only to find it locked as someone deemed it too high-end to allow your commoner hands on the steering wheel.
Every year we attend an autoshow we come away knowing that it was a little bit less than the year before. A few fewer cars, a few fewer opportunities to touch and feel. Having said this, we also like to point out that these events are family friendly, incredibly clean and more times than not, you can get a pretty good idea of what the automotive market has to offer before you hit the local auto mall. The fashionably clad factory reps are reasonably informative and these shows are not glorified sales lots. You're going to be hit up for your email address, not for your personal credit information. They are low stress affairs, and your only real limitations are your ability to walk the theatrically lit acreage and your ability to withstand many decibels of futuristic thumping corporate techno music pumping from every display.
Autoshows are great if you know ahead of time what they are and to set your expectations accordingly. Its either pay a flat fee and walk around all the new cars without any sales pitches or head over to your local auto-mall where you will play the role of chum in a tank of hungry sharks. The choice is clear. The auto-show isn't what it used to be, but not much else is either. Perhaps it's a function of the overall uninspiring selection of the last few years that we have come to the conclusion that that autoshow is probably better suited to help you find what you don't want, rather than what you'd actually want in your driveway.