2023 New York Auto Show – My Take

Filling the enormous convention center on the west side of Manhattan with products and energy is quite a task for any trade show, and the NY Auto Show put on by the New York Automobile Dealers Association showed quite well. The main floor was where the major brands show off their latest offerings, while the lower level delighted attendees with an indoor EV driving course and lots of other exhibitors. Outside is the iconic roller coaster ride like Camp Jeep ride-along experience, always a crowd pleaser.

Who is Showing?

The Korean brands Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis took the forefront of the stage this year. While brands like VW and Audi had a presence. Subaru takes the cake with an amazing booth that gives you the feeling as if you are in a national park, with its floor making you think you are in the middle of a river.

American Brands

Ford always plays a large role in the NYIAS, and this year as they do, each show occupied the southern side of the main floor. Chevrolet was the only GM brand, while Stellantis displayed its family of brands, including its European ones. The RAM display was for sure a highlight with its newest RAMEV pickup truck on display.

Learn more about Ford’s Dark Horse Mustang as we interview Tim Smith, a Ford Performance Engineer.

Japanese brands

Toyota and their Lexus upscale models were well represented with plenty of floor space. Toyota had plenty of space reserved for family experiences, like a photo booth, a skateboard track, and other interactive activities that were not getting in and out of cars.  Nissan’s display is a classic one, much as it has been for a number of years. They had a great display of their newest all-electric Ayria, complete with falling fake snow, so you would know it will work well in winter weather.

Subaru’s step into a National Park display, which has been a solid display for several years now, gave you the feeling of stepping deep into the woods, with its lit-up floor giving you the feeling of sunlight through the trees, with large fake trees, a walkway that overlooked their large booth, and what looked like a clearing in the forest where you got to see their halo vehicles,  Nissan, had the classic auto show display though their newest all-electric Aryia was displayed with falling fake snow.

Driving Tracks

Both upstairs and downstairs featured indoor tracks where consumers were able to ride along in an electric vehicle. Hyundai featured its vehicles upstairs, while a wide range of EV products from various manufacturers was available for ride-a-longs demonstrations downstairs. Outside Jeep had its well-known and loved Camp Jeep and another brand ride-along experience.

NYIAS Hits and misses this year.

The show is very interactive, with more ride-along experiences than we have seen in shows before. With plenty of EVs to ride along in indoors and the Camp Jeep experience outdoors, there is the opportunity to get into a vehicle and experience it while not behind the wheel, at least in the passenger seat.

Misses are fewer brands on display, which is not a fault of the show. Auto Manufacturers have more customers than products to supply those buyers. So why would they spend money showing off cars and trucks they already have backlogged orders for?

EV trends on display

EVs are no longer just little toy cars like they were a decade ago. Now you are finding sedans, like the Hyundai Ioniq 6, and Hatchbacks/SUVs, like the Ford Mach-E and Kia’s EV6. You may not realize that EVs are getting bigger, like Kia’s EV9, and pickup trucks like the RAMEV and Ford Lighting.  Larger vehicles with a longer range are no longer we seeing up to one hundred miles. Now you are seeing ranges like 250 up to 500 for the extended-range RAMEV Pickup truck.

Auto Shows, in general – are they viable in this day of everything on a digital handheld device?

Consumers still like to touch and feel an automobile before purchasing, and the auto show allows them to do that without having the pressure of a car salesman over them.

Consumers still find the auto show a great family experience and a value; for much less than going to a ball game with the family, you can spend the day at the Auto Show. Everyone gets entertained, the family gets to experience what a new car would be like, and it helps them make that purchase decision. Add a pizza or meal and have a great day out for the entire family.

Many of the displays at the auto show are enhanced by consumers using their mobile devices, which provide the auto manufacturer contact info and details about what the consumer may be interested in.

The New York International Auto Show closes the auto show season at the Jacob E. Javits Center just before the Easter holidays. In an era when big-city auto shows are being redefined, with manufacturers cutting budgets, NYIAS for 2023 held its own and stood out with all that the city that never sleeps has to offer.

Words and Images by William West Hopper

Mr. Hopper has long been associated with the automotive world, first volunteering within the enthusiast community, then working alongside top automotive industry reps.

You can catch him talking about the show and the industry this year on CCTN America and The Queer4Cars YouTube channel. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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