Yes, it’s true: Auto shows do sell cars, in January or in April

Dealers who have been in the Washington area for some time are aware that, in years past, The Washington Auto Show would be going on right now.  This year, however, Washington’s Auto Show has moved to early April, 2019 with the show set to open to the public April 5-14, preceded by MobilityTalks International rolling out for the industry on April 3 and 4. No matter when the auto show is, a new study finds that auto shows do help sell cars.


Foresight Research found that two out of three auto show attendees were in the market to buy a new vehicle in the next year. And 56 percent of all buyers in MY 2017 who attended an auto show were influenced in their purchase decision by that show. An auto show’s influence on those who did a ride-and-drive at the show was even higher.


Auto show attendance increased dramatically from 2009 to 2015 as Millennials returned to the new-car market. Millennials often attend auto shows to shop for their new vehicle. Since 2016 attendance has leveled off, as have auto sales.


Next year, The Washington Auto Show will return to its late January time slot, and the Detroit Auto Show will move permanently from January to June. That means The Washington Auto Show, recognized in the industry as the Public Policy Show, will also become the first major auto show of the year. The continued success of MobilityTalks International also gives The Washington Auto Show a unique, forward-looking slant.

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