American Marketer

Events / Causes

Luxury brands clarify vehicle ambitions at NY Auto Show

April 18, 2014

Land Rover model Land Rover model at NY Auto Show


Luxury automakers are keeping the momentum going from previous auto shows with mid-level announcements and plenty of brand interaction.

Land Rover unveiled the details of its Discovery Sport concept, Bentley solidified plans to return to North American racing and Audi announced the return of the A3 TDI Sportback to the United States. As the official debut of the New York Auto Show commences, brands will work to buoy interest with a series of social media initiatives.

"The New York Auto Show is not nearly as significant in generating brand awareness as the Detroit Auto Show held in January," said Al Ries, founder and chairman of Ries & Ries, a Roswell, GA-based marketing strategy consultancy.

"Most of the major brands use the Detroit show to introduce their new models which generate the most publicity," he said. "That doesn't leave much in the way of new products for the New York show.

"On the other hand, the New York Auto Show draws many more prospective buyers than the Detroit. So from the point of view of generating local business, the New York show does very well."

Roaming the floors

The centerpiece of Jaguar Land Rover's display area is the Discovery Concept, which is walled off from the rest of the brand's models. Visitors are able to learn about the vehicle's enhanced features through various interactive displays.


Range Rover Discovery

For instance, the car will have highly malleable seating to adapt to passenger or luggage needs, a digital panoramic roof and new terrain technologies.

Demonstrating Land Rover's most advanced capability

The automaker also unveiled its vehicle-integrated InControl apps platform. Through the platform, owners can access real-time traffic information, enhanced radio options, real-time parking information, a personal assistant and a conference call function.

Jaguar Land Rover encourages guests to interact with the brand throughout the show with the hashtag #ReadyToDiscover. Also, visitors can post auto show images with the hash tag and then pick up a print at a station.


Land Rover tweets

Lexus has an extensive display area with several mounted and suspended signs and 11 different models. The brand set up a photobooth to increase visitor interaction.


Lexus display area

The primary vehicle being touted by Lexus is the 350 F Sport, which is the star of a recent multichannel campaign (see story).


Lexus 350 F Sport on rotating stage

Bentley continued to build interest for its revived racing program by announcing its return to North America and displaying the Continental GT3.


Bentley display area

The brand generated further interest through its social pages.

NY Auto SHow2

Bentley Facebook post

BMW has a range of debuts in its display area including the world premiers of the M4 Convertible, X4 Sports Activity Coupe and the North American premiere of the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Concept X5 eDrive.


BMW i8

Mercedes-Benz is showing off its new CarControl technology along with its new S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe, Smart line and multiple other vehicles.


Mercedes-Benz CLA

Rolls-Royce is featuring the North American debut of the updated Ghost Series II.


Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

Audi essentially recorded its press conference via Twitter, during which the brand announced the return of the A3 TDI Sportback to the U.S. market.


Audi Tweets recounting NY Auto Show press conference

Most automakers have a section dedicated to lifestyle products. For example, Maserati has several glass cases with apparel and accessory arrangements.


Maserati display

Quieter presence

A few brands have modest spaces in the venue.


Bugatti's display

Bugatti and Lamborghini each have a single model on view.


Lamborghini Huracan

Aston Martin has two North American debuts displayed in its spot on the floor. The Vantage GT is priced at $99,000, which opens the brand to a much wider audience than ever before.


Aston Martin display area

McLaren eschewed the Javitz Center for an exclusive showing around the corner at Espace. Evidently, the immense demand for both the 650S Coupe and Spider prevented the brand from displaying more than two vehicles because all the others had been slated for sale.


McLaren 650s Spider at Espace

In fact, increased production has been halted for the time being so that the brand can catch up to current requests.


McLaren 650s Coupe at Espace

While earlier auto shows tend to drain the New York Auto Show's novelty, the event still allows brands to stoke social media activity and build relationships.

"The best way [to stand out] is to introduce new models," Mr. Ries said. "But only minor brands like Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Audi are introducing new products at the New York show.

"From a manufacturer's point of view, auto shows are good vehicles for generating publicity," he said. "But not so good for generating business.

"The cost of reaching each potential buyer at an auto show is quite high."

Below are additional photographs from the 2014 New York Auto Show


Audi display area


Audi display area


Maserati display


Lexus display area


Porsche display


BMW i3


BMW display area

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York