From Thursday, March 1 through Sunday, March 4, the Rochester Riverside Convention Center plays host to the “Grand Prix” of conventions, The Rochester International Auto Show.
This car show has been running for over 100 years, with only a few missed years during the Depression and World War II. At that very first show, launched in 1908 by a group of pioneer auto dealers, the “extras” might have included either a rumble seat for servants or a luggage compartment. Although the autos themselves have changed drastically since 1908, the purpose of the auto show remains the same…to showcase the newest vehicles available to the American public.
Brad McAreavy, President of the Rochester Area Dealers Association, spoke about the selection of over 200 cars that will be at this year’s show. Depending on what type of vehicle you’re interested in, you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of as many as 20 to 40 different models. And if you’re shopping for an environmentally-friendly model, there will be more options this year than in prior years because most manufacturers are moving toward earth-friendly, fuel-efficient modeling.
“We get the occasional Jetson-style concept car at the show, but manufacturers are more cautious these days,” McAreavy stated, explaining that manufacturers are much more reluctant to put heavy R&D into autos that might be released five years down the road… or that might never make it to market.
One new auto expected to put attendees into overdrive this year is the Fisker Karma, a sleekly designed hybrid luxury sports car with earth-friendly cabin styling that runs about $95,900 for the Eco-Standard model, $103,900 for the Eco-Sport and $108,900 for the Eco-Chic version. The car is the invention of collaborators Henrik Fisker and Bernard Koehler who launched their company in California in 2007. Fisker’s design creations include the Aston Martin DB9, Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the BMW Z8 Roadster, which was featured in the James Bond film, “The World Is Not Enough.” Koehler is known as a “Project Ninja” for his prowess at execution on design.
This year’s show will also be rich in pre-production autos that will grace showrooms within the next six to twelve months. Some of the 2013 models showcased so attendees can pop the hoods include the Infiniti JX, the Lincoln MKS and the MKT and the Lexus GS. Ford will unveil its new Mustang, Escape, Fusion and Taurus Chevrolet will preview it Chevy Malibu ECO.
Show attendees will have the opportunity to riddle the product specialists with questions. These experts will be prepped to answer just about any question dished out.
So if you are planning to purchase a car within the next six to twelve months, McAreavy recommends that you:
- Narrow your focus regarding what you want to buy.
- Be sure to investigate a lot of choices.
- Check out each car you’re considering by getting in and out to get a sense of the vehicle.
- Bring a note pad, talk to a lot of people and take great notes.
- Gather brochures and business cards.
Even if you’re not in the market for a car, you can still enjoy this show.
“At the Rochester International Auto Show, you can see all the latest vehicles. It’s a chance to view over 200 vehicles in one location and it’s great, cheap and fun family entertainment,” said McAreavy
In addition to autos, attendees can visit accessory row, view motorcycles, talk to the Sports Car Club of America, the Porsche Club and the Corvette Clubs. Kids will especially enjoy seeing the Red Wings mascot Spikes who will appear on Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon to 2 PM and those needing a license or registration renewed can do so with the DMV who will be set up at the entrance on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM. If you’ve got teens (or even pre-teens), be sure to stop by the simulation that demonstrates the dangers of texting while driving.
The Rochester Riverside Convention Center is located at 123 East Main Street in downtown Rochester. The Rochester International Auto Show runs Thursday and Friday, March 1 and 2 from 12 Noon to 10 PM, Saturday, March 3 from 10 AM to 10 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 7 PM. Admission to the show is: Adults $9, Armed Services & Seniors $6, Children under 12 $3, Under age 5 are Free.