The yearly LA Auto Show is a must-attend event for experts and those who view automobiles and trucks simply as necessary annoyances. It’s the first major car show of the automotive season despite is unique dates near the end of the calendar year.
A multi-floor, multi-hall extravaganza of more than is home for more than 500 exhibits and dozens of manufacturers and the North American or global debuts of their vehicles. The show provides a welcomed automotive overload, and it will be held Nov. 22- Dec. 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
It’s all about entry-level cars, top-end luxury vehicles, the ever-expanding alternative fuel industry, custom made machines and unique concepts. But unlike visiting a car dealership where the goal of salespeople to sell, auto shows are public question and answer sessions.
Attendees are encouraged to ask manufacturers’ representatives, sometimes called ambassadors or product specialists, about the new vehicles. The consultants aren’t salespeople but have a singular goal to talk about new vehicles.
The practice of hiring attractive women as manufacturers’ representatives at auto show dates to the 1930s. Books have been written about the subject and the tradition has been criticized as outdated. In recent years, young men have also been hired as manufacturer ambassadors.
But it’s the vehicles in the biggest spotlight. Some manufacturers keep what’s new until models are unveiled. Other carmakers get a jump start and promote months pending new offerings months in advance.
The LA Auto Show competes with other events for manufacturers’ announcements, but it’s likely to have a larger prominence this year. The North American International Auto Show, often called the Detroit Auto Show, has been moved from January to June next year.
The Las Vegas-located Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Jan 7-10, a public show, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association, (SEMA), an international private trade show, held Nov. 5-8, also crowd the schedule.
Among the vehicles scheduled for debut at the LA Auto Show this year: 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback, 2020 Audi RS Q8, 2021 Toyota RAV4 hybrid and 2020 Nissan Sentra.
Featured cars will include the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo EV, 2020 Cadillac XT6, 2020 Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry and Avalon TRD.
Many alternative fuel manufacturers, hybrid, electronic, hydrogen, as well as autonomous vehicles will all have a presence. Byton and Rivian, electric manufacturers based in the Bay Area, made debuts last year in Los Angeles. Both are pending their public releases. Vehicles accessories to custom cars and affiliated companies have niche locations throughout the Convention Center.
Like other major car shows, the LA Auto Show is a hands-on experience. Test drives this year will be offered by Acura, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Several companies will have interactive exhibits, with Lego likely among the most popular. It will offer a hands-on experience, honoring the Los Angeles car culture. A full-size Bugatti Chiron replica made entirely of Lego Technic bricks and elements will be on display.
As if the new vehicle models are sufficient, car shows are also testing locales for vehicle concepts. Attention-grabbing one-off vehicles are showcased every year. Other concepts are nearly the same vehicles manufacturers will soon offer publicly.
In recent years, the Audi TT, BMW i8, Bugatti Veyron, Chevy Volt, Ford GT, Kia Soul and Tesla Model 3 all debuted as concept cars and all became production vehicles.
The LA Convention Center is located in the city’s busiest metropolitan area. In addition to various ticket prices, suggestions for parking and public transportation and well as instructions to download the show’s app are available on the website: laautoshow.com
Article Last Updated: November 11, 2019.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.