Want to get a read on the mood of American motorists? Head to the L.A. Auto Show, this week. The annual event has routinely offered an insight into the economy – and the mood of the motorists who quite literally drive one of the biggest sectors of the economy.
Over the last several years, the LA Auto Show reflected the arrival of a financial crisis that sank far deeper than anyone might have expected. Anyone who wondered about the financial problems plaguing Detroit only had to visit the Chrysler booth, where even the spotlights were turned off, in 2008, to save money.
But the show that just opened its doors to the public seems poised to make potential buyers forget the depressed mood of the past years. This year, the LA show is vibrant and very much alive.
In the 20 years that I have attended the show, I have never seen a larger audience during the media preview days. Significantly, the event brought not just media but plenty of industry insiders, curious to see what their competitors brought on stage.
(You could even see a number of Chinese engineers lying flat on their backs at the Nissan booth trying to take measurements on the maker’s new Quest minivan.)