At the New York auto show, it wasn’t hard to grab the spotlight

So it was a massive exhibit for Hyundai — which also got to celebrate its Ioniq 5 electric powered crossover profitable World Vehicle of the Yr — and to a lesser extent for sibling manufacturer Kia. Each showed off freshened variations of their hugely profitable huge crossovers: the Palisade and the Telluride.

It also looked like a great demonstrate for Stellantis, with its Jeep Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L extended variations, which seemed nicely timed with gasoline costs falling from the thermosphere to the stratosphere. A dressed-up Chrysler Airflow Notion and a minor news about the enhancement of the Ram EV added to the pleasurable.

But or else, automakers’ engagement with the clearly show was really restricted. Numerous makes — most prominently the European luxury marques — didn’t even bother to set up a stand.

Toyota had a enormous stand — it seemed like an acre of place — though it failed to maintain a press conference this yr. North The united states gross sales main Bob Carter reported it was just a functionality of the timing of new releases.

But then the next week, Toyota unveiled the Lexus RZ electrical crossover on the internet. And Lincoln, which also had a large and beautiful exhibit at the Javits Middle, unveiled its initial EV thought — an inspiration for the brand’s future — at an occasion in Los Angeles. That idea experienced been prepared for the Beijing display, which was not held past 7 days for the reason that of a surge in COVID-19 instances.

(Apart No. 3: Certain, the U.S. is driving the curve on electrification, but Lincoln’s preference for Beijing over New York was a striking contrast to pre-pandemic occasions when Matthew McConaughey assisted present off the redesigned Navigator at the Significant Apple present. However I see he is even now connected to the model — becoming a member of model main Pleasure Falotico on stage in L.A.)

Those slights to New York could be forgiven, possibly, as a products of the shifting calendar. But BMW unveiling its redesigned legendary 7 Collection on the internet following briefing media in New York (outdoors of the show) is a highly effective condemnation of the existing — and quite possibly the upcoming — of auto displays.

1st, it may perhaps just be the existing. Last thirty day period, Honda’s Jay Joseph advised me that the business failed to see much position in applying vehicle shows to draw customers into the purchasing funnel when the corporation can’t produce plenty of cars to fulfill present-day desire. Honda, like BMW, did not have a stand at the present.

And the conclusions may perhaps have to do with the the latest previous: Right after so many stops and begins — specifically for the New York display — automakers with key reveals might be understandably cautious of hanging their item rollout ideas on the town that has been a bellwether of the pandemic in The usa.

This year, it felt a whole lot like a Chicago-degree automobile show from the In advance of Times. Some refreshes and new trim degrees. Some sensible walkarounds. And aside from Hyundai, not a lot of star energy.

Is it the conclude of the auto exhibit as we know it? I hope not. And the stop was not proved by this exhibit, but it wasn’t disproved, both. If the pandemic carries on to recede and the next 12 months of exhibits — from Detroit in September to New York subsequent spring — never get extra participation, they genuinely could come to be functions for dealers and buyers only.

On the internet reveals are clearly the wave of the existing. If they’re also the wave of the foreseeable future, we are going to have to have gatherings these kinds of as the Car Forum and our Automotive News Congress more than at any time.