We interviewed Scott Lambert, executive vice president of the Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association of Minnesota, about why you should check out the 2016 Twin Cities Auto Show March 12-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Q. What, exactly, is Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association of Minnesota (GMADA)?
A. GMADA is the association of franchised new car dealers in the seven-county Minneapolis St. Paul area.
Q. How is the organization involved in the TC Auto Show?
A. It was formed to produce the Twin Cities Auto Show.
Q. When is the Twin Cities Auto Show?
A. The 43rd Annual Twin Cities Auto Show, presented by SuperAmerica, will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center March 12-20, 2016.
Q. How many vehicles will be on display at this year’s show?
A. Over 550
Q. The Chrysler Pacifica was named “Car of the Show.” How do you determine that?
A. Our volunteer president picks the vehicle from those that he or she sells. *The Pacifica was named the “most technologically advanced minivan in its class,” and will be available this spring.
Q. What’s the classic car walk? What was the inspiration behind that?
A. The Classic Car walk is a collection of two dozen vintage vehicles. Our attendees always appreciate seeing a few classics mixed in with the new vehicles.
Q. What are some of the infotainment and driver assistance features?
A. There are interactive displays all throughout the factory space—Camp Jeep is the biggest—and we even have four ride and drives this year, where attendees can get behind the wheel of a new Ford, Mazda, Mini, or Toyota.
Q. Is this one of the country’s largest auto shows? How many attendees are you hoping to attract?
A. This is one of the top six shows in the nation. We will attract thousands of shoppers and tire kickers.
Q. What are some of the more interesting electric vehicles or hybrids?
A. We have an entire room devoted to electric vehicles. Featured in the room will be Revolt, a first-of-its kind program that allows Great River Energy cooperative members to upgrade the electricity used to fuel their vehicles to wind energy, at no additional cost. Drive Electric Minnesota will also be on hand to answer questions.
Q. What are some of the luxury brands that will be on display?
A. Our expanded Luxury Lane will have two dozen of the nicest vehicles you’ll find in Minnesota. There will be more than a million dollars’ worth of vehicles including models from Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Lexus, Lotus, Mercedes and Porsche.
Q. What will be the most expensive vehicle displayed at the auto show?
A. We are still learning what the factories are bringing, but last year it was a $350,000 Maserati.
Q. There was a dancing robot, similar in appearance to a Transformer, that made an appearance at one of the past Auto Shows. Will there be any robots at this year’s show?
A. No, no dancing robots that I’m aware of.
Q. Are you offering free gifts to attendees on any of the days?
A. SuperAmerica is offering free coupons for ICEEs to the first 10,000 attendees March 14 and March 20, and ice scrapers throughout the show.
Q. How many dealers are bringing not-even-available in showrooms (yet) new vehicles to this year’s show?
A. We are still gathering vehicle information for this year, but last year there were 13 vehicles on display that were not yet available in dealerships.
Q. What would you tell someone who isn’t a “car person” about checking out the TC Auto Show?
A. Take the time to stop and listen to the presentations by the professional spokespeople. They really know a lot about the vehicles.
Q. What’s YOUR favorite vehicle? Why?
A. The Aston Martin. It’s the James Bond car.