Facts and Questions About the Empire State Plaza Auto Show
Where’s that car I wanted to see?
Our auto show, in the Capital Region market, is different than some larger markets. The manufacturers do not, for the most part, send cars or product specialists here, as they do at the very largest shows. Most of our cars and staffing come from local dealers, often sponsored by the manufacturers. While the dealers will request certain vehicles for the show, they may or may not get them, depending on the cost to send the vehicles and what other shows are going on around the country. The dealers actually may not know, until the day before the show, when we move in the cars, specifically what inventory they have available for the show. Of course, they want to showcase the snazziest stuff, but they can only bring what they have. That’s why we only advertise special new models, and also add a disclaimer for availability. We’ll do our best to update information after the cars move in! It’s still the largest showcase and greatest variety under one roof in the region.
How do the cars get into the concourse?
They drive through the parking garage, where they have to navigate a narrow space and carefully drive in through an opening where the glass doors have been removed. Once inside the building, vehicles have to maneuver around columns, artwork and other obstacles to find their way to the correct end of the concourse. We do this all the night before the show! Once we had a big snowstorm during the move-in, and had to clean off all the vehicles as they entered the building. That was great fun…
Why are a few cars locked?
When the manufacturers send what is called a “concept car,” or a special race car or other promotional vehicle that is not yet for sale, they are just meant to look at from the outside. These are very expensive prototypes, and that’s why they are kept locked. Typically, they would be up on a platform or carousel. The interiors do not have the correct or full features of a car that would be sold. These cars are usually delivered by tractor trailer and only handled by one person.
I don’t plan to buy a car for a few months, or even a year, so why go to the auto show?
New models used to come out at a certain time of year, but now they come out all year long, at different times for different makes and models. The Auto Show is your best opportunity to compare vehicles without driving around town, all indoors, and to see and feel the cars, trucks and vans. You can make good contacts with people from local dealerships and talk to them with no pressure to buy. You can find both the type of car you may want in the future and someone you feel comfortable buying it from. Grab some business cards and you will be a step ahead when you are ready to buy. Of course, we’re a little biased, but we think it’s fun, too!
What is there at the show to entertain the kids (or me)?
We have scheduled a variety of walk around entertainment. Since every available piece of floor is needed for the cars, we don’t have a specific stage area. This year your kids can get balloon animals by balloon artist and comedian Mr Twisty on Saturday, November 2nd 1-4pm. We will be announcing more entertainment soon! We usually do get some concept or promotional cars, and there are often small contests or other activities at the exhibitor booths.
How long does it take to move the cars out after the show?
About ten minutes. Actually, it takes about an hour, assuming the cars all start okay once the batteries are reconnected, and considering that the fire regulations also require less than a quarter tank of gas in each vehicle. So we have no batteries and empty gas tanks, but it all seems to work out. In some of today’s cars, the batteries are found in unusual places, like under a front seat or in the trunk. Some of the new key fobs don’t resemble keys, actually, so there’s some of that to figure out as well.
Why can’t I check out all the electronics in the cars?
The Fire Code requires disconnected batteries. This can be a challenge for the staff who want to show you all the whiz bang stuff the cars have inside. It’s kind of like doing a computer show without electricity. But there is much you can see and feel, like how the interior fits you and your life style, and how much cargo space there is. You can speak with knowledgeable staff as well. Once you see what you like at the show, you can narrow things down and visit the dealership for a test drive. Some vehicles may have QR codes for you to scan with your smart phone for more information, or you can come to the Information Booth and we can look up any vehicle for you online for more details.