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A Rookie’s Take on the Cincinnati Auto Expo

At extreme ends of the spectrum you can find people who eat, sleep and breathe all things automotive, and those who don’t know a lick about cars in general. Until recently, I fell under the category of those who don’t know a lick. To illustrate, I’ve learned that there is a difference between a model, trim and make of a car, all three of which are important to describing what a vehicle has to offer.

During my internship at the Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association, I had the opportunity to attend my first Auto Expo. I wasn’t a huge car person before this internship and had zero background on what it takes to run a successful show like this one. During the Auto Expo I was able to really engulf myself in the automotive world and happened to learn a thing or two.

Have a vision when stepping foot into the show.

As I passed out buyers’ guides, many people would say, “I want to see Honda first,” or “I want to see the trucks first”, and so on and so forth.

Each person knew what they were looking for and what they were interested in and started from there. If you don’t have an idea of what you’re looking for in a vehicle, you won’t appreciate what the show has to offer.

The auto show brings everything and anything. It hits the spot for the SUV lovers, soccer moms, people with the need for speed and even the luxury buyers. Go in with an idea.

I don’t think I would have appreciated the show as much if I didn’t do my research and distinguished my interests. I love everything Jeep, so understandably, I spent majority of my time looking at all the cars Jeep brought to the show. I didn’t feel like I was neglecting other vehicles because I knew what I liked and I spent more time educating myself on what the brand had to offer.

Listen to the product specialists.

One of the unique things about the Auto Show is that it is a sales-free zone. The exhibits are staffed by knowledgeable product specialists—people travel around the country to talk about the brand they work for. They know what they are talking about. These specialists are there to make sure you get all the information you need about any vehicle you are considering. The Expo is the best place to research a new vehicle purchase, and the product specialists are an amazing tool at your disposal!

Utilize the Ride & Drive opportunities.

These vary depending on the show and the brands that want to get involved. Ride & Drive provides a great opportunity to test drive new cars and get an idea of what you like and dislike. The Expo is the only place where you can test drive vehicles from several different brands in one location.

The auto industry is a major factor in our area’s economy.

During the Expo, I learned that dealerships in Greater Cincinnati generated an estimated $4.58 billion in sales last year. The auto industry is a demanding business that keeps on growing. The need for skilled people is endless and it is a business to invest your money in. Driving around town, I would see signs for Sweeney, Wyler, Joseph, McCluskey and so on. Little did I know how many people those dealerships employ and how big of an impact they have on our economy each year.

I’m very grateful to have experienced my first auto show and to be learning about the automotive industry. The opportunities and experiences are priceless. I hope you all enjoyed the show and plan on attending next year. I surely will be there and hope to see you there too!

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