Car Talk: Salt Lake City International Auto Show Is a Letdown, Again.

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Where to start? What to get off my chest first? The Salt Lake City Auto Show is umm interesting. Not sure how to say it without just coming out about it. The show is rough, it really is. I wouldn’t go as far as saying its crap or really sucks but its pretty close to that. There are just so many things that the show lacks and so many things that you hope it might have each year. Then I go and am completely let down…again.

Now don’t get me wrong the whole thing wasn’t bad. For starters Jeep had an incredible obstacle course that they were sending their vehicles around with patrons inside. There were 45 degree ramps, a massive hill that the vehicles drove up one side and down the other, a simulated rock area that showed how well the suspension worked. It was honestly probably the coolest attraction I have seen at a car show for 10 years. It was good to see a company very close to death come back and really shine. The other aspect of the show that is always a fan favorite is the exotic car displays. Every year they have their Ferraris, Maserati’s, and Bentley. This year however I was surprised to see a set of three Fisker electric sedans. A futuristic gorgeous car with electric motors and a serious helping of sex appeal. But, that unfortunately is where the appeal of the show runs out. After those two areas there is nothing ground breaking or breathe taking about the rest of the show in Salt Lake City.

It’s the last part that really pisses me off. Yes, I realize that not everyone that goes to this show loves cars like my father and I do. If you’ve followed my ramblings over the last few months you know how much I adore and lust for cars. That is why when I’m walking around the show and seeing nothing new, nothing that has debuted in the last 6 months I get pissed and bored. If there is anyone out there can name a new car that debuted in the last 6 months that was shown at this year’s auto show I will literally eat my own words. Here is what I mean, here’s a list of cars that have debuted within 6 months of this show and didn’t have a single showing whatsoever. They are in no particular order, Lexus GS, Hyundai Azera, updated Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Ford Focus ST, BMW 3 Series, and that’s just what I can name off the top of my head. Doesn’t even matter that there wasn’t a single concept car, nothing to show Utah that, “Hey we give a damn about your market.” Nope, all the automakers just throw the year’s old cars at us and expect us to shut up because we even have a show.

There are other issues I have with the show as well. Of all the years I have been to the SLC Auto Show I have never seen all the car makers there. The last few years it was Mercedes Benz, this year its Kia, a few years ago it was BMW, they are just no shows. I can understand BMW and Mercedes Benz no showing; they are the snobbiest of all car brands, but Kia? Really? They are a volume car company and they just no show, unacceptable. Even when Mercedes and BMW show up they bring base cars and nothing interesting, and even rarer still they actually let you get into them. I have been to two other car shows on the West Coast and they put ours to shame, they had concept cars, new debuts, and attractions along with aftermarket products for sale. That is what a car show should be everything that is new and amazing about cars, not basic car dealerships in a building.

Yes, I realize that there was a Mercedes Benz SLS, yes I know there was a new Dodge Charger SRT8, and I know there was an Audi V10 R8. I’m not saying it’s a complete waste of time. I just want more. I want more for Utah I want this to be a hub for Car shows; I want people to travel to see what we have to offer. I’m sorry but I can guarantee that there are more people in the surrounding SLC area than live in Detroit, so why then do we get the cold hard shaft while they get the glory. I love cars and want others to see what I see; it’s just hard to prove my point when all they have to look forward to is a Honda Civic EX with steel wheels and hubcaps.

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