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New York International Auto Show roars back after 2 year absence

Officials said in past years around 1 million people attended the show. Of that, around 12%, or 120,000 people are from Connecticut.

NEW YORK — For over a century, the New York International Auto Show been a rite of spring for car lovers in the tri-state area. And this year, it returns after a pandemic induced absence.

NYIAS opens the doors to the public at the Javits Center starting April 15 and closes on April 24. The 2020 show was delayed then canceled and the 2021 show was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Officials said in past years around 1 million people attended the show. Of that, around 12%, or 120,000 people are from Connecticut.

Keith Griffin, automotive journalist and past president of New England Motor Press Association said, “The real value to Connecticut folks is the diversity of the cars shown. Spend time touring the basement and you might see a flying car or collection of NYPD vehicles from the past. You also have the opportunity to see some of the rarer vehicles like Bugatti, Lamborghini and Ferrari that don’t display in Connecticut.”

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The show is also a place where car makers from around the globe have premiered new models. Griffin said, “New York has such a wide breadth of vehicles in general. I’ve attended the LA, Chicago, and Miami auto shows - to name a few - and none of them have matched the excitement or diversity of the NY Auto Show. It’s really worth the train ride into NYC, especially now that the subway runs to the Javits Center.”

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 “We had a lot of the vehicle manufacturers in at the Javits Center to do our pre op, take a look at what their floor plans, what their exhibits are looking for, like on it. And it just felt great,” said Mark Scheinberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association “I think the public's ready for living in Manhattan again. I think there's a real excitement about getting back out and doing things.”

One of the things Scheinberg is excited about is the expansion of the space where the public will be able to ride in electric vehicles on the lower level. Since the vehicles have zero emissions, they can operate inside the building and not just be driven to the exhibition area.

Over the past decade, floor space for EVs has grown. “We were out in front on it, we really saw that this was going to be an area that was going to continue to be of interest to consumers and to the manufacturers and talking about and we've kind of grown that over the years.”

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“This year, we've added about 250,000 square feet of space on level one, to doing several ride tracks, electric vehicle ride tracks, some for individual mobility, like scooters and bikes, and then some other programs,” said Scheinberg. Manufacturers, like Ford and Hyundai will be able to hold their own ride and drive programs.

He said because electric vehicles are new to so many consumers, the show is an excellent opportunity for people get their questions answered by not only manufacturers, but power companies like ConEd.

With the expansion of the Javits Center, not only is there more exhibit space, but the conference space for car makers and dealers to meet before and during the show.

In the industry, there have been rumblings that the age of the big auto shows is over. Manufacturers can go online and reach consumers directly. 

Scheinberg disagrees, “The strength of auto shows have been consistent through all the different challenges, you know, whether it's was the recession in 2008-2009, or other things that happen. The public needs quality transportation, and the auto shows have always been a perfect place for them to come because they're able to take a look at vehicles on the one roof, they're able to talk to really knowledgeable product specialists not worry about being hit with a salesperson that's trying to sell them a car.”

The New York International Auto Show runs from April 15 to 24 at the Javits Center in New York City. Check out www.autoshowny.com

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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