You’re splitting firewood behind your remote lakeside cabin when you hear it. The distant echo of an engine, rotors beating the air. By the time the Sikorsky enters your field of view, you know why it’s come. No one’s ever really retired in your line of work. Eventually, the call always comes in.
The suit who exits the helicopter doesn’t wait for the blades to stop. Must be urgent this time, they’re desperate. Of course, they’d have to be to come all the way out here and find you. You say you’re retired, out of the game, but you and the suit both know it’s all posturing — anything important enough to demand your attention is something you can’t say no to. But the ask that leaves the suit’s lips is bigger than you ever expected.
“Auto shows are dying, and have been for years. We need you to save them.”
You’ve been given complete, direct control over every auto show within the United States, and the full budget of a shadowy government organization to put to use fixing them. Your mission: Draw in attendees, bring the brands back, and restore auto shows to their former glory. How are you going to do it?
The top priority, I would think, would be the return of brands and debuts. Automakers have taken to revealing products at their own, self-run events, leaving a distinct lack of new things to see at shows like Detroit or New York. Giving automakers more freedom around their debuts, but putting up a full auto show staff to actually run them, could draw interest back — it’s certainly easier than Chevy getting into the set design business.
That’s where I would start, to restore the American auto show, but what would you do? Would you double down on Jeep Mountain experiences, or slip some of that sweet sweet DoD funding over to GM as a bribe to bring back Pontiac? Leave your plans in the comments below, and we’ll collect our favorite answers tomorrow.