At the New York auto show, it wasn’t hard to grab the spotlight

So it was a huge exhibit for Hyundai — which also got to rejoice its Ioniq 5 electric powered crossover successful World Car of the Year — and to a lesser extent for sibling manufacturer Kia. Each showed off freshened variations of their massively effective massive crossovers: the Palisade and the Telluride.

It also appeared like a great present for Stellantis, with its Jeep Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L extended versions, which appeared perfectly timed with gasoline selling prices falling from the thermosphere to the stratosphere. A dressed-up Chrysler Airflow Concept and a little news about the improvement of the Ram EV included to the entertaining.

But in any other case, automakers’ engagement with the show was pretty limited. Quite a few makes — most prominently the European luxurious marques — didn’t even trouble to place up a stand.

Toyota had a enormous stand — it seemed like an acre of area — while it failed to keep a press conference this yr. North America sales chief Bob Carter claimed it was just a functionality of the timing of new releases.

But then the following week, Toyota unveiled the Lexus RZ electric powered crossover on the net. And Lincoln, which also had a substantial and lovely display at the Javits Centre, unveiled its initial EV idea — an inspiration for the brand’s future — at an celebration in Los Angeles. That notion had been prepared for the Beijing demonstrate, which was not held final 7 days because of a surge in COVID-19 circumstances.

(Aside No. 3: Sure, the U.S. is behind the curve on electrification, but Lincoln’s preference for Beijing about New York was a hanging distinction to pre-pandemic periods when Matthew McConaughey aided display off the redesigned Navigator at the Big Apple present. While I see he is however connected to the manufacturer — joining manufacturer main Joy Falotico on phase in L.A.)

People slights to New York could be forgiven, most likely, as a item of the shifting calendar. But BMW unveiling its redesigned iconic 7 Series online just after briefing media in New York (exterior of the demonstrate) is a impressive condemnation of the present — and perhaps the long term — of vehicle shows.

Very first, it may just be the existing. Past thirty day period, Honda’s Jay Joseph informed me that the organization failed to see a lot stage in utilizing car exhibits to draw customers into the procuring funnel when the company are unable to make sufficient motor vehicles to fulfill recent demand from customers. Honda, like BMW, did not have a stand at the display.

And the decisions may have to do with the latest earlier: Right after so quite a few stops and begins — primarily for the New York clearly show — automakers with essential reveals may perhaps be understandably cautious of hanging their product or service rollout designs on the metropolis that has been a bellwether of the pandemic in America.

This 12 months, it felt a great deal like a Chicago-degree auto clearly show from the Just before Situations. Some refreshes and new trim amounts. Some wise walkarounds. And aside from Hyundai, not a ton of star electric power.

Is it the stop of the automobile demonstrate as we know it? I hope not. And the end wasn’t proved by this clearly show, but it wasn’t disproved, either. If the pandemic continues to recede and the subsequent calendar year of displays — from Detroit in September to New York next spring — don’t get more participation, they actually could become events for sellers and individuals only.

On the net reveals are clearly the wave of the current. If they are also the wave of the upcoming, we are heading to need to have gatherings these kinds of as the Auto Forum and our Automotive Information Congress far more than ever.