Florida has many things going for it: warm winters, long expanses of beaches, great theme parks, but there is one place where it truly suffers. Auto shows. While there are three on the show circuit, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, none of them are what you’d call news worthy. Tampa’s is the least newsworthy of all.
Tampa is the last city in the entire auto show tour. In fact, the beginning of the 2013 auto show series has already begun with the show in L.A. while the Tampa show opens this Friday.
And there’s the rub.
While every auto enthusiast is talking about the new debuts and concepts shown at the L.A. auto show, Florida auto buffs get to lay out their cash to see the cars that debuted last January. We don’t get to see the good stuff from L.A., Detroit, and Chicago until next January. It’s a cruel fate for fans of the four wheeled culture.
Tampa and the Auto Show industry do realize the problem but only partially try to resolve it. Unlike most of the shows where you just get to sit in and pop the hood on the cars, various manufactures have an assortment of cars waiting for you to test drive. It’s a small test drive but you get no hassle or pressure to buy from the spokesperson. As I said, though, it’s half-hearted.
Jeep, for instance, has vehicles available to test drive, but they didn’t bring their “Jeep Experience” track with them. Why not? Just because Florida is as flat as Nebraska it doesn’t mean that show goers and potential customers wouldn’t like to see what a Jeep can really do. Plus it would be so much fun to pilot your own mild, mini roller coaster.
That last statement defines the problem with the Tampa Auto Show. For all the cars they do bring in one gathering, the Tampa Auto Show has all the excitement of going to get your hair cut.
And that is just what I am going to do this weekend instead of going to the show. It’ll cost more, but I can find better food.