The 2012 Houston Auto Show opens its doors today, Jan. 25, at Reliant Center, reports the Houston Chronicle. More than 500 shiny new vehicles will be on display, including the Texas debut of models by Ford, Chrysler, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota, Honda and BMW. It will amount to a true resurgence for the show, after a series of lean years brought on by the 2008 recession.
Houston Auto Show is back in business
TrueCar.com vice president of industry trends Jesse Toprak told the Chronicle that the 2012 Houston Auto Show will be a bright light that shines through the old fog of financial uncertainty.
“It was really depressing (at auto shows),” said Toprak. “The talk was about who’s going out of business. We’re finally talking about cars again – the excitement over amazing cars. It feels like we’re back in business.”
Big names bringing out big guns
Numerous vehicles will be making their Texas debut at the 2012 Houston Auto Show, including the redesigned Ford Fusion that was named “Best in Show” by Auto Week at the recent Detroit Auto Show. Other debuts will include the redesigned Ford Escape; Chrysler’s Dodge Dart; the Cadillac XTS and ATS; Mazda’s CX-5; the Subaru Impreza; Toyota Prius C; Scion FR-S Sema; and five new BMW models.
Bouncing at the Ultra Luxury Boutique
This year’s rendition of the Houston Auto Show will turn up the swank with the debut of the “Ultra Luxury Boutique,” a showcase for super-premium cars like the Lamborghini Aventador and other models by Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche.
Smell the optimism
Automakers are experiencing increased sales as the doldrums of recession lift. Chrysler, Ford and GM are on the comeback trail, and even European manufacturers are thriving. Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are riding a sales explosion that has led to a dramatic increase in market share, while recently beleaguered Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda are making a real comeback after the Japan tsunami and other natural disasters.
Houston dealers experience increased sales
Mike Smith, the chairman of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association (HADA), noted that the age of vehicles on the road – 10.8 years – is “the highest age since we began keeping records.” In spite of this, however, Houston-area automotive dealerships posted a 9.9 percent retail sales increase in 2011.
“That is fantastic in light of the production shutdowns that occurred due to the natural disasters in Asia,” said HADA president Wyatt Wainwright.