What We Learned at the 2021 LA Auto Show

Jenna Goode, Senior Account Manager, VDX.tv

The 2021 LA Auto Show took place from November 19th – 28th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with attendees coming to experience the latest tech and shop for/compare/test drive the newest cars, trucks, SUVs, electric vehicles and more. VDX.tv attended the event in order to bring our advertising clients and partners the scoop on the biggest auto trends and technological advances poised to impact the industry. Read on for our three key learnings.

Reduced major OEM presence, growing presence of local dealers and up-and-coming automotive brands

There was a noticeable absence of many of the larger OEM brands at the event such as Mercedes, Tesla, Honda, Buick, GMC, etc. Auto show attendance has been steadily waning over the years and the pandemic may have catalyzed OEM brands to reduce investment in live events like this – most likely shifting marketing budgets to digital and TV. While some OEMs opted to forego an activation, local dealer groups picked up the slack with smaller displays and test drives. We anticipate this trend of offering a more localized touch to continue in future shows. This also leaves room for younger, more tech-focused brands to make their mark. For example, we saw the unveiling of Fisker’s all-electric Ocean SUV and the Mullen FIVE all-electric crossover.

Strong focus on eco-friendly technology and green lifestyle

Whether it’s a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) or pure battery electric model, OEMs were touting their green plans for the future. PHEV/EV highlights include:

      • Subaru Soltera
      • Hyundai + Kia all-electric concept vehicles
      • Nissan Ariya
      • Porsche all-electric Sport Tourismo
The future of automotive lies in adaptable, shared-experience vehicles

With the popularity of Tesla and their large, interactive screens with built-in apps enabling activities outside of just playing music (video games, karaoke, etc.), other brands are picking up on the idea that driving can be more of a shared experience rather than something to endure on the way to your destination. Though self-driving vehicles are a far-off reality (at least in terms of widespread usage), auto makers are looking at ways to innovate and include more amenities in-vehicle. For example, the Kia electric concept vehicle with “living room” featured seats that turn to face each other. Fisker’s model included a “Hollywood screen” that rotates to allow for video watching and game play.

While 2020 and 2021 have no doubt been challenging years for the automotive industry, the upcoming year looks poised to bring consumers exciting new technological advances and innovation that paves the way for a brighter future.

Are you an automotive marketer who is looking to better connect with consumers and boost your advertising efforts? Contact us for more details on how our automotive advertising experts at VDX.tv can help you navigate the latest industry trends and reach your consumers with powerful video-driven experiences.


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