2024 New York Auto Show Recap — A West Side Bounce Back?


2024 new york auto show recap a west side bounce back

One of my favorite little nuggets of irony is that the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan is actually very well-to-do. It’s not anything like any commonly imagined vision of hell, unless your vision of hell consists of yuppies, puppies, and way too many people.

The Jacob K. Javits convention center is in Hell’s Kitchen, situated along the Hudson River between 34th and 38th streets. As an aside, if you’re a New Yorker please don’t @ me and say it’s really in Hudson Yards or whatever. Wikipedia lists it as Hell’s Kitchen and if Wiki says it, it must be true.

Ahem, I was going somewhere with this — ah, right. Hell’s Kitchen may have once been a nasty place, but it’s nice now. And it’s a good place to show a bunch of new cars to the residents of a city where many people don’t drive.

That last sentence probably reads as more sarcastic than I intend it to. Just because much of New York is easier to navigate by foot or public transit, there’s still a strong market for cars in and around the Big Apple. Mix in the fact that city is home to many members of the press who normally cover topics other than automotive, and the New York Auto Show tends to have a strong media day, regardless of what happens at shows in other cities.

This year, that was sort of the case — there were enough debuts to keep us busy. But in a nod to how the world works these days, several automakers decided to do unveils in Manhattan but not at Javits or during the media day.

Nissan, Infiniti, and Genesis all had events before I even touched down at LaGuardia. Infiniti took the wraps off the QX80 on top of a 100-story Hudson Yards high-rise and Genesis apparently ferried media across the city via helicopter. Me? I kvetched about cab fare jumping $20 since the last time I hailed one, thanks to city surcharges.

Again, I digress. As I’ve said before, it makes sense from an OEM perspective to debut new models away from the madness of media day. You simply get more attention that way.

Regardless of whether an unveiling happened at Javits or not, the fact that five or six new vehicles were shown in New York sort of makes up for Chicago being so quiet that I didn’t even write a recap.

Yes, most of the unveilings were refreshes — the Nissan Kicks probably has the biggest redesign — or concepts. But if you use auto shows as a barometer of the health of the industry, which you probably shouldn’t, this one feels good.

I won’t go so far to say that the automotive industry is stabilizing after a wild four years — one auto show does not a sample size make. But the vibes in NYC were, from what I can see, generally positive. I didn’t hear a lot of journalists grumbling about a lack of action, anyway.

Did I find heaven in Hell’s Kitchen? I don’t think I’d go that far, but it was definitely not purgatory.

Random and assorted musings, automotive-related and not:

  • Whenever one of us, usually former New Yorker Matt Posky, writes about city surcharges in New York, the topic seems academic to me. Seeing my cab receipt, though, made it real. I don’t have enough knowledge to really do a deep dive on the politics of it all — though I am generally in favor of reducing congestion and pollution — but I do wonder how the working class deals with the cost.
  • Manhattan remains a great place for car spotting. Whether it’s a Maybach GLS or the really clean drop-top Fox-body Mustang I saw street parked somewhere in the 30s, or the older Caprice I saw on my previous trip to Manhattan in January, there’s always a cool car to see.
  • I took the subway for one round trip and noted the greater law enforcement presence, but the subway has never felt that dangerous to me. Perhaps there has been an overreaction to a few high-profile incidents?
  • I will wrap with this: If you’re going to the auto show, or any big-city auto show, carve time for the side exhibits. Whether they are showing exotics, modified classics, or whatever, they are just as interesting as the main OEM booths.

With that, auto-show season downshifts from major events until SEMA and LA in the fall.

[Image © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Source link