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

So it was a massive present for Hyundai — which also received to celebrate its Ioniq 5 electric crossover winning Planet Auto of the 12 months — and to a lesser extent for sibling model Kia. Both equally showed off freshened variations of their massively successful significant crossovers: the Palisade and the Telluride.

It also seemed like a great present for Stellantis, with its Jeep Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L extended versions, which appeared perfectly timed with gasoline rates falling from the thermosphere to the stratosphere. A dressed-up Chrysler Airflow Idea and a little information about the progress of the Ram EV additional to the enjoyable.

But in any other case, automakers’ engagement with the exhibit was quite restricted. Many brand names — most prominently the European luxury marques — failed to even trouble to put up a stand.

Toyota experienced a enormous stand — it seemed like an acre of place — even though it did not keep a push meeting this yr. North America profits main Bob Carter claimed it was just a function of the timing of new releases.

But then the adhering to week, Toyota unveiled the Lexus RZ electric powered crossover on the net. And Lincoln, which also had a substantial and beautiful display at the Javits Middle, unveiled its very first EV strategy — an inspiration for the brand’s long run — at an event in Los Angeles. That concept had been prepared for the Beijing clearly show, which was not held very last week simply because of a surge in COVID-19 scenarios.

(Aside No. 3: Sure, the U.S. is guiding the curve on electrification, but Lincoln’s desire for Beijing over New York was a placing contrast to pre-pandemic moments when Matthew McConaughey assisted present off the redesigned Navigator at the Large Apple present. Though I see he is still connected to the manufacturer — joining brand main Pleasure Falotico on phase in L.A.)

These slights to New York could be forgiven, potentially, as a product of the shifting calendar. But BMW unveiling its redesigned legendary 7 Series on the web immediately after briefing media in New York (exterior of the exhibit) is a powerful condemnation of the current — and quite possibly the foreseeable future — of auto shows.

1st, it may possibly just be the present. Final month, Honda’s Jay Joseph told me that the enterprise failed to see a great deal place in applying auto demonstrates to attract people into the browsing funnel when the corporation cannot develop plenty of cars to fulfill existing desire. Honda, like BMW, did not have a stand at the demonstrate.

And the choices could have to do with the current past: Soon after so a lot of stops and commences — specially for the New York demonstrate — automakers with key reveals may well be understandably wary of hanging their product or service rollout designs on the metropolis that has been a bellwether of the pandemic in The us.

This calendar year, it felt a great deal like a Chicago-degree vehicle present from the Prior to Moments. Some refreshes and new trim degrees. Some sensible walkarounds. And apart from Hyundai, not a lot of star electric power.

Is it the conclude of the car exhibit as we know it? I hope not. And the end wasn’t proved by this display, but it was not disproved, either. If the pandemic proceeds to recede and the future 12 months of exhibits — from Detroit in September to New York future spring — really don’t get a lot more participation, they actually could turn into occasions for dealers and shoppers only.

On the internet reveals are clearly the wave of the present. If they’re also the wave of the long run, we’re going to need to have gatherings these types of as the Auto Forum and our Automotive Information Congress much more than at any time.