I reported from the 2010 St. Louis Auto Show at America's Center for News 4 Awake this morning. There weren't a lot of people there at 5:30 in the morning but 500 vehicles were in place... including a 2010 Toyota Camry and Corolla... two cars the manufacturer has recalled and is not even selling at the moment. That surprised me. By looking at Toyota's floor space you'd never suspect anything out of the ordinary was going on.
I have to believe once the doors open there will be some people making a b-line to the Toyota spot. The Executive Vice President of the St. Louis Auto Dealers Association, Chris Adelmann told me he hopes Toyota has some knowledgeable staff on hand to answer people's questions.
You won't have to look far to find other car companies trying to take advantage of the situation. It's likely all of them will try to lure Toyota customers to their brand. Ironically General Motors floor space is only a few steps from Toyota's. GM is the first company to tell Toyota customers if they're worried about their car, come trade it for a new Chevy, GMC, Buick or Cadillac and get an extra $1000 incentive.
It's not uncommon for car companies to target owners of other brands and try to convince them THEIR brand is better. That sort of tactic seems to be a no-brainer right now.
Adelmann says while the recall is bad news he give Toyota credit for "stepping up and pulling those cars back, letting the consumers know they're worried about their safety."
Should be some interesting conversations at this year's Auto Show. For hours, ticket prices and more, check out www.stlouisautoshow.com.