The best motor shows are the busiest, full to the brim with exciting new metal spanning the breadth of the industry, from compact electric models to ridiculous hypercars that all but 150 people can only dream of.
In Europe, we can nearly always rely on Geneva motor show in March and Frankfurt or Paris shows in September to come up with the goods.
But, there’s always one overwhelming question that comes to mind again and again – why are manufacturers choosing to share so much exhibition and column space with other manufacturers when they could do their own launch event and get all the attention?
I’m often told by car makers that cars are often launched at motor shows if it fits with when the product is ready. Simple as that. There’s obviously more strategy in some cases: I can’t see Mercedes having chosen to reveal the AMG Project One anywhere but on its home turf of Frankfurt.
All of that brings up to this week’s LA motor show, which, to put it politely, isn’t one of the more exciting shows of recent times.
There’s three cars of note: the new Mercedes-Benz CLS, the BMW i8 Roadster and infamous car designer Chris Bangle’s crazy new car designed for a Chinese firm. Smaller players include a Mazda 6 facelift, Lexus RX L and a US-only Subaru Ascent.
And then there are a few new US-only cars, which naturally are relevant for the show, but none are major enough to shout home about.
The upshot of this – other than far fewer miles to cover for a journalist covering the show compared to Frankfurt – is that these cars will get all the glory.
A car that one week would have been squeezed at a bottom of a news page thanks to so many competition will this week have a full two pages. A car that would have been shared Autocar’s website homepage with 25 other new cars will only be sharing it with 10.
It means models such as CLS and i8 Roadster – certainly notable in their own right but easily lost at a manic motor show – will get their respective dues.
Whether that’s the car makers’ strategy or pure luck is hard to tell, but either way, they’re on to a winner.