For many North Texans, Spring Break “Staycation” activities include the Dallas and Fort Worth Zoos, Six Flags Over Texas and the Dallas World Aquarium. But this year, according to Lee J Chapman, president of the Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association, the 2013 DFW Auto Show was at the top of the list for tens of thousands auto enthusiasts and families alike.  So many, in fact, that Chapman declared this year’s Auto Show “the best ever” for the new Association.

“Our gate was up 10 percent over last year’s, which puts the 2013 attendance at 387,547, “ Chapman said. “Every day, the Show floor was just a sea of parents and more kids than I can ever recall seeing at one of our Auto Shows. We have always described our Show as a family event, and this year that was more evident than ever before. We are thrilled with the success of the DFW Auto Show and how it continues to grow each year.”

Many of the manufacturers even catered toward children this year providing a variety of interactive displays and other activities designed to draw their parents to their exhibits and their vehicles while keeping the kids entertained. MINI showcased a green screen-driving simulator whereby kids, even under the age of 16, could “drive” through the streets of London and receive a link to a video of their experience. Chevrolet had a flipbook photo booth built inside of a 1963 Greenbrier van, while Ford featured the EcoBoost Simulator and the Sim-Zilla Atlas concept Driving Simulator by Mannetron.

“The Ford Atlas Concept simulator debuted at the DFW Auto Show and was a tremendous hit with families. It was a thrill for everyone to see the Atlas Concept, and then have an off-road racing experience, as if they were behind the wheel of this amazing truck,” said Bill Flynn, Ford Lincoln general manager for the Central Market Area.

Also at the 2103 DFW Auto Show was The Kids’ Fun Zone sponsored by the Classic Family of Dealerships that included a bouncy house, inflatable obstacle course, art center, pre-school Grand Prix zone and a 22-foot slide. In addition, parents could register to win a variety of battery powered vehicles for their kiddos sponsored by Line-X; Texas Motorplex and Crew Kids highlighted a race car coloring contest; and the Geico gecko was on hand for pictures.

“This year’s DFW Auto Show was truly a family event,” said Don Herring Jr., 2013 DFW Auto Show chairman. “Our Wednesday and Thursday gate numbers were huge this year, and we believe that was in large part to our event being during Spring Break. Yes the Auto Show is always the perfect venue for serious car shoppers to find their ideal match, but it also was a draw for folks who just wanted a fun day out on the town. And for $5 for kids 6-12 and children under 5 admitted free, it was by far the best entertainment value in the Metroplex.”

But interactive displays, simulators and kid-related activities weren’t the only highlights of the 2013 DFW Auto Show. This year, manufacturers presented more than 20 2014 and beyond models to the public, unprecedented for the DFW Auto Show, Chapman said. 2014 spotlighted vehicles included: Acura RLX Tech Navi, Aston Martin Vanquish, Ford Transit Connect Wagon, Chevrolet Silverado and Impala; GMC Sierra, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar F-TYPE, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Lexus IS, Mazda CX-5 and Mazda6, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Ram ProMaster. Other exhibit highlights included the all-new 2013 SRT Viper and MINI Paceman, the Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro and the Ford F150 Atlas concept vehicle.

Also for the first time ever, all the high end manufacturers were featured at the DFW Auto Show including Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren and Rolls Royce.

“The DFW Auto Show is always a great opportunity for Aston Martin to showcase its brand,” said Kurt Fegraeus, managing partner of Aston Martin of Dallas. “And this year’s Show was exceptional. We had many people stop by our exhibit, those who just wanted to feast their eyes on our beautiful vehicles and those who were interested in possibly purchasing an Aston Martin in the future.”

After Show attendees had the opportunity to compare pricing and styling of a variety of vehicles on the exhibit floor, they could take their research a step further at the Ride & Drive event outside the Dallas Convention Center doors. More than 60 models from Ford, General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC Trucks), Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram, Kia, Mazda and Subaru were available for test drives.
Rounding out the DFW Auto Show experience this year was an appearance by Ronnie and Amy Shirley, Krazy Dave and Bobby from the reality series “Lizard Lick Towing”. Thousands of fans lined up to meet and have their pictures taken with their favorite cast members, as well as have t-shirts, pictures and other items signed.

“We had fans from Houston, San Antonio and Austin come to the DFW Auto Show just to see the cast from ‘Lizard Lick Towing,’ Chapman said. “Ronnie, Amy, Krazy Dave and Bobby certainly added a fun and exciting dimension to the Show this year.”



Look. Compare. Test drive. Dream. Those are the four “buzz verbs” at the 2013 DFW Auto Show, March 13-17 at the Dallas Convention Center.

“The DFW Auto Show has become a can’t miss family tradition, introducing young and old auto enthusiasts alike to the latest in sleek new styles, advancements in energy efficiency, the latest innovations in safety and cutting edge technology,” said Don Herring, Jr., chairman of the 2013 DFW Auto Show. “Everyone from Acura to Volvo will be showcasing their best and brightest of 2013 and beyond in more than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. And this is where ‘look and compare’ come into play.”

The 2013 DFW Auto Show is the ideal venue for serious car shoppers to research more than 700 cars, trucks and SUVs from 30+ manufacturers. Herring invites consumers to check under the hoods, sit behind the wheels and talk with product specialists about the vehicles that pique their interest.

In addition to an impressive lineup of 2013s, including the all-new Buick Encore, MINI Paceman, Subaru XV Crosstrek, and the “first time in Texas” SRT® Viper, manufacturers are looking toward the future with a variety of 2014 models including: Acura RLX Tech Navi; Aston Martin Vanquish; Chevrolet Impala and Silverado; the Ford Fiesta and the Texas debut of the Transit Connect Wagon; GMC Sierra; Jaguar F-Type; Jeep Grand Cherokee; Kia Cadenza and Sorento; Mazda Mazda6, CX5 and CX9; Mitsubishi Outlander; Ram ProMaster; and Subaru Forester. Other vehicles scheduled to appear include: Acura MDX Concept; Hot Wheels Chevy Camaro specialty vehicle; and the Ford F150 Atlas Concept.

Visitors can “dream” in the High End area where Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Maserati and Rolls Royce will showcase their $100,000+ vehicles.
“The Dallas Auto Show is an excellent opportunity for the consumer to enjoy shopping for cars of all styles and prices,” said Heath Strayhan, general manager of Park Place’s Premier Collection.

“We will have an excellent line-up of ultra luxury vehicles for the show which includes the McLaren 12C and 12C Spider, a Maserati Gran Turismo coupe and convertible, the Bentley Continental series and the Rolls-Royce Ghost. For the auto enthusiast, this is the perfect lineup of the finest vehicles produced in the world.”

Outside, consumers can take their new vehicle research a step further in the third annual Ride & Drive event on Friday through Sunday. Consumers will have the opportunity to test drive their favorite cars, trucks and SUVS from Ford; General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC Trucks); Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram; Mazda; Kia and Subaru.

“There truly is not a better way to shop, compare and ‘try on’ your vehicles under consideration and to have your questions answered by knowledgeable product specialists than at the Ride & Drive,” Herring said.

The stars of  “Lizard Lick Towing,” a reality series on truTV that takes viewers inside the workings of Lizard Lick Towing & Recovery in Lizard Lick, NC, will appear at the DFW Auto Show March 15-17 to sign autographs. Ron, Amy and the Lizard Lick Krew, who pride themselves on being able to “tow just about anything from any place at any time using their serious horsepower,” will appear during the following days and times: noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15; noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 16; and 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 16.

Completing the DFW Auto Show experience this year are classic car displays, shopping in the Allied Exhibit area; a “Spring Breakaway Family Expo” that will target families and their lifestyle interests; and games with the media on Saturday and Sunday.
Hours of the show are: 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, March 13 and 14; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 17. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 65 and older and children ages 6-12, and children 5 and under are admitted free. $1 discount coupons are available at participating franchised new car dealerships. For more information, and to purchase tickets online, visit DallasAutoShow.com

The Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association (DFW NCDA) is a trade association that is comprised of approximately 200 franchised new car dealerships in 11 North Texas counties that represent more than $10 billion in new and used car sales annually. The DFW NCDA serves both dealers and consumers through legislative issues, education and training, and community relations, with an emphasis on building a strong future for its dealer members and a rewarding shopping experience for their customers. The DFW Auto Show at the Dallas Convention Center and the DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth are two of the nation’s premier auto shows that are developed, presented and showcased by the DFW NCDA. Visit www.dfwncda.com for more information.

Spotlight Shines on 2013 Models at the DFW Auto Show in Dallas

It may have been the 2012 DFW Auto Show in Dallas, but Show attendees also received a glimpse into the future as many manufacturers shined their spotlights on their 2013 models.

“This year’s Auto Show unveiled an unprecedented 30+ future models,” said Don Herring, Jr., 2012 DFW Auto Show in Dallas chairman. “And 351,360 people came to see them!”

Acura, Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Porsche, Scion, Subaru and Toyota all showed the public what they can look forward to in the near future.

Show patrons also were drawn to the hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles this year as gasoline loomed at the $4.00 a gallon mark. The media focused their cameras on the Mitsubishi “i”, the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf and the Ford C-Max, as well as other eco-friendly vehicles.

“When gas prices start creeping up, so does the interest in hybrids, all-electric vehicles and even compacts with higher mpg ratings. And this year we had plenty of these vehicles for consumers to consider,” Herring added.

This year’s DFW Auto Show in Dallas played host to an expanded Ride & Drive event that took place in the old Reunion Arena parking lot. Participants included Cadillac, Chrysler (including Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram), Ford, General Motors (including Buick, Chevrolet and GMC), Hyundai, Kia, Subaru and Volkswagen.

“This year’s expanded event offered 70 choices for consumers to test drive –from sedans, coupes, SUVs, pickups and even hybrids. Each year, more and more manufacturers are seeing the value of getting consumers behind the wheels of their vehicles at auto shows. And the DFW Auto Show in Dallas is proud to offer one of the largest Ride & Drive events in the country,” said Lee J Chapman, president of the DFW NCDA.

On Saturday, the DFW Auto Show in Dallas teamed up with the North Texas Food Bank for the “Fuel Up North Texas” food drive. Visitors to the Show who donated one can of food or other non-perishable item received a $2 discount off a $12 ticket. In addition, DFW NCDA dealer members participated in a Dealership Challenge by collecting food from employees and customers and then delivering it to the Show. At the event’s conclusion, 4,824 pounds of food were collected and donated to the North Texas Food Bank, which translated to 4,020 meals to help feed the hungry.

“This was a great way to launch the DFW NCDA’s community awareness program,” Chapman said. “The ‘Fuel Up North Texas’ event was the perfect opportunity to get both Show attendees and our dealer members involved in a project that benefited a very worthwhile organization. We are very pleased that our combined efforts were able to make a small dent in the campaign to fight hunger in North Texas.”

Not only do children 12 and under get in free to the Auto Show but, this year, they also had an area devoted just to them. Saturday also featured the first ever Kids’ Day event, sponsored by Univision. Children of all ages were treated to games with prizes (including putt putt, skee ball and basketball), live animal exhibitions, face painting, balloon animals and other activities, all free of charge. The Dallas Zoo gave up close and personal introductions to a penguin, owl, alligator and snake, while Thomas the Parrot entertained one and all, courtesy of Robert Stapleton of Veteran Falls. Other participants included Boy Scout Troop 108 from Mesquite, Crew Kids, CBS11, the Dallas Fire Department and fingerprinting by the Dallas Police Department. In addition, Univision offered Child Safety Seat installation demonstrations and gave away 20 safety seats to audience members.

“This year’s Show was a win-win event for parents and children alike. Herring said. “Parents were able to peruse the hundreds of new vehicles and then reward their kiddos for their patience with a variety of activities and games. The DFW Auto Show in Dallas truly is an event for the whole family.”