Dealers hope you come to see, buy

PHILADELPHIA. The most exciting trend at the 108th annual Philadelphia Auto Show this week involves types of vehicles that remain well beyond the means for most car-loving Americans.

“One trend is the electrification of the car and how it’s being handled, whether that’s a plug-in or the traditional hybrid and even small engine gasoline cars getting 40 miles a gallon,” said Kevin Mazzucola of Automobile Dealers Association of Philadelphia, which runs the car show.

But that flies directly in the face of the overall goal of the show, which attracts about 250,000 people each year and that Mazzucola hopes will help regional dealerships rebound from an abysmal year in 2009.

Car sales in the United States fell from 17 million in 2006 to 10.4 million last year, he said, noting that from regional surveys, the auto show influences 40 percent of new purchases annually.

“Sales have been slow obviously in 2009 and that’s why we’re hoping this show provides a trampoline effect, a bounce back, to get people interested in a next purchase,” he said.

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