The Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association is gearing up for the next Lehigh Valley Auto Show starting March 16, the first one held since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
As usual, the show will be held at Lehigh University’s Goodman Campus. It will feature 125,000 square feet of new cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, trucks and motorcycles in three venues: Stabler Athletic and Convocation Center, Rauch Fieldhouse and Goodman Hall.
But there will be changes for this year.
Because of Lehigh University guidelines, masks must be worn at the event.
Also, for the first time, the show will be a five-day event and all sales will be online only. There will be no physical tickets and no cash will be accepted.
Show costs are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (55 +), $8 for children (6-14), and $30 for a family four-pack. Children five and under receive free admission. Tickets may be purchased online at glvada.org.
Hours have been expanded and the Wednesday evening preview fundraising gala will not be held to accommodate more people safely for regular ticket sales. This year the auto show will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday’s hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Since the he show has not been held since the pandemic began, it will highlight a number of changes in the industry since then.
The chair of this year’s auto show, Keith Muir, vice president of Star Buick GMC, said those highlights include increasing electrification as well as a continuing shift from sedans to SUVs and pickup trucks.
He also noted that the scarcity of raw materials and inventory has resulted in long wait times for vehicles and increasing prices for both dealers and consumers.
“At the end of 2021, a typical new vehicle cost $45,000, up about $8,000 from December 2020 according to industry data. Even the auto show itself is feeling these shortages. Our show has always had a mix of manufacturer and dealer provided displays. This year our dealers are pitching in even more and are providing inventory so that this show will be the kind of experience you are used to having.”
Tom Kwiatek, executive director of the association, said some of the show’s highlights will include an Electrification Station to promote electric vehicles and help patrons understand charging operations and units.
The State of Pennsylvania will exhibit its plans for charging stations on state highways. Other exhibitors include contractors and information on home charging options and pricing. A Ride and Drive Program will also be featured in the parking lot in front of Rauch Fieldhouse, featuring Audi and several other manufacturers, to give attendees an opportunity to drive electric vehicles.