Auto manufacturers and Fresno dealers are driving back into the spotlight to show off new car designs and the latest in automobile technology at the Central California Auto Show.
Car manufacturers pulled out or cut their budgets completely when it came to participating in car shows over the last few years, said Brett Hedrick, secretary and treasurer for the Fresno-Clovis New Car Dealers Association and general manager of Hedrick Chevrolet in Clovis.
"I think the manufacturers are seeing they need to be out there in the community now and they need to have those shows to show people what's going on," he said.
The auto show returns to the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center for the sixth year Friday to Sunday.
Organizers say the show is a no-sales event designed to help consumers research and compare vehicles side-by-side.
Several new or redesigned vehicles will make their car show debut including the Acura TL, Chevrolet Sonic, Dodge Durango, Fiat 500, Ford Focus, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Ford also will give consumers a peek at its pre-production 2013 Ford Taurus.
Both Ford and Chevy will let showgoers test drive several vehicles outside the show on M and Inyo streets.
Inside, auto manufacturers will show off technology including entertainment features such as Pandora Internet Radio, which allows users to create a custom radio station.
Another popular technology that will be showcased is the smartphone application that allows car owners to lock or unlock doors, check tire pressure and remotely start their cars.
Hedrick said consumer interest led show organizers to expand its green row. The show will have an area reserved for cars that average 40-plus miles per gallon – several electric, hybrid and clean-diesel engine cars.