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Utah International Auto Expo Rolls Into Sandy

SANDY, Utah – It’s the New Year, which means its new car season and hundreds of new models are on display in Sandy at the Utah International Auto Expo.

As the snow fell outside Friday morning, hundreds of people lined up to be the first inside this year’s show in Sandy. This is the chance to check out the features, open the doors, sit in the seats and talk with the automobile representatives about what’s new.

This year, the manufacturers are indeed looking for a bit of a jumpstart. While annual sales are good, about 15 million vehicles nationally, they’ve somewhat plateaued.

“Part of the reason is that the cars that people own are getting older and older and it’s a testament to how well these cars are being built today,” said Charlie Volgleheim, Auto Industry writer who is attending this year’s expo. “They’re lasting that long; we’re on 11 years plus on the average car in the driveway right now.”

So how do car makers get consumers to put something new in the driveway? Many are redesigning and modifying their most popular models.

“We keep our cars fresh,” said Honda’s Eddie Jeppson. “Right now we’re on our third generation on our Pilots; we’re going to be changing that in 2021. My CRV is the fifth generation. Every time we bring out a new generation in a vehicle there are new features that people are looking for.”

Conn Famuliner, zone manager for Ford, said these redesigns indeed work and customers respond.

“Everybody enjoys having the changes. We’ve gone from steel to aluminum, our sales increase when we make those changes. When we had EcoBoost motors come in, that increased our sales,” he said.

And if you really want to turn heads and draw attention, check out what Tim Dahle Nissan custom-built. Brand new for 2020, a tricked out, V8 SUV for the avid outdoor family, complete with big tires and a tent mounted on the top.

Tim Dahle Nissan unveiled a custom-built family SUV at the Utah International Auto Expo in Sandy this weekend.

“We took the insides, put some bunk beds system on the inside of that,” explained Travis Murdock, Nissan Customer Experience Director. “Then we have this tent that we put on the top, I mean, if you have a van you got to have a tent right?”

And when the kids want to get out of the tent on the top, they just go down a long aluminum slide that extends down the back end of the vehicle.

So, if you want something traditional, or a little more eye-catching, you’ll find it at the auto expo, which runs through 10 p.m. Monday.

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