Sponsored By

August 3, 1998

2 Min Read
Molding Bugs: The NY International Auto Show

The 97th New York International Auto Show (NYIAS, March 29-April 6), the oldest auto show in North America, welcomed more than 1.1 million attendees during its nine-day run, maintaining its standing as the largest U.S. auto show.

Visitors attended the show to see new models, decide vehicle purchases, ogle at the concept cars, and also have a lot of fun, according to an exit survey. The survey revealed that 50 percent intend to purchase a vehicle in the next 12 months; 82 percent of the visitors said the Auto Show was helpful in deciding on a vehicle to purchase; 50 percent said they were most likely to purchase a passenger car, followed by 30 percent who indicated a preference for sport-utility vehicles (surprising for a New York audience).

More than 1000 cars and trucks were on display, including 17 debuts from such manufacturers as Chevrolet, Jeep, Land Rover, Lincoln-Mercury, Porsche, and Subaru. The futuristic concept cars on display drew intense interest from consumers, as did the many different new models designed and built for the here and now. But, whether they were aware of it or not, the million-plus attending NYIAS all saw some of the best applications of one thing all the different vehicles shared in common--you guessed it, injection molding.

Inside, outside, under the hood--today's vehicles wouldn't exist without you, and neither could tomorrow's. Two of the most striking examples of tomorrow's cars are the Plymouth Pronto Spyder and the Dodge Intrepid ESX2. Both feature stunning structural load-bearing body panels molded in Ticona PET. Still, there may have been no better display of the impact of injection molding on the automotive market than at the Volkswagen exhibit. VW ran a molding machine all nine days at NYIAS.

Popularizing the introduction of the New Beetle, VW drew the longest lines of attendees at any NYIAS booth by molding New Beetle giveaways out of recycled PMMA taillight lenses. VW molded pen holders shaped like the New Beetle on an Arburg Allrounder 270C. Molding pen holders was a good idea, since the parts were quite hot and the lines were quite long. The pen holders were ejected onto an integrated under-the-press conveyor. A machine attendant simply stuck pens into the top of them and, holding them by the pens, upside-down, handed the hot little parts into the show attendees' hot little hands. Attendees could twirl the parts on their pens as they cooled while strolling over to examine the beautifully molded TPO fenders on real beside-the-press New Beetles waiting nearby. Maybe someone from VW learned this method of drawing crowds by attending NPE last year.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like