Automakers from Mercedes-Benz to Kia flock to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance image

The Southern California annual automobile event is a classic one – actually in more than one way – it has become an outstanding tradition and is dedicated to historical cars.

But in recent years automakers have started to storm suchevents to promote both their brand and most recent models, much like they would do it during a traditional car show like NAIAS.

“We’ve had sponsorships for almost 20 years, but they seem to be using this more and more as they do for big motor shows,” says Sandra Button, chairwoman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “A lot of cars get sold during the weekend.”

“It is not what I’d call the traditional auto show or vehicle display that traditionally an automotive manufacturer would be a part of,” adds Peter Grady, Maserati’s US head. “This really turns into more of an event where you’re rubbing elbows, you’re talking to the influencers, you’re talking to people that are advocates for your brand and you’re trying to get advocates for your brand.”

According to the event’s officials, usually around 15,000 people gather to see more than 200 cars, from Ferrari Testarossas to Rolls-Royce Phantoms. For last year’s edition though, no less than 22 of them were concepts or brand new production models. This year, automakers that included the usual slew of premium and high-end producers were joined by the likes of Kia, aiming to increase sales and most of all – brand awareness.

Via Bloomberg