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For Lisa Kaz, the LA Auto Show is a family business

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Lisa Kaz, CEO of the LA Auto Show.

"It gets more interesting every day," Lisa Kaz says of technology used in autos. Steven Byeon/Marketplace

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Not long after Lisa Kaz graduated college with a computer science degree, she joined her grandfather in the auto show business.

“My mother actually made me come work for him,” Kaz said. Thirty-two years later, she’s running the LA Auto show herself as CEO. And given her early interest in technology, it’s perhaps not surprising that she’s embraced new types of mobility and auto technology. “It gets more interesting every day.”

Interesting doesn’t necessarily mean easier, though.

“The car show business is very challenging right now,” Kaz said. But it’s a little easier than in other markets because the auto companies are eager to reach customers in auto-centric Los Angeles. “They’re showing both futuristic cars and cars that are available for sale now or soon to be.”

One of the thousand or so cars on display includes Ford’s newly announced all-electric Mustang Mach-E. It’s an example, Kaz said, of “all of the changes that are taking place in this industry.” At the LA Auto Show, Ford’s display includes a climbing wall and a multistory sculpture of the Mustang logo.

Ford’s display at the LA Auto show prominently features the new Mach-E

Kaz said her biggest worry is staying ahead of mobility trends.

“If I’m looking for trends and competitive edge, I’m not going to auto shows,” she said. She’s more interested in, for example, another event held at the LA Convention Center: the Consumer Electronics Show.

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