NewCarNews will be on hand at the LA Convention Center to see more than 60 global and North American vehicle premieres by the world’s top automakers.
THE LA AUTO SHOW COMES OF AGE
The Los Angeles Auto Show is one of the country’s oldest, but for many years it was held right before the much larger January Detroit auto show, so it wasn’t the best time for the automakers to bring out their "latest stuff". Just a few years ago, the date changed to mid-November, and the folks in LA took the opportunity to create a brand that is very Californian, very current, very fashionable, and very marketable. It has become The LA Show. Their logo isn't green, but much of the car show has become a statement about efficient fuels and mileage-improving designs.
This theme offered some very impressive examples this year:
Chevrolet Spark EV
My recent test drive in a standard mode l revealed a very fun and comfortable experience. Looks small from the outside but very roomy (seats 4) and an easy fit inside. Handling is firm and braking is smooth.
Spark EV’s battery is warranted for eight years or 100,000 miles. Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes. A common on-board charging receptacle accommodates all three charging platforms – DC Fast Charge, AC 240V, and AC 120V. Using a dedicated 240V outlet, Spark EV recharges in less than 7 hours. Owners can coordinate charging according to departure time or during off-peak electricity rates. They also can manage and monitor the vehicle remotely via computer at OnStar.com, or with a special Chevrolet Mobile App powered by OnStar Remote Link
Here’s my interview with Pamela Fletcher, Executive Chief Engineer – Electrified Vehicles, General Motors
And what does the electrification of such a small vehicle with the addition of Siri say about the future of General Motors? Here’s GM President Mark Ruess:
Why is it so hard for some to love the FIAT 500? Well, it may take a little longer to appreciate the beauty of this car, but what if I told you it was sexy to drive one? Would you be more interested in climbing into one? That’s what FIAT is doing with a new group of very clever commercials -- making it both sexy and fashionable to buy a 500. And soon you’ll be able to buy an electric version, the 500e.
One of the very best media presentations at the 2012 LA Show was hosted by Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysler Group. François showed several of the Fiat 500 TV ads that convincingly make the statement that driving a 500 is sexy. Here is a conversation with Francois after his presentation:
Beyond the smoke and mirrors is the fact that the 500e is a great idea. I have driven the 500, but I can’t wait to give the 500e a test drive.
FORD 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Engine
Ford had a huge wow factor at this year’s LA Show. Not only did the automaker unveil new, more efficient products, such as the first North American application of the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the 2014 Fiesta, it also won a prestigious Green Car of the Year award for its 2013 Ford Fusion.
AUDI TDI Diesel for A8, A7, A6, and Q5
Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America, make a compelling case for moving more quickly to support the diesel engine in cars driven here in America. According to Audi, the 22,000 owners of Audis with their TDI diesel engines saved 4,583,733 gallons of gasoline since 2009. Keogh says, “Diesel’s transformation went far beyond just fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. By almost every measure, it was as clean – or cleaner – than gasoline. We were achieving lower levels of particulate emissions, significantly lower levels of evaporate emissions, and less nitrous oxide.”
Why make this announcement at the LA Show? “People in California love two things: the great outdoors, and great driving. Because clean diesel dramatically improves both -- the quality of the air and performance on the road -- that’s why Californians are embracing this. In the last twelve months, one-third of all four A3 TDIs sold in the U.S. were sold here in California.”
And then the bombshell, what Keogh called ‘leveling the road’. “To the state and federal policymakers, let’s level the playing field. Let’s open HOV lanes to diesel, rethink how miles-per-gallon is calculated, ratchet up diesel research, and make the tax on diesel equal to gas. We know that diesel will do in the market exactly what it does on the road: outperform. If the government is going to be in the business of creating incentives, it should create incentives for the low carbon, high-efficiency future we want.”
Here is part of my interview with Keogh after his presentation:
Audi’s presentation and message were perfectly suited for the LA Show.
Watch for future stories about the LA SHow here on NewCarNews.TV
About the Los Angeles Auto Show As the first major North American auto show of the season, the LA Auto Show will host some of the industry's most important new vehicle debuts and set the tone for the rest of the year. The last day to register for press credentials online for pick up at the Show is Nov. 16. Following Press Days, the show becomes one of the best attended public auto shows in the world. To receive the latest show news and information, follow the LA Auto Show on Twitter at twitter.com/LAAutoShow, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/LosAngelesAutoShow and sign up for alerts at LAAutoShow.com.