2013 New York Auto Show Media Preview - Day 1

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By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
The Auto Channel

To use a too oft-used word of today, day 1 of the 2013 New York Auto Show was “amazing”. The sunny spring-like weather certainly helped to get the day going and stimulate the auto media and VIPs in attendance. At the opening press breakfast the Nielson Global Automotive Advertising wards recognized the best in Sales Event, Luxury Event, Hispanic, Green, and the Automotive Ad of the Year.

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Keynote speaker Jim Farley, Ford’s EVP of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln, spoke about Ford’s drive to connect more closely than ever with consumers. Jim took the innovative approach of inviting Facebook’s Doug Frisbie and Google’s Brendan Krahan join him on stage and speak to the audience regarding cars being the original social media device and the disconnect that exists today in car experience on what we do.

To get this show going it takes about 1500 workers, 600 tractor trailers of stuff, amounting to 12 million pounds of materials. Along with the spring-y weather the overall industry mood is quite upbeat. Sales are good with annual projections for 2013 in the 15.2 up to 15.5 million units range.

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Show highlights go like this. Volkswagen followed with the debut in the U.S. of the 7th generation Golf which will arrive in the second half of 2014 as a 2015 model.Toyota was first out of the shoot in the morning with the introduction of the new third generation Highlander.

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Kia revealed three models, an updated Optima midsize sedan, a two door version of the compact Forte and a redesigned Kia Soul. Range Rover debuted its all-aluminum Range Rover Sport and Jaguar showed the XJ-R and XKR-S GT.

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BMW revealed the 3-series GT and also the Active Tourer concept that has the best new feature in the show, in my opinion, a large sunroof that darkens via the flip of a switch using suspended particle technology. Mercedes-Benz brought out the Alvin Ailey dancers and also a new B-class EV, the E-wagon AMG and the CLA45 AMG. A Smart EV will be coming, as a convertible too.

Acura showed the next generation MDX that will now come in front wheel drive as well as all wheel drive.

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Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Camaro and pulled off a bit of a surprise with the unveiling of a new Camaro Z/28 with a 500HP LS7 V8. This Camaro is stripped down with no trunk insulation, thin rear windows, only one audio speaker and air conditioning as an option.

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Jeep finished the already-leaked introduction of the reborn Cherokee that will have a 9-speed automatic mated to either a 3.2L V6 or a 2.4L 4-cylinder. And, Nissan showed an NV200 Taxi for mobility access needs.

Infiniti presented its third gas-electric model to its line-up with the introduction of the new QX60 Hybrid.

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Hyundai’s Equus has been refined with a modest front and rear freshening and significant interior upgrades and improvements. The Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis concept shows a new design direction for this brand.

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The 2014 Bentley Flying Spur, 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith, and 2014 Porsche GT3 are also at the show from these high dollar marques.

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General themes in the show are more luxury features, increased reduction in vehicle weight through lightweight materials, increased comfort, and the ongoing focus on fuel economy improvements. On this last point, Jim Farley clearly expressed that we need a new way to measure fuel economy since consumers are tuning out the EPA numbers.

Larry Nutson/p>


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