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WATCH: Interview with Brendan Flynn, Communications Director of the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

WATCH: Interview with Brendan Flynn -- Part Two

WATCH: Welcome to's Coverage of the 2011 L.A. Auto Show



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2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011 3:03 PM

PREVIEW: 2011 L.A. Auto Show to kick off auto show season with over 50 new models

Press Preview: Nov. 16 and 17; Charity night: Nov. 17; Public days: Nov. 18 - 27


A look at last year's 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. This year's auto show is only few weeks away...


by Jason Rzucidlo



LOS ANGELES -- The 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show will open to the media on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 16 and 17. More than 50 new vehicle debuts will take place over press days. The charity sneak preview will take place on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Homeless Health Care Los Angeles and One Voice L.A. The L.A. Auto Show officially opens to the public on Nov. 18 and runs through the 27. It will be open on Thanksgiving Day as well. All of the excitement will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, located at 1201 S. Figueroa Street.

The L.A. Auto Show is the first major auto show of the 2011-2012 season. It continues with the North American International Auto Show (Detroit) in January, the Chicago Auto Show in February, the Toronto Auto Show in February, the Geneva Auto Show in March and the New York Auto Show in April. The New Delhi Auto Show, which takes place every other year, will be held in January 2012.

"This is going to be another big year for L.A., we're going to have over 1,000 cars," said Brendan Flynn, communications director of the L.A. Auto Show. "We're going to have over 50 debuts, 20 of them are going to be never-before-seen world debuts. We have some interesting sub stories going on here at the show. We have a small SUV war going on with the Ford Escape, which is going to be the global debut. That is the Kuga in Europe. Honda is going to have their CR-V, which is a similar class crossover vehicle. Mazda is going to have their CX-5, which is an all-new vehicle for them. You're going to see a real fuel economy battle going on with these kind of midsize vehicles."

The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 2013 Chevrolet Spark, 2013 Infiniti IPL G convertible, 2013 Infiniti JX, and the Fiat 500 Abarth are some of the confirmed production models that will be on display at the auto show this year. Additional vehicles that will be shown include the 2012 Ford C-Max Hybrid, 2012 Hyundai Elantra Coupe and the 2012 Hyundai Azera.

"L.A. always has a lot of concept cars, we have 13 or 14 design studios here," Flynn added. "Some of the concepts actually came out of the southern California design studios. I know Cadillac has their Ciel concept, which kind of looks into the future of the Cadillac design. That was done by Frank Saucedo's group here in southern California. Jaguar has their sports car concept, which I've heard is going to be a smaller, kind of like a Boxster competitor. Land Rover has a couple of concepts kind of more pointing towards the rugged, off-road utilitarian design. Kia has their GT Concept, which actually debuted in Frankfurt. That's a really step forward for Kia in the sports car category."

The Designer's Night party is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17 at The Conga Room at L.A. Live, right across the street from the Staples Center. It begins at 6 p.m. and runs through 10 p.m. The winning studio will be announced at around 7 p.m.

"For about the past eight years, the design community that I mentioned comes together for a mini conference that we call Design Los Angeles," the communications director explained. "During press days, there's going to be six studios this year. Actually, this year it's expanded globally, so we have studios from Japan and Germany competing to design Hollywood's hottest new movie car. We have an L.A.-themed contest this year. The theme is picked by a board of directors. It is made up of studio design heads: GM, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Volvo, Audi, Volkswagen. Those presentations will happen live, kind of American Idol style here at the L.A. Auto Show."

The ride-and-drive activity will be expanded this year with several different courses for the press days and for the public days of the show.

"We really have two types of ride-and-drives," Flynn said. "We have one for the media days and that's focused on the latest Green vehicles. That's a chance for the press, who come from around the world, to get behind the wheel of some of these cars. We're going to see a handful of electrics-we're going to see the Ford Electric Focus, the Mitsubishi i, a fuel cell from Hyundai, Audi is going to have their A3 e-tron, Volkswagen is going to have a couple of their diesels, Kia is going to have their Optima. What's a big story this year are these high-mileage, 4-cylinder regular internal combustion engines. Kia is going to have their Rio, which falls into that category."

There are several different awards being presented during press days at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year. Can you go down the list?

"One of the big ones is the Green Car of the Year Award," he added. "We'll have the finalists announced fairly soon. I know who they are, but I can't tell you. The winner of the five will be announced on Nov. 17. We talked about the Design Challenge Award already. The Motor Press Guild, which is California's association of automotive journalists, I believe there's 800 members. They are going to have their annual Vehicle of the Year, which will also be announced at the show. Kelley Blue Book is doing their Residual Value Awards at the show."

For people thinking about attending the Los Angeles Auto Show for the first time, what should they know?

"This is a really good time to be shopping for cars because the product is revolutionary," the communications director explained. "Of course, there's going to be a lot of Green vehicles and a lot to learn about electrics and plug-in electrics hybrids and clean diesels. Really, the big story this year is the technology. The technology is going to be so futuristic at the show. Cadillac is going to be unveiling their Cue technology, which is like driving an iPhone that can save your life at the same time. We're even going to hear about some autonomous driving type technology. Some of the applications today are lane departure warnings, infrared scanners that monitor your eye movement to see if you're drowsy and alert you that you're falling asleep."

A new football stadium known as Farmer's Field is being planned to take over the space where the west hall of the convention center currently stands. What will that mean for the future of the auto show?

"Well, we're excited about that, it could mean some really good things for the future of the auto show," Flynn said. "Mainly, they will completely rebuild the convention center. What they would do is double the size of one of the halls. Now, we have one big, contiguous hall that will be more modern and retrofitted. Then, we're going to have the stadium, which will be adjacent. It will be used for some other events if manufacturers want to do some big press events and big stunts. It's going to add a lot more options and opportunities."

The charity night is scheduled for the evening of the second press day, Nov. 17. It will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

"We've got to clear all of the journalists out and get them in," he added. "That's always a big event. It draws some celebrities that live here locally to come down. Again, it's a charity night. But I don't know how the ticket sales are going."

There will be much more electric cars at this year's auto show when compared to last year.

"Last year was really the Volt and the LEAF were the two primary electric cars and some smaller manufacturers like Wheego," the communications director explained. "This year, in addition to the Volt and the LEAF, we're going to have Mitsubishi's i and we're going to have the Ford Focus battery electric vehicle. BMW has launched their i brand, which is a complete sub brand, which focuses on sustainability. They have the i3, which is an all-electric car from the ground up. Honda is going to have some big electric vehicle news. It's more about the MPGe, which is a new rating. The regulatory boards are finally catching up with the product development and they're going to have a way for consumers to really compare vehicles."

A large aftermarket section of the auto show will be located inside the L.A. Convention Center's Kentia Hall.

"Aftermarket is always hot in L.A.," Flynn said. "We've got the Galpin Auto Sports guys coming back. They do the show Pimp My Ride. Of course, DUB is back. We have a lot of really high end tuners. Platinum Motorsports is going to have all of their Porsche's, Lamborghini's and Ferrari's. Lots of aftermarket parts. It's a huge hall dedicated to that. The consumer here in L.A. is into that whole aftermarket/customization scene."

Any other comments you would like to add?

"We're going to have more interactive things for consumers to do," he added. "We talked about the ride-and-drive for the media, but we're going to have more ride-and-drives than ever for the consumer. There's going to be off-road courses, regular driving courses. All around the city streets here around the convention center, there's going to be opportunities for consumers to get behind the wheel of some of this new technology."

For more information on the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, visit



The 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A.


[ Click here for more coverage of the Los Angeles Auto Show ]

Visit the official website of the Los Angeles Auto Show


The Los Angeles Auto Show has the rare distinction of being recognized by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles (OICA), one of only two in the U.S.




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Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.