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Sunday, 9 November, 2014 11:03 PM

PREVIEW: Nearly 60 world and North American debuts coming to the 2014 L.A. Auto Show

-thinkLA Motor City West conference and Ford Developer Challenge are new additions to the auto show

Photo credit: Scion

Scion offered this gilmpse of its new iM concept, set to make its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.


by Jason Rzucidlo



LOS ANGELES -- It’s that time of the year again! The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the media on Nov. 18 and then opens to the public on Nov. 21. It runs everyday through Nov. 30, including Thanksgiving Day, at the L.A. Convention Center. This year’s world debuts will include the Scion iM, 2016 Acura ILX, 2016 Ford Explorer, 2016 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD, 2016 Mazda CX-3 and CX-5, 2015 Audi R8 competition, 2015 BMW X5 and X6, 2015 Cadillac ATS-V, 2015 Chrysler 300, 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S600, 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS and the 2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country, among many others.

Some of this year’s North American debuts are expected to include the MINI Superleggera Vision concept, Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV, Volvo “Drive Me” autonomous vehicle, 2016 Kia Sorento, 2016 Mazda MX-5, 2016 Volvo XC90, 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible, 2015 Honda HR-V, 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 and the MINI hardtop 4-door.

“This year stands to be one of our biggest L.A. Auto Shows to date,” said Brendan Flynn, senior director of marketing and communications for the auto show. “The auto industry is back, doing extremely well in North America. That’s going to be reflected in the number and quality of debuts we have in L.A. this year. We have over 60 total debuts, 30 of those are true global debuts. You’re going to see a lot of news about the future of transportation. We have an entire day dedicated to discussions and talks and press conferences all about the convergence of technology in the automobile. That’s going to be a big change. There’s going to be lots of conversations about autonomous vehicles, the continued electrification of vehicles, safety features and more connectivity than you’ve seen before. You’re really going to see the beginnings of a whole new era of auto.”

Looking at the press conference schedule, I noticed that several automakers are having announcements during the Connected Car Expo.

“This area of technology for the automakers has become a huge part of their business. They all have divisions focused on that. We’re going to see Audi make an announcement with a company called NVIDIA. That’s going to touch on how they’re changing they’re whole product development cycle. Volvo’s going to be talking about their new autonomous vehicle program. Jaguar and Land Rover are going to making a technology partner announcement and talking about some new features in their vehicles. KPMG is going to be releasing some new data. We produced an app developer conference for Ford. They picked 10 finalists. Some of these finalists are from big companies—Microsoft, IBM and Kelley Blue Book. These are big companies that wanted to work on this new Ford software They will be presenting their apps and a winner will be announced on Tuesday.”

Since the L.A. Auto Show has a brand new logo, can we expect any other changes at the show?

“You’ll see a new look for the L.A. Auto Show,” the senior director of communications and marketing explained. “We had our old look for a couple of decades. It was time to change with the industry and kind of have a new look and feel for the show. You’ll see the signage and even the outdoor banner that had been traditionally the same forever. The website’s been updated with more of the press and trade day activities. What you’re seeing is two shows in one—a true press day and then a consumer show.”

What can the media expect to see during the press days this year?

“I’m really excited about a lot of the news. Audi has a ton of news. They teased this grand new concept [R8 Competition] they’ve rolled out. That’s going to set the tone for the look of Audi moving forward. Cadillac you’re going to see the ATS-V and the redesigned ELR, the Cadillac version of the Volt. Mercedes-Benz is bringing back the Maybach brand, which is huge news for them. Mazda is basically going to have an entire new showroom. A whole new look for the company is going to be on display. The only one that they officially announced is the redesign of the Mazda2. Ford has a really important global debut with one of their best-selling vehicles. Chrysler has already announced they’re going to have the 300. Honda has already announced they’re going to have the HR-V. It’s going to be the first time that nameplate will be available in the United States.“

Flynn added: “BMW has two global debuts. Lexus has a really fun global debut. Volvo has the XC90 that they’re bringing and a new vehicle that they’re having a global unveil of. Land Rover has the Discovery Sport making its North American debut. Volkswagen has yet to announce their news, but they have a couple of globals as well. Scion has an all-new vehicle. Chevy has some really important debuts—a lot of concepts coming. That’s only day one. Day two and you have Acura, Fiat and Nissan and Mitsubishi. Some really interesting piece of news from Fisker. Not the carmaker, but Henrik Fisker. He’s going a collaboration with Galpin Ford.”

This will be the first time Mitsubishi will have a press conference in several years.

“It probably has been a couple of years,” he said. “I think they’re making some moves. You’ve seen their national advertising campaign ramp up. They’re making another push to increase sales in North America.”

I understand you used to do public relations for Hyundai. Can we expect to see John Krafcik walking around the auto show in his new role as the CEO of

“I would expect to see John Krafcik walking around the show floor, yes.”

Tell me more about the Motor Press Guild's Motoring Invitational this year.

“This is going to be a really fun event,” Flynn explained. ”You know southern California is a hot bed for car culture and customizing and hot rods and motor sports. It has been since 1906. We’re trying to bring out the who’s who of that group and have a car culture celebration that morning. It’s a free breakfast for all the people coming to press days. We have some really good names coming. Jay Leno is probably one of the most famous car guys. He’s coming out with his 1964 Chrysler Turbine with a jet engine. Then, there’s Magnus Walker who was with us last year that refurbishes old 911’s from the 1960s. Rob Dickinson with Singer Automotive Design rebuilds 911’s and turns them into very expensive pieces of art. Jeff Dunham, the comedian’s coming out. Adam Carolla’s promoting the movie he’s doing about Paul Newman. We hope to get all of the winners from each of the four categories of the NHRA drag race finals that are happening the week before. We have Vic Edelbrock, Jr., who’s going to come with some cars from his museum.”

Can you discuss the thinkLA Motor City West conference?

“thinkLA is an advertising/marketing organization that’s been putting on conferences for a long while. The Motor City West event has been happening for six years, I believe. We’re just simply partnering with them. They wanted to take their event, which has been well attended by the regional automakers and advertising agencies and it expand it’s reach a little more globally. They hope to get some presenters and auto executives from around the world to attend this event. It usually draws about 600 people.”

How will the public days be different from the press days?

“The public days really transform,” the senior director of communications and marketing explained. “The entire South Hall lobby is going to be filled with really cool cars. We’re filling every inch of the lobby space and the hallways with fun cars for the consumers to look at. For example, Mazda is coming in and they have a partnership with The Hunger Games. They’re going to have the Hovercraft and you can get your picture taken with it. Metallica’s lead singer is bringing his Black Pearl Custom car. Lexus is going to have an exhibit with some of their performance vehicles.”

Any updates on a new football stadium coming to downtown L.A.?

“No updates, I believe it’s still a possibility. They have a couple more months to see if they can get an NFL team. There may be an NFL team coming to L.A., we just don’t know where the stadium is going to be. It’s still alive. If it was determined that it would go in downtown L.A. as AEG has defined it, they would begin construction where the South Hall is, add onto it, and as soon as that building is up, they would then tear down the West Hall. We shouldn’t be without facility space. The major impact would probably just be to the workers that have to move in. As far as in the inside of the show and the exhibitors, we shouldn’t skip a beat.” will be offering complete coverage of the 2014 L.A. Auto Show and the Connected Car Expo.

The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public on November 21 and runs through November 30. Tickets are $12 for adults (ages 13+) Mon-Thurs and $15 for adults Fri-Sunday. Children (5 and under) are $5 at all times. Seniors aged 65 and up are $10. Group tickets can be purchased by Julian Lile at or 310-444-1850. The L.A. Convention Center is located at 1201 S. Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. Click here to order your tickets online.


Related Stories: Foresight Research Study: LA Auto Show is a Walkin', Talkin', Animated Brochure for Car Buyers; REVIEW: My Final Wrap-Up of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show




New auto show banners are already up on lampposts around downtown L.A.



The 2016 Mazda CX-3 will make its debut at the auto show.



The 2016 Volvo XC90 will be revealed in L.A.



The 2015 Honda HR-V will be shown off for the very first time.



The 2015 Audi R8 Competition will make its debut in 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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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.