Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 6:23 PM
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf and 2015 MINI Cooper make up two of 50-plus
debuts coming to 2013 L.A. Auto Show
Motoring Invitational, Connected Car Expo, FASTPITCH Competition
and NewsCruise Reception are new additions to the show
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf electric SUV will make its debut at the 2013
L.A. Auto Show.
ANGELES -- The 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the
media on Nov. 19 and then to the public on Nov. 22. It runs everyday
through Dec. 1, including Thanksgiving Day, at the L.A. Convention
Center. This year’s world debuts will include the 2015 Acura
RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD, 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, 2015 Jaguar F-Type
Coupe, 2015 MINI Cooper, 2015 Subaru WRX and the Honda FCEV Concept,
among many others. Over the last few years, the L.A. Auto Show has
grown into the second largest show in the country only behind Detroit.
of this year’s North American debuts are expected to include
the BMW Concept X4, 2015 KIA K900, 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class,
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf, 2014 BMW 4 Series, 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63
AMG, and many others yet to be announced.
North American auto industry is doing so well and everyone is having
record sales years,” said Brendan Flynn, senior communications
director of the L.A. Auto Show. “We’re going to have
a record number of debuts this year—about 23 world debuts,
close to 55 North American debuts. If you didn’t make it to
Frankfurt, a lot of those debuts are going to be coming to L.A.
It’s going to be a big year.”
there will be many upgrades to this year’s show when compared
to last year.
brought on a new general manager and in the off-season we had a
chance to sit down with all of the manufacturers and talk to them
about what they really want to see out of L.A.,” he added.
“They want to see L.A. be more L.A. They want to see more
celebrity involvement, more activities and so we’ve changed
everything. We’ve started on the 19th with a conference called
the Connected Car Expo. It’s really a news day. We’re
going to have three or four press conferences plus top speakers
from Google, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, MIT,
Stanford. All of the major automakers are going to have a presence
here. There’s about 50,000 square feet of exhibit space focused
on technology alone. That’s a big change. It really mirrors
what the auto industry is doing.”
press days have been expanded to three instead of the two as in
first day as I mentioned is this Connected Car Expo,” the
senior communications director explained. “That night, in
order to add more hospitality, we’re throwing our first-ever
press days kickoff party. We have a live performance from a band
called Bronze Radio Return. This is sponsored by Pandora so they
are bringing some live music. AOL is going to announce their six
finalists for Technology of the Year to kickoff the party. We expect
a couple thousand people that will be in a party here in the convention
center that evening.”
Press Guild’s Motoring Invitational is a new addition to the
show on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
next morning, we open up with this really unique car show that focuses
on the car culture of southern California. We think we’ll
have about 70 cars from some interesting names in the business—top
car collectors like Bruce Meyer to Barry McGuire, Corky Coker, George
Barris is actually going to be celebrating his birthday. It’s
going to be really fun. A sort of who’s who of southern California
you manage to get Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec to speak?
actually a tech entrepreneur,” Flynn said. “He’s
launched many new tech companies and then he sold them and made
lots of money and now he’s on the TV show. We have as part
of the Connected Car Expo a competition that we’re calling
our FASTPITCH and it’s sponsored by Splunk. They’re
providing a $40,000 prize to a company that has the best new technology
idea when it comes to connectivity in the automobile. Robert’s
genuinely into that. He’s going to be on a panel talking about
how entrepreneurs are really changing the auto industry. Then, he’s
going to announce the winner to our FASTPITCH competition. His panel
is at 4:30 on Nov. 19 and then we’ll announce the winner shortly
after the panel.”
some of the concept cars that will be out here.
think we have at least 13 or 14 concept cars—a couple of them
I can’t tell you about because they are debuts,” he
added. “Something that’s new this year that is focused
on the design industry and the concepts and that is going to run
for the full show and the consumers as well is a whole separate
gallery that’s about 12,000 square feet of concept cars and
the studio’s that designed them. Never before have we done
this. We’re actually having 16 auto design studios. These
are the top ones like BMW Designworks, CALTY (which is Toyota’s),
GM Advanced Design, about 16 studios based in southern California
here, which a lot of people don’t know. We’re going
to have some Chinese studios like Changfeng all displaying small
displays about their studios themselves and concepts. On the show
floor, you’re going to see a lot of concepts—debuts
and some that we’ve been around for a little bit. It’s
definitely going to be a concept heavy show.”
talk about the production models. Are we going to see 2015’s
those are the model years you are going to see launch,” the
senior communications director explained. “BMW announced they’re
going to have the 4 Series Convertible here. MINI is going to be
launching the third-generation of the MINI Cooper. That’s
big news for them. It’s going to be a big global reveal that’s
happening simultaneously at their plant in Oxford and in Tokyo and
in L.A. Porsche has the new Macan, which is an all-new car for them.
That’s a really significant debut to happen in L.A. Mercedes
has three or four world debuts. Subaru has two world debuts. We’re
seeing world debuts from the Germans, the Japanese, the Koreans.
KIA has a world debut, so does Hyundai.”
say that the Big Three automakers are back? How about in the southern
from a manufacturing perspective, they’re back. I think GM
is once again the top selling manufacturer. Ford has just been doing
some amazing things. As far as their reputation in southern California,
absolutely they’ve made some great strides in market share
out here. Anecdotally, you see more Ford's on the road then ever
and more GM products than ever as well as Chrysler. The Fiat 500
you see it all over the place. It’s a huge hit in southern
California especially in L.A. when it’s really crowded. I
drive a Ford Edge for example. Yeah, I think the three U.S. brand
manufacturers have really done a good job at regaining market share
in southern California.”
members of the media expect to see on press days?
going to see a mix of Green vehicles, some really forward-looking
Green concepts,” Flynn said. “Of course, it’s
L.A. so you’re going to see a lot of luxury and performance
vehicle debuts. You’re going to see the small SUV wars happening
at the luxury level. Of course, you have the Macan and the Jaguar
CX-17 and the Mercedes-Benz GL 250. You saw that start with the
Range Rover Evoque. Porsche is going to have a couple other world
debuts—the 911 Cabriolet and the 911 Turbo S, I believe. You’re
going to see regular production cars—the bread and butter
sellers from some manufacturers.”
the public days will be different from the press days in several
public can expect to see more celebration of car culture,”
the senior communications director explained. “Of course,
we’re going to have all of the great manufacturer exhibits.
Some of them are going to be bigger and they’re going to see
perhaps some more vehicles. The Aftermarket Hall is significantly
enhanced. They’re going to see more things that are unique
to southern California. Craig Jackson from Barrett Jackson is bringing
some beautiful cars that he’s going to have out here. The
Petersen Automotive Museum is bringing a big scale model of their
new building. There’s going to be more eye candy, I guess,
if you will for the consumers.”
are participating in the ride-and-drive outside?
consumer day ride-and-drive for the public that’s going to
be happening both weekends of the show is not all locked in who’s
going to be here. But we’re doing to have more ride-and-drives
than we’ve had before. I would say 13 different manufacturers,
probably 45-50 vehicles they’re going to be able to drive.
I know Ford is involved, Hyundai is involved, Dodge. Most of the
manufacturers that were here last year are coming back again.”
I saw a
rumor that Alfa Romeo might be having a press conference. Can you
cannot confirm that,” Flynn said. “I’ve seen those
same rumors. As of now, they’re not on my press conference
the Designer’s Night activities and how it will be different
from last year.
LA, which is the conference that we’ve held around the design
industry, is in its 10th year,” he added. “That’s
why we’ve expanded the exhibit area. We’re going to
have all of these studios here. We’re going to have a Designer’s
Open House in the afternoon. It’s a chance for the media to
come and talk to the heads of these studios and then see what these
studios are doing. That evening, we’re having our Designer’s
Night Party, which we’ve had every year for 10 years. Now,
we’re doing it here at the convention center. We used to do
it off-site at a club. It’s going to be here on the show floor
so when the party’s over everyone who comes through it will
be able to walk through the halls. It’s going to be open because
it’s also part of our charity preview night.”
press release, it mentioned some upgrades to the show. What would
of those is we moved Preview Night from a party that used to happen
in the lobby and you could go on the show floor,” the senior
communications director explained. “We’ve integrated
the party into the show itself. As you’re walking around and
seeing all of these great new vehicles, you can stop and have a
drink and get some food. We talked about the Motoring Invitational,
the Connected Car Expo. We’ve changed our registration, which
impacts media. It’s automated and kind of like when you go
to the airport and have your E-Ticket and go scan it. We’re
going to do something similar here. We’ve expanded the media
center. It’s in a larger room with more conference rooms and
more lockers. We’ve changed pretty much everything to do with
going to be many awards passed out at the show. Can you talk about
some of those?
mentioned the AOL Autos Technology of the Year Award. They’re
going to have their six finalists. On Thursday, Nov. 21, we’re
going to do the Green Car of the Year award. Those five finalists
have been announced. Kelley Blue Book on Nov. 19 is going to do
their Best Residual Value Awards. The Motor Press Guild has modified
it this year and it’s going to be their Innovation of the
Year Vehicle award. It’s going to be more about technology
and something innovative that a manufacturer has done. Motor Trend
has an award that they’re doing. Automobile Magazine has an
award that they’re unveiling. There’s going to be a
lot of them.”
say there’s going to be more alternative-energy vehicles such
as electrics and diesels?
wide, we’re seeing a continuation of the electrification of
vehicles,” Flynn said. “Plug-ins are really hot. Electrics
are hot. We’re going to see the new e-Golf, which is going
to be available in the U.S. for the first time from Volkswagen.
I know we’re going to see a couple hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
that are going to be for sale—not just future concepts, but
actually for sale. Probably in limited quantities like a test fleet.
Diesel is a huge story. As a matter of fact, there’s at least
one diesel that’s a finalist in Green Car of the Year. Plug-in
hybrids and electrics and diesels are the now technology and then
hydrogen fuel cell has definitely not been forgotten. I think a
lot of people are banking on that as the future technology.”
to the convention center here, any updates on Farmer’s Field?
we still hear rumors that there could be a team coming and it really
hinges on that. If we do get a team, it’s going to be good.
We’re standing here in West Hall. This would be the stadium.
What they would do first is basically double the size of South Hall.
Once that’s done, this would come down. We actually like that
idea because we would then have one, big contiguous hall. I know
the media that come to press days would like it because they’re
not going side to the other and back again. Either way, it works
“Something that’s new for press days on the Thursday
afternoon, is that we’re calling our Kentia Hall NewsCruise
& Reception. To feature some of the great news that’s
down there, we’re doing a whole hour and half block of time
that’s going to be a happy hour and a chance to come down
and see the news that’s happening down there. As we’re
seeing more technology getting into vehicles, a critical part of
discussion is how technology is changing automotive retail. We’re
working closely with the National Automotive Dealer Association;
they’re hosting their Western Automotive Conference here on
the 19th. J.D. Power & Associates and NADA are going to host
a special panel on Thursday, Nov. 21 that really looks at how technology
is changing automotive retail. That’s really quite an interesting
discussion. I’ve heard a little bit about both sides of the
story in planning for this. I think that’s something that
shouldn’t be missed.”
Sneak Preview Night returns on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 7 p.m. to
10 p.m. Tickets are $225 with all proceeds being donated to Court
Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) of Los Angeles.
admission tickets are $10 for weekdays and $12 for weekends (Fri.-Sun.).
Seniors are $8, children (ages 6-12) are $6 and free for children
ages five and under. Discounted group tickets are available for
groups of 50 or more and can be purchased by calling (310) 444-1850.
The Los Angeles Convention Center is located at 1201 S. Figueroa
St. in Los Angeles. For more information or to purchase tickets
to the Los Angeles Auto Show, visit www.laautoshow.com.
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BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
like these are already up around downtown Los Angeles
2015 MINI Cooper will be unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show next week.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA Class will be introduced at the 2013
L.A. Auto Show.
all-new 2015 Porsche Macan will premiere at the L.A. Auto
Show next week.