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Friday, 20 December, 2013 6:14 PM

REVIEW: My Final Wrap-Up of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show

970,312 people attended the public show days; up more than 100,000 from last year


The Honda Accord won the 2014 Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


by Jason Rzucidlo



LOS ANGELES -- I really enjoyed this year's press preview of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. When Senior Communications Director Brendan Flynn told me the organizers changed everything, I didn't know what to expect. I would like to give the entire L.A. Auto Show team a high five for an outstanding job.

First, I liked how virtually every square inch of the convention center was used to display vehicles. There were cars in places I never thought a car could fit. For example, classic cars from Barrett-Jackson were located in the hallway between the two halls, outside of the Concourse Hall. VIA Motors showed off their plug-in electric trucks and SUVs in the lower level of the South Hall on the way to the Aftermarket Hall. The Connected Car Expo was a nice addition to the South Hall lobby with booths from OnStar, Hertz NeverLost, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon and many more.

Second, I liked how all of the press conferences were grouped--the first half of the day in the South Hall, with the rest in the West Hall. Then, the afternoon ones were all in the South Hall. In previous years, their would be one in the South Hall then another in the West Hall and so forth. It made it very hard to cover all of them at once. You needed to have two or three crews to get them all. In addition, the media center moved from Room 403 (8,528 sq. ft.) to the much larger Room 515 (11,220 sq. ft.).

Finally, I enjoyed all of the new parties that were offered for the media. It all began with a press day kick-off party featuring a live performance by the band Bronze Radio Return and the AOL Technology of the Year finalists. Then, Wednesday began with the first-ever Motor Press Guild Motoring Invitational with lots of celebrities, their classic cars and gourmet food trucks. Thursday kicked off with the Auto Alliance Breakfast and the Green Car of the Year presentation in the South Hall lobby. Chevrolet sponsored the lunch at noon that day. Finally, the second press day wrapped up with the all-new Aftermarket NewsCruise & Reception inside Kentia Hall. It was a great way for the auto show to say thanks to all of the media who flew in from all over the world.

Disappointments? Not too many, but there were a few. I was looking forward to seeing Toyota's new fuel cell vehicle. However, there was only one prototype built and it was shown in Tokyo, where the auto show was taking place at the exact same time. The automaker used its press conference to talk about teen driving safety instead. Alfa Romeo was rumored to be holding a press conference, but that never happened. As a matter of fact, none of the Chrysler brands held press conferences at the show. While many were expecting to see the 2015 MINI Cooper, it was the 2014 model that was on display.

Preliminary attendance figures show that 970,312 people attended the 2013 L.A. Auto Show public days, according to a slideshow presentation released by organizers. That is up by more than 100,000 from last year's count of 865,000 consumers. In addition, 16,089 members of the media attended the three press days (Nov. 19-21). Press attendance is also higher than last year by 3,500 credentialed journalists. was proud to be able to hold a contest drawing for 10 winners who each received a pair of tickets to the public show days of the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Our winners were: Michael Chee (Burbank, Calif.); Thomas Nguyen (Walnut, Calif.); Gilbert Gutierrez (West Covina, Calif.); Stephan Wendel (Studio City, Calif.); Robert Escobar (Moreno Valley, Calif.); Bob Davis (Los Angeles); Ryan Buffum (Bell Canyon, Calif.); Candice Montgomery (Reseda, Calif.); Rick Mac Laughlin (Claremont, Calif.); and Adam Gross (Burbank, Calif.).

I asked them the following questions about their visit to the auto show: Was it your first time at this year's auto show? If not, how many times have you been before? What were your overall thoughts of this year's show? What did you like? What didn't you like? What needs to be improved? Did you try out the ride-and-drive outside? Did the auto show change your perception of American-made vehicles by GM, Ford and Chrysler? If so, how? Their responses are below:

"I estimate [I've been] about 9 or 10 times or so," said Stephan Wendel, an auto show attendee from Studio City, Calif. "I pretty much go every year if possible. Awesome, I love cars! Most exhibits were really nicely done--modern and cutting-edge. Mostly for fun and to see the latest cars.
But also checking out and taking measurements of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee for my mom. I've always loved American cars. But it is noticeable how the overall build quality of U.S. cars has improved significantly over the years. Interiors have never been nicer. That's for sure. Maybe more stuff to do for kids. A nice big play area would be great."

Candice Montgomery of Reseda, Calif. added: "No, this was my third time. It was very enjoyable, I liked seeing the upcoming cars, and I love seeing the concept cars. I look forward to seeing those, what designs there will be, what technology they will have. I like seeing nicely designed displays, how the cars are presented. I actually wish the show was a week longer. I've had positive opinions about American made cars for some time."

"No, it was not my first time to the L.A. Auto Show," said Michael Chee from Burbank, Calif. "As a longtime Southern Californian resident, I'd have to say I've been to the Show about 10 to 12 times. Overall, I thought it was a good show. The aftermarket displays in Kentia Hall seemed to dwindle down a bit compared to past years. And Al & Ed's seemed to have stopped giving away car calendars. Liked playing for a prize (another grocery bag) from State Farm. I still have the plastic pen/pencil holder from a show years ago when VW made these on the spot for show visitors. That was really cool. The current show's Scion paper car models are nice, as they seem to have expanded their lineup. Since I'm partial to the Japanese nameplates, I was kind of disappointed that Lexus did not show the concept vehicle, LF-NX hybrid compact SUV, at this show. Of all places, you would think they'd show that particular concept vehicle in SoCal, home of many hybrids and SUV's! No, the Show did not change my opinion of the American makes. I would give them some consideration, but that would be based more on Consumer Reports' ratings and the input of subscribers and owners of these vehicles. Chevy is to be commended for the Chevy Volt and Ford needs to make their cars more reliable. Chrysler used to be king of auto engineering years ago when I was growing up."

Rick Mac Laughlin of Claremont, Calif. added: "Yes, it was our first time at the L.A. car show. A great experience to have so many brands of cars in one location. I liked the layout and all of the displays. Yes, the American made cars offer options that our high end foreign cars have."

"I've been here a total of 10 times in the past 12 years," said Robert Escobar from Moreno Valley, Calif. "A lot more interactive activities and better test drive venues. The test drive routes go into very congested areas. However, I believe debut vehicles should have a more presentable stages or even elevated. I am a car enthusiast, so I came to the show for fun and to sit inside vehicles without the pressure of salesmen. It changed my perception of Ford and how they are focusing on fun, enjoyable products for the market. GM and Chrysler are still typical, boring American cars."

We'll see you at next year's 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, which is scheduled for November 21 - 30.

Related Stories: PREVIEW: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf and 2015 MINI Cooper make up two of 50-plus debuts coming to 2013 L.A. Auto Show; All-New 2015 Lincoln MKC provides Fresh Choice for Small Premium Utility customers; New 2014 Fiat 500 “1957 Edition” Highlights 57 Years of the Legendary Icon; Ford debuts the Edge Concept at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; Honda shows off FCEV Concept at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; Toyota discusses teen driving safety at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; Honda Accord wins 2014 Green Car of the Year Award at L.A. Auto Show; Hyundai introduces Tucson FCEV and Veloster Turbo R Spec at 2013 L.A. Auto Show; Infiniti reveals the Q30 Concept at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; Volvo debuts the 2015 V60 sportswagon at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; Chevrolet shows off the 2015 Colorado midsize pickup truck at 2013 L.A. Auto Show; KIA enters the luxury sedan market with introduction of the 2015 K900 at L.A. Auto Show; 2014 MINI Cooper hardtop introduced at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; 2014 Jeep Cherokee replaces the Liberty in the automaker's line-up; First drive of the 2015 BMW i3 electric sedan at 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show



Toyota used its press conference to discuss teen driving safety. Most of the media was expecting to see the automaker's new fuel cell vehicle.



Chevrolet brought back its Colorado midsize pickup truck. It was called a "linchpin" for the brand.



Mercedes-Benz showed off its Vision Gran Turismo concept in support of the new "Gran Turismo 6" video game. It has no engine under the hood.



The 2014 MINI Cooper S made its debut in L.A. Most of the media were looking to see the 2015 model.



Barrett-Jackson showed off this 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Touring Berlinetta. It will be sold at an auction Jan. 12-19, 2014 in Scottsdale, Ariz.



One of my favorite cars at this year's L.A. Auto Show was "The Voice" special edition of the Kia Soul.


[ 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.