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2012 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

Sunday, 18 November, 2012 11:49 AM

2014 Dodge Viper, 2014 RAM 2500 Power Wagon to debut at 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show

Photo credit: www.news.pickuptrucks.com

The 2014 RAM 2500 Power Wagon will look similar to this.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

LOS ANGELES -- Don't look for any concept vehicles in the Chrysler Group area of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The automaker said it doesn't believe in building futuristic vehicles that may or may not get made. Instead, Chrysler will be showing its new 2013 and 2014 production models -- cars and trucks that will actually be rolling off the assembly line. Fiat will be introducing three new models during its press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 12:35 p.m. In addition, two of the automaker's other big reveals in L.A. will include the 2014 Dodge Viper and the 2014 RAM 2500 Power Wagon.

"It's treated as one of our four major shows," said Phil Bockhorn, the senior manager of shows and events for the Chrysler Group. "It gets over a million attendees so it's our 'A' game. We take the best available product from all of our brands: Dodge, Chrysler, RAM, Fiat. We even have a line-up including SRT and our Mopar division also takes several of their vehicles that were recently unveiled at the SEMA Show. It's a full line-up. We have everything for everybody in L.A. We don't do traditional concept cars per say. We focus on customizing and accessorizing vehicles that are available for sale or will be in the very near future. Primarily, those are focused in our SRT and Mopar area. Literally, we have one for each brand and they are all Moparized."

Can you tell me more about those customized vehicles that will be on display?

"The Wrangler, for instance, is given the nickname the Sand Trooper," he added. "It's got a lot of equipment that the name implies would suggest an off-road, but more of a desert theme with a dune exterior color and some custom leather seats that go with it. The Mopar Charger version is called Juiced. It's in a orange, copperhead color. It's got a V-10 engine in it. For RAM, we've got an Express version that's been customized. It runs the gamut. We also have a Challenger coming that's owned by Jeff Dunham, the comedian. He's got a customized SRT package and everything. That will be out there as well. The nice thing about L.A. being a car market like that, they appreciate all of the accessorized versions of our product. In our particular line-up, we're fortunate enough to have vehicles that lend ourselves to that."

What will be some of the new 2014 production models that will be on display from the Chrysler brands?

"In total, we have almost 60 vehicles on the floor," Bockhorn explained. "Starting with the Fiat brand, that's always a big draw in L.A., we're going to have a couple of reveals out there. I'm not at liberty to tell you those exactly now. In addition to that, we'll have a sport turbo and several versions of the Fiat Abarth, the sport package if you will. That's going to be a huge draw. There's going to be another version of the Abarth that I think people will really appreciate when they get out there. That is front and center in our display space out there because of the L.A. market and the appeal that the brand has in that area.

"In the Chrysler area, we have two Varvatos version of the 300. Those are being done in conjunction with John Varvatos, the designer, and have several features that he's actually specked out the leather, the trim, there's a unique shifter knob that features his signature design trademark, which is metal rivets. One of the feature Jeep vehicles is the Wrangler year in and year out. This year, we have a 10th anniversary edition of the Wrangler so that's an important vehicle for us out there in L.A. Dodge is really going to be a great set up for us because as you know, the all-new Dart that's just been recently launched has been hitting it's stride in the marketplace. L.A. is the first major show where we have production really reaching capacity. We're going to have four different version of the Dart out there: the Limited, the RT, the Rallye and then to top it all of, we've got the actual Rallycross car that Travis Pastrana drives."

Is Travis Pastrana going to make an appearance at the Dodge section of the auto show?

"I can't say officially, but if you go L.A., you might not be disappointed."

What's new from the RAM truck brand?

"On the RAM side, the big news there is, we've just completely revamped the RAM line-up over the last 12 months," the senior manager of shows and events said. "We think the star of the L.A. show is going to be the 2500 Power Wagon that's going to be on display. That literally is factory equipment, but it looks like something that you would spend a large amount of money on to equip that way. It's essentially factory equipment, stock off the line. It looks like a million dollars. It's painted flat black, it's got grey interior and leather seats. It's an awesome looking truck. The powertrain has been enhanced a little bit. Just little treatments everything from wheels to cladding and a little bit on the interior as well. It hasn't lost any of the capability. It's just dressed up a little bit more."

Can we expect the Chrysler brands to occupy the same amount of space on the show floor as last year?

"Yeah, our footprint is the same as last year," Bockhorn explained. "We've kind of moved the brands around to different locations each year depending on who has the most press coverage and reveals on press days. This year, that is Fiat. They're front and center. The rest of the brands are arranged around that. It's the same size as last year's space. It's a big show for us so we have a big presence there."

What can the media expect to see on press days?

"I think Fiat is the big story," he added. "We can't tell you exactly what's going to be revealed, but as to what the media should look for on press day, you definitely want to be on the Fiat stand. In this particular case, by design, I think Fiat is avoiding celebrities on stage as part of the press event. With the following that brand has, who knows who will turn up on press days, but not officially part of the press conference."

What can folks look forward to on public days?

"You can expect to see a lot of activity within the Fiat stand," the senior manager of shows and events said. "Not only because of the two or three new products that will be revealed there, we have a lot of interactive stations for attendees. You can customize your own photo in the Fiat stand, choose your background, send it out right away to your friends. That carries over to the other brands as well. There's photo op stations there that you can go immediately online with and send out and post. You'll have tons of product specialists and narrators there to help answer questions. All of our vehicles except for the reveal turntable vehicles will be accessible. That's a big plus for us. I think you'll have a sizeable number of people that will want to get close to the all-new 2014 Viper. This is the first major show since entering production and it will be very close to the front corner of our display. That will be a big draw as well."

Are you saying there will be more interactive activities than last year or about the same amount?

"There will be more interactive stations this year," Bockhorn explained. "We've increased that just to address the demands of all the attendees. They are all with a purpose, it's not just designed to get them to stay within our space. It's to help build affinity to the brand, to build product awareness of some of the unique features that we offer within each brand area. Also, I think it's a way to appeal to a broader audience. It's not just the adults, necessarily. It's for all of the family, in most of the cases. It never ignores the fact that we know that 50 percent of all auto show attendees are in the market in the next 12 months. We want to be focused on our delivery of messages and information. It's interactivity with a purpose."

How many Chrysler vehicles are going to be participating in the ride-and-drive outside?

"We have 12 ride-and-drive vehicles outside. They are representative of all of the brands."

Any other comments about the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show?

"In this year's line-up, almost 25 to 30 percent of our line-up will feature vehicles that get 30 mpg or better," he added. "For L.A., that's a big deal. We want to make sure that we're not only known for performance and accessorization, but fuel economy as well. That's a little bit different emphasis for us this year, too. We think it will draw a crowd in L.A. just to see those vehicles. We can't underscore enough how important the L.A. Auto Show is to our entire circuit. It's one of the four majors. Year in and year out, it gives a unique approach to what vehicles we bring. It's definitely one of our top priorities for the season. We are expecting big things this year. We really think we've got a line-up that's right in stride with what the L.A. attendees expect to see and want to see."

For more information or to purchase tickets to the Los Angeles Auto Show, visit www.laautoshow.com.

Related Story: Chevrolet to introduce the Spark EV at 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show

 

Photo credit: www.flickr.com

A rendering of the 2014 Dodge Viper that will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

 

Photo credit: goodcleantech.pcmag.com

An electric version of the Fiat 500 is expected to make its debut in L.A.

 

Graphic credit: www.autoblog.com

A special John Varvatos model of the Chrysler 300 will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

 

Photo credit: www.motorist.com

This Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper from the SEMA Show will also be shown 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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