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2010 NAIAS: News, Reviews and Interviews

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WRAP-UP: Over 700,000 people visited the 2010 North American International Auto Show By Jason Rzucidlo

The final attendance for the 2010 North American International Auto Show was 715,000 people. That is up by 65,000 from last year's attendance of about 650,000 people in 2009. About 5,000 journalists attended the auto show from 61 countries. In 2009, there was 5,500 reporters from 48 countries. The 2010 show was significantly better than last year with bigger displays, more automakers and a brand-new electric avenue. Attendees could see that the auto industry was turning around by attending the show. [2.8.10]

Automakers should focus on making more iconic cars, Ralph Gilles says By Jason Rzucidlo

Ralph Gilles is the President and CEO of the Dodge car brand and the Senior Vice President of Product Design for the Chrysler Group LLC. He was the keynote speaker at the AutoWeek Design Forum on January 14 at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Gilles said Chrysler will be releasing 16 new products by the end of next year. He said 11 of those would be deeply modified designs. Gilles challenged other automakers to think outside the box when designing their new models. [1.30.10]

Marchionne says Chrysler and Fiat will have a mutual relationship By Jason Rzucidlo

Sergio Marchionne became the CEO of Chrysler after Fiat purchased a 20 percent stage in the American automaker. He addressed the Automotive News World Congress on Wednesday, January 13 inside the Renaissance Center in Detroit. Marchionne said the partnership is "about listening, not dictating." He added that Chrysler "cannot Americanize Fiat." The CEO attracted a group of protestors who walked into the conference and raised a large banner that was attached to balloons. [1.28.10]

Toyota debuts the FT-EV II electric concept at the 2010 NAIAS By Jason Rzucidlo

The Toyota FT-EV II is a new electric concept vehicle that was on display at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. It is great for anyone who drives less than 50 miles per day. The automaker hopes to have a battery electric vehicle on the road by 2012. “The FT-EV II cause its actually our second one that we’ve done,” said Kristyn Burtt, a Toyota product specialist. “The FT-EV debuted last year. It’s just a concept car right now. This is all electric, it has a lithium ion battery.” [1.25.10]

Alan Mulally talks about Ford's successes at the Detroit Economic Club By Garrett Godwin

Friday was the first meeting of both the new year and the new decade for the Detroit Economic Club with guest speaker Alan Mulally at the Detroit Marriott Renassiance Center. Mulally, the CEO/President of the Ford Motor Company, jokingly states that he has brought his "report to the committee". "It feels like a board meeting," he continues to humor a sold-out crowd of an estimated 900 people. The meeting started with the opening of the 2010 Readers' Choice Awards and the Automotive Hall of Fame's 2010 Distinguished Service Citations and 2009 Industry Leader Award. [1.24.10]

CT&T United introduces a full line of electric vehicles at 2010 NAIAS By Jason Rzucidlo

CT&T United is a brand new automaker from South Korea that produces battery electric vehicles including the eZone medium speed vehicle and the cZone low-speed vehicle. It was founded in 2002 by Young Gi Lee, a former Hyundai executive. The company includes experts from both Hyundai and Kia. CT&T United's entire line of vehicles run on batteries and produce zero emissions. Not even one vehicle from this automaker runs on gasoline. CT&T United will open two RAS centers first in Pennsylvania and then expand to other states shortly after. [1.24.10]

Green Vehicles & China’s Automobile Market discussed at 2010 NAIAS By Mike Wrathell

What would happen if Detroit sold over a million cars and trucks a month? Ah, this is not Fantasyland, so don’t bother putting on your 3-D glasses. I am talking about China. In 2009, 13.7 million new cars and trucks were sold there. Ten million were sold here, many of them not American or made in America by Toyota, Honda, and other foreign companies, like Mitsubishi, who bombed shut the entrance to a gold mine in the waning days of WW2, dooming hundreds of American, British, and Australian POWs to hide evidence of their violation of the Geneva Convention. [1.23.10]

GMC reveals the Granite concept vehicle at the 2010 NAIAS By Jason Rzucidlo

The GMC Granite is a new concept vehicle that was unveiled during press week at the North American International Auto Show. It has cabinet-style doors that open from the center for easy loading and unloading of packages. The GMC Granite has enough space inside to store a large mountain bike standing up. It comes with a 1.4-liter, turbocharged, high-efficiency engine. The Granite is only a concept so production of the vehicle has not been announced yet. [1.22.10]

Buick unveils the Regal GS concept at the 2010 NAIAS By Michele K.

Chris, a rep from Buick, said that 2004 was the last time they produced the Buick Regal. I asked him why, he said it was due to the mileage factor. When the car is re-introduced for the public in the second quarter of 2010, it will be built based on the Opel Insignia in Russelsheim, Germany for the first couple of years. The first quarter of 2011 they will be built in Oshawa, Ontario Canada and continue to build more there and phase out the German imports. [1.21.10]

Chrysler introduces "FLO TV" live in-vehicle television system at 2010 NAIAS By Jason Rzucidlo

"FLO TV" is a new feature that is available on all Chrysler vehicles. It will offer 20 channels of LIVE television on two screens inside the vehicle. "FLO TV" also comes with a TV guide and parental controls. The service also allows passengers to watch a DVD on one screen while live television is on the other screen. This new feature was being shown on the Chrysler Town & County minivan at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. [1.21.10]

Fiat debuts two cars in the Chrysler display at the 2010 NAIAS By Michele K.

Tara from Fiat said that the Fiat 500’s on display at the auto show would be available in the USA in about two years. They will slowly bring more Fiat cars over. The Fiat 500 was rear-engined on the pattern of the Volkswagen Beetle just like it’s bigger brother, the 1955 Fiat 600. Fiat previewed the all new 500 in March 2007 exactly 50 years after the first Fiat 500 was presented. The design of the new 2007 Fiat 500 is based on the 2004 Fiat Trepiuno concept. [1.20.10]

Scion displays its xB compact car at 2010 NAIAS By Jerome Rzucidlo

I spoke with Nathan Poniatowski, Product Specialist, regarding this subcompact wagon which is custom built. It is youth marketed with a median age of 32, with 30 standard features, 6 air bags and a tire pressure monitoring system. The engine is a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder that gets 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. There are no plans for this vehicle to become hybrid or electric. It also has a special sound system. The price is $16,500 which came down from $18,000 just last year. [1.19.10]

Tesla shows off its all-electric Roadster sports car at 2010 NAIAS By Michele K.

The Tesla Roadster is an all-electric sports car produced by the electric car firm Tesla Motors. The Roadster is the only highway-capable electric vehicle for sale today; all other highway-capable EVs are prototypes or evaluation series from automakers that are trying to determine whether to go forward with an electric vehicle program. The Roadster is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production EV to travel more than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. [1.18.10]

Subaru unveils its Hybrid Tourer concept vehicle at 2010 NAIAS By Gloria Rzucidlo

I talked to Joakim Alvarez, Exhibit Manager at Subaru regarding the Hybrid Tourer Concept. This vehicle is AWD (all wheel drive) with a CVT transmission, it has no gears but uses ratios. All the Subaru brands are AWD and have a boxer engine. Only Porsche and Subaru have boxer engines. It is a flat engine, which gives even distribution of power and sits lower on the chassis. It comes with a 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine. "I am not sure of the mpg," said Alvarez. The price is not yet available. [1.17.10]

Commuter Cars reveals its ultra-narrow Tango electric vehicle at 2010 NAIAS By Michele K.

Tony, the Customer Service rep for the Electric Vehicle lines, said this was her first auto show job. She told me that there were four electric vehicles there but only two were running at the moment (perhaps charging the other two). They charge them at the other end of the track. She said that the Tango was the most popular car and it was getting the most attention. The man from Tango (let’s call him Tony) let me sit in the back for a ride (next year I am taking advantage of the Monday with the offer of driving it on media day). [1.16.10]

Toyota displays its best-selling Carolla at 2010 NAIAS By Mike Ismair

On Thursday January 14, I had the chance to attend the North American International Auto Show. During the duration of the show I stopped by my favorite automobile line know as Toyota. I was extremely impressed by the number of automobiles available at the auto show. There were approximately 30 automobiles or more displaying for the media and other individuals to see. I had the chance to see one of my favorite vehicles, the Toyota Corolla. The Toyota Corolla is an extremely popular automobile for the company. [1.15.10]

MINI unveils the Beachcomber concept at 2010 NAIAS By Jerome Rzucidlo

I spoke to Gert Volker Hildebrand, Chief Designer, who designed the Mini Beachcomber. The features include the openness, softness and transparency. There are no doors on this vehicle. The mpg is not available yet along with no pricing yet available. The vehicle is four meters long, a compact Mini which will be built in Austria. Why is this vehicle unique? "It is a mini crossover concept." Hildebrand said. It will be put in production in middle of 2010. "It is fun oriented," the chief designer added. [1.14.10]

Ford shows off the Fiesta supermini car at 2010 NAIAS By Gloria Rzucidlo

I spoke to Sam Delagarza, Fiesta Brand Manager and he says that the Ford Fiesta has 15 features, which includes 40 mpg highway, three options of leather heated seats, ambient lighting, a moon roof, sync technology and push-button start, which uses no key, just to name a few. It comes with a 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder engine. "There are no plans for this car to be a hybrid or electric," said Delagarza. There are seven airbags, which is more airbags than any car in its class. The target price starts at $13,995 for the sedan model. [1.13.10]

13th Annual Designer’s Night motors off with impressive models By Pete Bublitz

Crowded into the Bankle Building at 2944 Woodward Avenue, attendees were treated to vehicular-themed festivities Monday as part of Designer’s Night 2010. Hosted by Autodesk Art & Development, Inc., along with several other sponsors, the evening coincided with the ongoing North American International Auto Show. The venue was host to a mix of auto industry representatives and, at least according to Patty Hughit, those of relation to artists with work still on display. “We knew Buck Mook, who has a lot of art here,” she said. [1.12.10]

2010 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show offers something for everyone By Garrett Godwin

The 2010 North American International Auto Show is just warming up with the press preview on mid-Monday evening, as the media, which includes was given the privledge of getting a sneak peek into the latest cars that will be on stock as as well as prototypes in the works. For instance, the Honda CR-Z, which started off as the latter the year before but is now the real thing, as it is preparing for its debut both in the United States and in Japan this summer. [1.11.10]

Bob Lutz says GM is on the path to being profitable again By Jason Rzucidlo

Bob Lutz is the global marketing chief and vice chairman for General Motors. He said that GM is set to start making money sometime within the next year. The automaker is in the process of rolling out many new vehicles and replacing some older models with new ones. Additional speakers at the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) Automotive Outlook Conference were John McElroy (host of Autoline Detroit), Neil De Koker (President and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association; John Casesa (Managing Partner of Casesa Shapiro Group, LLC) and Justin Mirro (Managing Director of Moelis & Company). [1.10.10]

Shiro Nakamura of Nissan to Receive Major Design Award

The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology announced that Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Company Ltd, has been elected as the Lifetime Design Achievement Award winner for the EyesOn Design Automotive Exhibit, 2010. The award itself is unique in that only those designers who have previously won the award are allowed to vote. As a young man, and to this day, Mr. Nakamura has listed as favorite cars the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed 1964 Alpha Romeo Canguro and Sergio Pininfarina's 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta. [1.8.10]

“The Romantics” Set to Rock Charity Preview at 2010 North American International Auto Show

The home-grown masters of infectious upbeat, three-chord rock are coming back to Detroit for an exclusive show at the 2010 Charity Preview at Cobo Center, Friday, January 15, 2010. The annual Charity Preview gala event is once again scheduled for the Friday prior to public days, January 15 from 6-9 p.m. The annual event benefits 12 local children's charities and has raised more then $79 million since its inception in 1976, with the money raised by ticket sales going to provide medical treatment, clothing and support services for local kids. [1.6.10]

AUTO SHOW PREVIEW: Over 40 vehicles expected to debut at the 2010 North American International Auto Show By Jason Rzucidlo

There are just a few days left until the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Jan. 11th. Workers are putting the final touches on the displays inside Cobo Center. They are working around the clock to meet the deadline. The glitz and glamour is coming and will be in the middle of it bringing it home to you. "It's going to be an exciting show, we actually have more brands than last year," said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts. [1.4.10]

NAIAS Gallery Expands to MGM Grand Detroit to Showcase Luxury Brands

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is bringing high-end luxury vehicles to Detroit in an exclusive setting when The Gallery converges on the MGM Grand Detroit January 11-12, 2010. Opening to the public on Monday, January 11, The Gallery will provide luxury vehicle enthusiasts an opportunity to see elite vehicles in a private setting. The public can view these luxury vehicles at the MGM Grand Detroit on Monday, January 11 from 12:00 pm-9:00 pm, and Tuesday, January 12 from 8:00 am-12:00 pm. [1.1.10]

2010 Michelin Challenge Design Finalists Announced

Have you ever dreamed about having your vehicle designs featured at an international auto show? Beginning January 11, the 34 designers below will be living that dream when their original work is unveiled in the Michelin Challenge Design exhibit at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Top automotive designers serving on the Michelin Challenge Design jury selected the work based on the theme “Electrifying! Beautiful, Innovative and Radiant.” The designs were evaluated for uniqueness, emotional appeal, design courage and technical execution. [12.29.09]

EyesOn Design Celebrates 23 Years with the launch of its 2010 season at NAIAS; Bill Warner is this year's Car Show Honorary Chair

EyesOn Design celebrates 23 years recognizing major design achievement in the automotive industry and raising money for The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology. To celebrate the theme of Evolution of Automotive Design, EyesOn Design is honored to have Mr. Bill Warner (founder of Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance) as the Honorary Chair for the summer series of events. In addition, Mr. Warner will also be a docent to this year's judges' panel for the EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS media week. [12.25.09]

Bob Lutz to speak at 2010 SAA Automotive Outlook Conference

SAA's 22nd annual Automotive Outlook Conference is set for Sunday, January 10 in conjunction with the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Confirmed speakers include: Bob Lutz, GM's Global Marketing Chief; John McElroy, Host of Autoline Detroit and respected automotive journalist; Neil De Koker, President and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Assocation; John Casesa, Managing Partner of Casesa Shapiro Group, LLC; and Justin Mirro, Managing Director of Moelis & Company. [12.19.09]

Ford and GM pick up four of six finalist spots for 2010 Car and Truck of the Year Awards By Jason Rzucidlo

The Buick Lacrosse, Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Volkswagen Golf were named finalists for the 2010 North American Car of the Year Awards. The Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect and Subaru Outback were chosen as finalists for the Truck of the Year Awards. Four of the six finalist spots went to Ford and General Motors, which indicates that the domestic automakers have significantly increased their quality. The NACTOY awards are voted on by a panel of 49 journalists from the United States and Canada. [12.17.09]

2010 Automotive News World Congress to Showcase Top Industry Leaders

Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group; Yoshimi Inaba, President and CEO, Toyota Motor North America and Roger Penske, Chairman, Penske Corporation are among the nearly 20 executives who will address Navigating the New Automotive Epoch at the 2010 Automotive News World Congress, Tuesday - Thursday, Jan. 12 - 14 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Mich. The Congress opens on Tuesday morning, January 12, which is also the second and final media preview day at the North American International Auto Show. [12.14.09]

14th Urban Wheel Awards brings together Government and Auto Indutry to stimulate Minority Business Development

On January 12, 2010, The 14th Annual Urban Wheel Awards (UWA) will bring together top government officials and automotive executives with minority suppliers and dealers to recognize the stimulation of minority business development. Actress LisaRaye, also known as “Neesee James” from the CW Network’s television series All of Us, will host the event at the new Sound Board Theatre, in the MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit. Held during Press Week of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the theme for this year’s program is “Stimulating Minority Business Development.” [12.11.09]

Take the People Mover to Get Around Downtown Detroit Quickly By Jason Rzucidlo

When you come to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show, be sure to park your car and take the Detroit People Mover. It's the fastest way to get around downtown Detroit. There are 13 People Mover stations around a 2.9-mile loop around the downtown district. If you choose to park your car at the Greektown Casino, it's only a 9-minute ride to get to Cobo Center, where the auto show is being held. [12.8.09]

>> WATCH: Interview with Ericka Alexander, Marketing Specialist for the Detroit People Mover (Quicktime Video)

Ralph Gilles anchors a powerful lineup at the 2010 AutoWeek Design Forum

The man credited with designing the wildly successful Chrysler 300C sedan, Ralph Gilles, will speak on the subject of Renaissance of Design at the 16th-annual AutoWeek Design Forum. Gilles, who recently added the role of president and CEO of the Dodge division to his position as senior vice president, product design of Chrysler, anchors the Jan. 14, 2010, event at the College for Creative Studies’ A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education in Detroit, Michigan from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. [12.3.09]

2010 NAIAS Charity Preview tickets reduced to $250 each By Jason Rzucidlo

Everyone knows that the 2010 North American International Auto Show Charity Preview is always the hottest ticket in town. It is held on the day before the auto show opens to the public. Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economy these days. People are losing their jobs and their houses. Auto Show organizers realize that so they have decided to cut the ticket price from $400 per person in 2009 to $250 per person for 2010. [11.23.09]

>> WATCH: 2010 NAIAS Charity Preview tickets reduced to $250 each (Quicktime Video)

2010 NAIAS to feature new Electric Avenue exhibit area By Jason Rzucidlo

A new Electric Avenue display will be on the main floor of the auto show in January. It will feature electric vehicles in the concept and production model stages. Fisker, Think and China's BYD are three of the automakers that are expected to display there. The new display will also feature battery manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of recharging stations. The Chevy Volt will also be a part of the new Electric Avenue display. Visitors to the auto show will get a preview of the future of electric vehicles. [11.16.09]

>> WATCH: 2010 NAIAS to feature Electric Avenue exhibit area (Quicktime Video)

North American International Auto Show Announces 2010 High School Poster Contest

The 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), sponsored by NAIAS LLC, an association of Detroit area auto dealers, announced today the launch of their annual poster contest in connection with the NAIAS next January. The 22nd Annual High School Poster Contest is open to all Michigan residents enrolled in grades 10 through 12. An independent panel of recognized representatives from the local art community will judge the contest. This year, the NAIAS will choose winners in 16 categories. [11.9.09]

Nissan Announces Dates For Nissan LEAF Zero Emission Tour

Nissan North America announced that the Nissan LEAF zero-emission, all-electric car will make its North American debut in Los Angeles on Nov. 13. The Los Angeles showing will be the first time people in the United States will be able to see the five-passenger, five-door, gasoline-free car, which is embarking on a nationwide tour. The Nissan LEAF Zero Emission Tour will make stops in 22 cities, in 11 states, the District of Columbia, and Vancouver, Canada, offering the opportunity for interested drivers, media, civic partners, businesses and university students to learn more about the Nissan LEAF and the benefits of zero-emission driving. [11.2.09]

Detroit Riverside Hotel put up for sale -- Will it be open for the NAIAS? By Jason Rzucidlo

Last January, three new hotels opened in time for the auto show. The Detroit Riverside Hotel closed in August. The hotel went through a $35 million renovation project just before it closed. The building has had many names -- most notably, The Hotel Pontchartrain, then the Sheraton Detroit Hotel and finally the Detroit Riverside Hotel. In July, Mutual Bank in suburban Chicago foreclosed on the hotel's owners. The hotel is being put up for sale, according to a recent Detroit News article. [10.26.09]

>> WATCH: Detroit Riverside Hotel put up for sale -- Will it be open to the NAIAS? (Quicktime Video)

Electric vehicles coming to the U.S. in 2010; some models available now By Jason Rzucidlo

The Chevy Volt, the Think City and the Nissan Leaf are just three of the electric vehicles that will be available for sale in 2010. The Miles ZX40S Electric Vehicle, the Myers Motors NMG and the Tesla Roadster are currently on sale right now. Several companies have already developed recharging stations for electric vehicles. Prototypes were shown at the "Plugging In" battery conference earlier this week in Detroit. Most electric vehicles can be recharged in four to eight hours, depending on the electrical outlet, 110 or 220 volts. [10.23.09]

'Plugging In' conference charges up on different levels By Pete Bublitz

In just three days, downtown Detroit's MotorCity Casino-Hotel managed to charge its Sound Board venue and Conference Center with the agenda of future fuel alternatives for transporation. From October 19 through the 21, the venue hosted a conference entitled "The Business of Plugging In". The conference’s main focus dealt with the endorsement of battery-powered electric vehicles in the future, signifying its political support through appearances by Governor Jennifer Granholm and Growth Energy chairman and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark. [10.22.09]

2010 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) show floor expected to be completely full By Jason Rzucidlo

Many automakers who left the 2008 and 2009 North American International Auto Shows are expected to return to the 2010 show this January. The automakers backed out of the show in previous years due to a lack of exhibit space. The green light has been given to upgrade Cobo Center so now automakers are coming back to show off their new concept cars and production models right here in the Motor City. [10.19.09]

>> WATCH: 2010 NAIAS show floor expected to be completely full (Quicktime Video)

This page was last updated on Tue, February 9, 2010 0:38 AM


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