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PREVIEW: 2015 Ford F-150 and 2015 Chrysler 200 make up two of 50-plus debuts coming to the 2014 NAIAS
The 2015 Ford F-150, which is based off the Atlas Concept, is expected to be revealed at the 2014 NAIAS.
DETROIT -- The 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opens to the media on Jan. 13 and then to the public on Jan. 18. It runs everyday through Jan. 26 at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. Renovations at the convention center are 90 percent complete, according to officials.
Some of this year's big debuts include the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype, Audi crossover concept, Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, Kia 2+2 sports car concept, MINI John Cooper Works concept, Nissan Sports Sedan concept, Volvo Concept XC Coupé. As for the Big Three automakers, Ford will be showing the new 2015 F-150 pickup truck, Chrysler will introduce the 2015 200 sedan and Cadillac will debut the 2015 ATS Coupe.
"There's going to be a number of new displays," said Bob Shuman, Chairman of the 2014 NAIAS. "We're going to have at least 50 reveals of cars that have never been seen before. We're pretty excited about that. some of the pre-Public Show events include the Charity Preview. It's going to be very big this year. Sheryl Crow is going to be singing at the show. There's going to be an Afterglow Party put on by the Detroit Auto Dealers. It's going to be very special in the new Grand Ballroom. Cobo Center has been transformed into a whole new event space. The new Grand Ballroom and the atrium are open and ready to go."
Many people are probably wondering how the show will be different from last year.
"Again, we'll have 50 cars that no one has ever seen before," he added. "Those are always different every single year. Every hear, about a third or maybe even 40 percent of the exhibits are completely re-done and new as part of their cycle. The way the manufacturers are on the show floor changes every year. In the next two or three years, you're going to see some big changes to some of the traditional spots where the manufacturers have been for many years. One of the manufacturers that keeps moving is Cadillac. Cadillac will be in a new space this year."
As you mentioned, it is the 25th Anniversary as an "international" auto show. What's being done to celebrate that?
"We're having our Studio 25, which is our afterglow event," the 2014 NAIAS Chairman explained. "It's going to be huge this year in the new Grand Ballroom. We'll be talking about the 25th Anniversary a little bit during the opening ceremony. There will be some information around Cobo Center about things that have happened in the past. We're going to have comments from all of the chairs from the past 25 years that are still living to talk about what they remember or the big news or something exciting that happened during their show."
Can you go over some of this year's concept cars?
"I really don't have that information in front of me right now. A lot of times the manufacturers don't give us a lot of information ahead of time because they want to surprise us I really don't have that information, sorry."
As far as the production models go, those will mainly be 2015's?
"Yes, I know a new Porsche and Sierra will be there. That's the first time anyone's going to see that. Just about all of the manufacturers are going to be bringing something new this year. Obviously, we've heard the Mustang will be there for Ford. I think that's going to be a big car. It's going to be an opportunity for people to touch it, sit in it, feel it. As a car dealer, that gets people to buy the car. I think the new Ford truck may be there. I know Chrysler is going to show off a new vehicle there. I think Cadillac's got something coming this year."
I understand the ride-and-drive track in Michigan Hall is being removed this year.
"For five or six years now, we've had an electric vehicle/hybrid ride-and-drive area down in Michigan Hall," Shuman said. "We went away from that. One of the reasons is now you can go to a car dealer and drive an electric car. All of these different cars are there now. Now they are out, they're in the public. You can see them driving down the road. We're going to have some other interesting things down there: some mobility displays. One thing that is kind of cool. The DUB gentlemen that make the fancy wheels they're going to have an interesting display with some fancy wheels. We're going to have some Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The Center for Automotive Design will have a display."
Will attendees be able to test drive cars maybe outside instead?
"It doesn't seem to work," he added. "I know that some shows do that. It's really hard to pull that off at Cobo in Detroit given its the middle of January. We never know what the weather is going to be. Although the manufacturers could do that, I don't think anyone is doing it this year."
Please tell me your thoughts on the finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards?
"Well, I hope the Cherokee wins," the 2014 NAIAS Chairman explained. "That is completely removed from the show--that is decided by the press people. I don't have a vote. It's very exciting to be there when they announce the winner and watch all of the reporters do the news and run off to do their story. It's a very exciting time when the announcement is made."
Can you give me an update on the Cobo Center renovations?
"Sure, over 90 percent of it is done. Most areas where the public would go is done. Where the cars are parked, that's done. The parking areas are done. The new Grand Ballroom, that's done. The new Riverfront Atrium, that's done. The back area rooms are not quite complete yet. They will be ready for next year's show. For all intensive purposes, Cobo is open, beautiful and ready to go."
Since you are a Chrysler dealer, what can we expect to see from them?
"With all of the Chrysler brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, they're also going to incorporate Mopar, a parts brand into it," Shuman said. "A lot of things that they had at the SEMA event a couple of months back, they're going to bring to our show and show them off in a new and different way. It's kind of an opportunity for everyone in Detroit to see that side of the Mopar/Chrysler brand. We're having great success with our last truck right now so i'm sure there will be a new RAM truck display. I know they're going to have a new vehicle there, but I'm not sure I'm supposed to announce that yet. I don't want to get myself in trouble."
Is there any chance we could see a vehicle or maybe more than one from Alfa Romeo?
"I don't think there will be an Alfa Romeo vehicle there this year, " he added. "But again Chrysler doesn't tell me what they're going to bring. So you'll never know. There's always surprises at the show."
Why are the public show tickets going up another dollar this year?
"Well, I don't think we've had a price increase in forever," the 2014 NAIAS Chairman explained. "I mean, it's been six or seven years. It's been a very long time and our costs continue to go up like anything else. As the economy has improved, and the car markets have improved, so we're just trying to absorb some of those expenses."
Anything else people should know about the 2014 NAIAS?
"The biggest question I'm asked by the foreign manufacturers is, 'Is it going to snow?' That's what they always want to know. I always give them my guarantee that it will not snow during the auto show. You have my word on that."
Related Stories: Society of Automotive Analysts Outlook Conference to (unofficially) kick off North American International Auto Show; PHOTOS: Renovations Wrapping Up at Cobo Center ahead of 2014 NAIAS
The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan will make its introduction in Detroit next week.
Sheryl Crow will entertain audiences during the Charity Preview on Friday, January 17.
The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is expected to be shown at the 2014 NAIAS.
2014 NAIAS Cobo Center Floor Plan
2014 NAIAS Chairman Bob Shuman
This page was last updated on Sun, January 5, 2014 1:27 AM
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