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PREVIEW: Nearly 50 debuts coming to 2015 NAIAS (Detroit's Auto Show)
The next generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt will make its worldwide introduction in Detroit.
DETROIT -- It's that time of the year again! First, New Year's Eve then the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A total of 45 to 50 new car introductions will be revealed at this year's auto show in Detroit. Of those, we know the wraps will be coming off the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt, the Honda FCV concept (fuel cell vehicle), Infiniti Q60 concept, 2016 Acura NSX, 2016 Audi Q7, 2016 Lexus GS F, 2016 Nissan Titan, 2016 Ram 1500 and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, among many others.
Visitors and the media alike will experience an upgraded Cobo Center with a brand new video billboard on the exterior of the building. Press days are Jan. 12 and 13, with the industry preview following on Jan. 14 and 15. The glitz and glamour of the charity preview returns on Friday, Jan. 16. Then, the doors swing open for the public days from Jan. 17 through the 25.
“We’re going to see 45 to 50 new vehicle reveals,” said Scott LaRiche, chairman of the 2015 North American International Auto Show. “We’ll have 40 worldwide debuts never seen before anywhere and five or 10 North American reveals. When you look at the resurgence of Detroit and coupled with the resurgence of the automobile industry, in 2014 we sold over 16.5 million units. The thought is that we’re probably going to eclipse 17 million sales. That means excitement. All eyes are literally on Detroit. We are on the world stage. We’re going to be bringing in over 5,000 press personnel from over 60 countries. The manufacturers know that they’re going to get the press coverage.”
Can you tell me more about this year’s big debuts?
“A lot of manufacturers keep things close to the vest, but I can tell you for sure Chevrolet is going to be unveiling the Volt," he added. "We know that Buick is going to have something brand spanking new. Guangzhou Motors from China is going to unveil a vehicle at our show that’s only going to be sold in China. It shows the power and reach of this show. We’ve heard that Nissan has a game changer coming. It’s really going to show what their franchise is all about. There are over 35 press conferences.”
As a Chevrolet dealer, you must be pretty excited.
“I’m extremely excited. Over the last three years, Chevrolet sales have gone up. We’ve worked extremely hard with GM as our partner to get through all of the recalls and we’re working hard to keep people safe behind our vehicles. Over the last 12 months, we’ve been the most recognized and awarded franchise in the world. A lot of good things are happening. People realize that even though there may be a hiccup here or there with a recall or two, they know that GM is standing behind it. They’re going to make it right.”
I know that we’re going to see the next generation Chevrolet Volt, but is there any chance we will see the new Cadillac ELR?
“There is a very serious rumor," the chairman explained. "I know there’s going to be a Cadillac press conference. I know they have a new worldwide debut. What it is, I don’t know. It would make sense that the ELR be shown at the show. They’ve done a really great job over the years with product. You’ll find that most manufacturers worldwide have been pressing forward. The ELR being one, and the new Volt.”
I understand that the Schaeffler Group is going to show a car that meets the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) 2025 requirements?
“What you just told me is the same thing I just heard last week. I haven’t seen a sneak peek picture. What will be interesting—what does it cost to make a car meet those standards? Is it a midsize car, a real small car, it’s going to be interesting to see. There’s another reason to come out to the show.”
Could you give me an update on the renovation of Cobo Center? Is there still more work to be done?
“Cobo Center has transformed to be a world-class facility. One of the biggest changes you’re going to see as people are arriving at the corner of Washington and Congress. There’s a beautiful, new outdoor digital screen that will show people upcoming events and things like that. It will also show what’s happening live on the floor. People are going to see folks walking around. It’s not quite 100 percent done. There are a couple of things that have to happen. In the front of Cobo Center as you are arriving on Jefferson, there’s going to be a giant LED screen that’s going to go up there. That will be done for the 2016 show. Inside, they’ve done a great job with all new carpeting and lighting in the concourse. If you’re standing at the Joe Louis statue, looking at the show floor, there are entrances as you move down the walkway. The farthest one to the right is going to be enlarged for next year’s show. There is an escalator that’s going to be moved out of the way. I think that’s about it. Once they finish those up, it will be 100 percent done for 2016.”
People are probably wondering—what are some of your duties as chairman?
“I have the honor of speaking to the press as we’re doing right now. I’ll give you a little bit of history. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association owns the show. As a member of the DADA, you have an opportunity to be chosen. They work the chairs out so they’re not all GM guys or Chrysler guys or Ford guys or foreign car guys. We work together as a committee. Everyone is very good at putting on their NAIAS hat when it comes to decisions that face companies from all around the world. What happens is you’re Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and then President of DADA. Once you are the President, that makes you co-chair of the show. Then, the next year you are chairman.
He added: “You have a lot of training involved. Along those lines, we travel around and see a lot of different shows around the world. It’s a big responsibility. What we want to do is bring the best of the best back to make our show better every single year. We look at 100 different renderings of what the show floor is going to look like. Then, we work on something that’s very near and dear to my heart and that’s the charity preview. It has really grown over the years. We’re projecting to make $5 million to children’s charities in and around metro Detroit. Since 1976, that means we would have raised over $100 million. That’s all because of the generosity of the people that live in and around the Detroit metro area.”
I’m curious to know your thoughts on the finalists for the North American Car and Truck/SUV of the Year awards.
“I’m really glad you asked that question. Last year, I was sitting two seats away from Mary Barra when they announced the sweep from GM. We had the Silverado pickup that won and then the Cadillac that won. Her and Mark Reuss and several other GM execs jumped right up off the floor. It was really something special. This year, it’s very exciting. Ford has three entries that are in the final six. If I’m not mistaking, VW is in there, we also have the Chevrolet Colorado. We’re very proud the NACTOY award is actually announced at our show. It’s something that we feel very honored about. If I put on my Chevrolet hat, I would love to see the new Colorado win. It just came off the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award. That’s really what kicks it off on the morning of the 12th.”
The 2015 NAIAS press preview is open to credentialed media only. Tickets for the industry preview are $95 each and can be ordered online here. Charity preview tickets are $400 each (with $390 of that being tax deductible) and can be ordered online here. Public show tickets are $13 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+) and $7 for children (7-12) and can be ordered online here. Cobo Center is located at One Washington Boulevard in Detroit.
A new video display will give outsiders a view of what's going on inside.
GAC Group, China's leading automaker, plans to launch the GAC Motor GS4, a high-performance compact sport-utility vehicle, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, a move to reinforce its globalization drive.
The Steve Miller Band will entertain audiences during the Charity Preview on Friday, January 16.
At the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit (January 12 - 25 2015), Schaeffler will show its concept car that meets the 2025 CAFE requirements.
2015 NAIAS Cobo Center Floor Plan
2015 NAIAS Chairman Scott LARiche
This page was last updated on Sat, January 10, 2015 0:31 AM
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