LOS ANGELES — As the weather turns cold in Detroit, that only means one thing… it’s getting close to time for the Los Angeles Auto Show. More than 60 new vehicles, including world and North American debuts, will make their official premiere at the 2018 AutoMobility LA. For those who don’t already know, Automobility LA is the official name for the press and trade days of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
This year’s auto show will be an exciting one for all automotive enthusiasts. It all kicks off with Beetles and Breakfast, a party celebrating the final model year of the Volkswagen Beetle before it is smashed–or killed off forever. In addition, there will be dozens of press conferences by some of the world’s leading automakers such as Toyota, Hyundai, Jeep, Lincoln and Porsche.
“We kickoff with a really cool kick-off party and this year is no exception–that’s on Monday, the 26th,” said Alexis Evans, communications director of AutoMobility LA and the L.A. Auto Show. “On the 27th, the conference portion of AutoMobility LA will take place. This is an all-day experience where we’ll have executives and thought leaders from automotive and technology companies from around the world. It will start with a keynote from Laura Schwab, who is the president of Aston Martin Lagonda. It will end with the vice president of Amazon Alexa, Ned Curic. Sprinkled in with talks from the CEO of BYTON, Ted Klaus from Honda R&D. There will be some panels on a number of different topics. It’s a pretty busy day on Tuesday.
“Wednesday and Thursday will be our vehicle debuts–formerly known as press and trade days. That’s where vehicle debuts happen. We’ll have automaker announcements from the likes of BMW, Porsche, Lincoln, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Jeep, and the list goes on and on. It’s a pretty packed schedule for the 26-29 so we’re very excited.”
More than 1,000 vehicles from 30 automakers will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. They will be exhibited across more than one million square feet of indoor and outdoor spaces. L.A. is the country’s largest car market and green vehicle market, according to J.D. Power.
Some of the major debuts for the 2018 show are expected to include the Audi e-tron GT concept, an all-new vehicle from Hyundai, a pickup truck from Jeep, several new models from Kia and Mitsubishi’s newest concept vehicle. Can you elaborate on some of the vehicle premieres that have been announced so far?
“You’ll have to come to the show and check it out,” Evans answered. “We’re really excited to have a number of global automakers that are going to be on site at the convention center introducing some of their very latest vehicles. So we’re very excited.”
Also, we’ll see new vehicles and/or announcements by electric vehicle start-ups, Rivian and BYTON, who are newcomers on the automotive scene.
“Their design is a little bit different from what you’d normally see on the road. Considering that California is a leading state from a Green vehicle perspective, it made sense for them to formally introduce their vehicles at our show. BYTON is based in the Bay Area. Rivian, I know, is based in the Midwest. They will have their press conference during the conference portion of AutoMobility LA. At that time, they will reveal a couple of things that they have up their sleeve.”
Can you provide more info about your event commemorating the official send-off to the Volkswagen Beetle?
“Every year, we have something called the Motoring Invitational. It’s an annual thing that we have Wednesday morning kind of kicking off vehicle debuts day. This year–given that the Beetle is going away, sadly, we renamed it Beetles & Breakfast. We wanted to focus on the Beetle and have different Beetles from the past.”
It wasn’t long ago when the Los Angeles Auto Show press and trade days were only one or two days. Now, it has grown to nearly a full week from Monday through Thursday.
“In 2016, we rebranded ourselves,” the communications director explained. “Instead of calling it Connected Car Expo and press and trade days, we put it all under one umbrella and now we call it AutoMobility LA. From a content perspective, everything remains the same.”
Please tell me more about the interactive opportunities including the vehicle test drives at the show.
“Some of the same automakers that will be doing vehicle debuts will also have test drives. Alongside that, we’ll have a few test drives that we can’t announce right now. We have a couple of automakers that have never had a test drive before. Our test drives will be taking place during our consumer days, which is Nov. 30 through Dec. 9. ”
Our viewers and visitors may be wondering–how will press days be different from the public show days?
“The press days or AutoMobility LA is really about the announcements. It’s really about sheets coming off of cars and things along those lines. That’s really what the press days or B2B days are about. B2C show is an opportunity for mom, dad, brother, sister, husband, wife to have a chance to actually sit in these vehicles. It’s a public show so people can buy tickets online at LAautoshow.com. They’ll also have an opportunity to check out the experiences that we have at the show like the Polaris Slingshot 3-wheeled vehicle that was at our show for the first time last year. People loved it. It’s a popular experience for folks. People spend at least about five hours on average. I totally encourage people whether you’re in the Los Angeles area or beyond to come down to L.A. We’ll be one of the only cities at that point in the fall/early winter where it’s not snowing, raining or anything along those lines. The weather should be absolutely beautiful.”
Attention automotive enthusiasts: Mark your calendars!! AutoMobility LA kicks off on Nov. 26 and runs through the 29. Then, the doors swing open for the Los Angeles Auto Show from Nov. 30 through Dec. 9, 2018. For tickets and more information, visit www.LAautoshow.com.
Watch my 2018 L.A. Auto Show preview video: