LOS ANGELES — The 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show rolls into the LA Convention Center from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1. It will even be open on Thanksgiving Day before you enjoy your turkey dinner from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the auto show will feature over 65 new vehicle premieres, the most in the show’s history.
The LA Auto Show dates back to 1907. The first auto show was held at Morley’s Skating Rink on Grand Avenue. Three thousand people gathered to check out all of the new cars. Fast forward to today and it has grown into one of the largest and most influential auto shows in the world.
All of the fun and excitement kicks off with AutoMobility LA, the auto show’s new name for its press and trade days. That’s when the vehicle debuts happen and journalists are invited to see the cars, trucks and SUVs ahead of the public show.
More than 65 new vehicles including world and North American debuts are coming to the 2019 LA Auto Show. That equals to 15-20 more reveals than in previous years. Some of the confirmed introductions include Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric SUV, the Karma Revero GTS, 2021 Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid, 2020 Audi e-Tron sportback, 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe, 2020 Genesis GV80 and the Bollinger B1/B2 electric SUV/truck.
I spoke with Alexis Evans, the LA Auto Show’s director of communications, for a preview of this year’s auto show. She said there are lots more exciting announcements that are being kept top secret.
“AutoMobility LA is four days packed with vehicle debuts and press announcements,” Evans said in an exclusive phone interview. “There’s an all-day conference that happens on the 19th, that Tuesday. We are expecting big news from the major names both in the automotive and technology spaces. It is a very popular event–more so for media and for the industry. Following that is our consumer days event, which is the LA Auto Show. That takes place from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1.”
As far as the conference goes, are we going to hear a lot about autonomous/self-driving vehicles?
“I think you’ll be hearing a little bit about everything,” she explained. “It will be connectivity, it will be electrification, it will be sharing and of course autonomy. There will be something for everyone.”
The collaboration between California’s automotive industry and Michigan’s automotive industry is expanding. PlanetM is sponsoring this year’s Top Ten Startups competition, which takes place during the AutoMobility LA preview week. In addition, the North American Car, Truck & SUV of the Year committee will announce their finalists for their 2020 awards at the show.
“This year, we’re doing something a little different [for our Top Ten Startups]. Rather than having a live pitch on stage with the three finalists, we will be having a panel just basically talking about the start up industry and how those innovations are helping move the needle from the automotive standpoint. At this time, we’re working with PlanetM, it’s part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Given that they are based in Michigan and AutoMobility LA is based here in California, it’s an interesting conversation. They too, have a significant amount of startups helping move the needle in the transportation standpoint. The conversation is definitely needed.”
Detroit’s North American International Auto Show has shifted its dates from January to June. The change was made for more favorable weather and the hope that more automakers would return. That allows more companies to choose L.A. to show off their new concept cars and production models this November.
“The move has never changed our approach. We’re aware of the move and everything. We’ve continued to pursue as such. More than 65 vehicle debuts will take place during AutoMobility LA. There are still some that we have not disclosed yet. I think people who will be coming to AutoMobility LA will certainly be excited to see those announcements. Of course, consumers will have the opportunity to see those debut vehicles when they come during consumer days.”
Not only can you look at the vehicles, but you can drive them too. There will be dozens of vehicles available for free test drives on the streets of Los Angeles during the show’s run. For the first time ever, Tesla will be giving test drives of its popular electric vehicles.
“Our test drives will be taking place during our consumer days. We will have test drives from the likes of Audi, Acura and Tesla will be there as well. There’s over 1,000 cars that will be on display during the Los Angeles Auto Show. Alongside those vehicles will be really cool activations that are taking place. We’ll have an activation from Disney. There’s the LEGO activation. They will have a life-size Bugatti which is very cool.”
There are tons of interactive activities to keep the kids entertained as well. Those include the Acura NSX GT3 virtual reality experience, Hyundai Racing challenge, Jaguar VR racing, Dodge Bondurant Challenger simulator, Volkswagen GTI Track Challenge, Chevrolet VR Homerun Challenge, just to name a few.
Once again, the 2019 LA Auto Show opens to the public on Friday, Nov. 22 and runs through Dec. 1. Passes are required for the AutoMobility LA press and trade preview from Nov. 18-21.
For tickets and more information, visit www.LAautoshow.com.