The first press day at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit sadly came to an end, but there were a few experiences that stayed with us: Ford’s reveal of the 2015 F-150 in the Joe Louis Arena, breakfast strudel from the Smart team, the 2015 Chrysler 200 press kit, Sushi at the Nissan stand, after lunch coffee, tea and cinammon pastries at the Volvo display, watching the dancing assembly-line robotic arms in the Ford F-150 display, walking through the Mustang exhibit, Kelly Rowland with Mercedes and once again this year, charging our phones in the Chevy stand while walking around the new Corvettes.
2015 Ford F-150 reveal in the Joe
At the Joe Louis Arena, on the same floor where the Red Wings play, Ford unveiled the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 — and it was huge. The back drop was spread across the length of the floor. From the stands, the Ford executives looked miniature, but their message was clear: Everything about this truck is big. The only experience I can compare it to is being in an IMAX theater with 3D glasses watching Star Wars. The graphics were phenomenal. Three trucks bursting through paper walls was clever. We all agreed, it was one of the best reveals among all the automakers that we’ve seen in years. We will be showing video highlights of the reveal soon.
After the Ford reveal, we were wandering around the show, taking in the bright lights, looking for the new and unusual when someone from the Smart team asked if we would like a breakfast strudel. Now that was something unusual from Smart. Their display is always bright and inviting, probably the most contemporary in the show. Back to the strudel, I was looking for something sweet, like apple or blueberry, but instead, it had an egg filling with bean sprouts on top. Delicious.
Press kit and pottery
Later, after the Chrysler 200 reveal – nice looking new design, especially the interior by the way – we picked up the press kit jewel of the show. Yes it had all the information you needed for the show, but the treasure inside was the Pewabic Pottery tile. That’s a keepsake. A Detroit treasure and tradition, Pewabic Pottery was founded in 1903 and is now a fixture of Detroit history (www.pewabic.org)
My phone is dead; another sweet Corvette
About mid-day, we had a deja-vu moment. It happened last year – once again we found ourselves charging our phones in the Chevy stand. It’s a popular spot as Chevy offers chargers for practically every model phone. Thanks, Chevy. Of course, with a little time on our hands, we had to sit in the 2014 Corvette Stingray, the 2014 Car of the Year, and walk around the new 2015 Corvette C7.R and Corvette Z06. I think that was planned.
Throwback to the Sixties
As we walked toward the Buick stand, two energic hippies jumped out from behind a 1963 Greenbrier bus looking for candidates for the shutter booth. Outside the bus was a variety of hats, scarves, funny signs, glasses, a steering wheel and other props. The idea is to dress up with your friends, get in and take a bunch of pictures. They will be around for public days starting Jan. 18.
Nissan and Sushi
The Nissan stand caught the intern’s eye and we went over to see the vehicles on display and take a rest.
Before we knew it, a woman approached us with plates of sushi, ginger and wasabi and a pair of chop sticks. Who could resist.
Coffee, tea and Volvo
With cinammon pastries, course. In the Volvo display, as we stopped for expresso and Earl Grey tea, we added this stand to our list of favs. Not too many cars and trucks crowded in like a parking lot, the vehicles were spread appropriately around clean, open space. The wood-trimmed beams and contemporary wooden lounge chairs and sofas were a symbol of Volvo’s heritage, yet contemporary design and advanced technology. It was a pleasing space.
Dancing robotic arms
The F-150 display is one of the shows newest displays. When we approached it from the rear, it didn’t look like much. But when we turned the corner we couldn’t help but stop and watch the moving robotic arms. Timed and choreographed, it looked as if they were dancing. Fun.
My first car was a 1970 Mustang so I’m always drawn to anything Mustang, especially the most recent models. Don’t miss the Mustang display on the upper level in the Ford stand. A lot of cool Mustang vintage memorabilia, nice lay out, the exhibit takes you “back in the day” when Mustang was muscle royalty.
Always something new and exciting at the Detroit Auto Show each year. During the Mercedes press conference, we could hear Kelly Rowland – you know, Beyonce’s cousin – singing, and see her on the big screen. And when it was time for lunch, we ventured to the new food court. It’s definitely a step in the right direction and I found my salad.
Between the cars, entertainment, food court and displays, there’s always something new to experience.
Later this week, we’ll bring you highlights of the cars and trucks reveals.
K. Thornhill Coleman and Olivia Ewing