Today was the first press day for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens its doors to the public on Saturday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, beginning at 9 a.m. The day started with the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) annual breakfast as a show official stated that hundreds of thousands of tickets have been sold already, and that’s before the box office opened. It’s a big show and it’s getting bigger, and it’s great to many of the OEMs continue to support this well attended show and reveal new offering here in Chi-town.
As the day went on, Chevy, Acura, Kia, Honda, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced all new vehicles and concepts on the hour, with more in the afternoon from FCA US, Mazda, Hyundai, Ford, Chevy (again), BMW, VW and more. Here were some of the highlights:
The Chrysler 200 was awarded the Chicago Auto Show’s Family Vehicle of the year at the MAMA breakfast.
In the same venue, the Chevy folks announced the production of an all-new, all electric vehicle, based off the Chevy Bolt EV Concept, at the Lake Orion, Michigan plant. The Bolt is GM’s chance at creating a truly electric vehicle, and leverage the company’s experience with the revolutionary Volt.
This generation global electric vehicle is expected to be more affordable and have a longer range — more than 200 miles per charge and priced around $30,000. It’s also great news for workers in the Detroit area.
On the show floor, Chevy introduced the 2016 Equinox – a restyled, updated version of the compact SUV that’s been around for a while now and in need of a more contemporary look. Inside it has large color touchscreen radio, rearview camera and other premium features.
In Kia land, the team pulled the wraps off of the new 2016 Rio sedan and the Trail’ster e-AWD concept.
Over at the Honda stand, Jeff Conrad – Honda Division Senior Vice President and General Manager showed the media audience the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot SUV and I must say, for the first time that morning, I was impressed. It’s a family vehicle that could always hold its own in the marketplace, but was in desperate need of some restyling and contemporizing. Lots of new technology, amenities and safety features. Nice job! I will have pix in the next blog post and more to say as well.
Mike Accavitti – Acura Division Senior Vice President and General Manager, after touting this vehicle’s solid sales leadership and best-ever year, pulled the covers off the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury SUV, with all new performance and luxury upgrades befitting of the Acura brand.
And in the world of trucks, Ram is stepping up the level of sophistication and luxury with its announcement of a new trim level for the Ram 1500 — the Ram Laramie Limited. Yes, lots of premium leather and Argento wood for the high-end consumer who wants the versatility of an efficient and capable work horse and lots of after-hour swag.
More tomorrow with announcements from Mazda, Hyundai, Ford, Chevy, BMW, and VW.