Who Is “Matte Finish”


Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

At the North American International Auto Show this past January, I noticed that some of the luxury brands displayed not only unique color combinations, but a variety of finishes. We commonly associate high-gloss finishes with quality and high luxury, but Mercedes, Audi, and Lexus gave us a taste of “Matte Finish”. I remember meeting Matte Finish at the Lamborghini display, on a purple “Huracan”, in 2010. It was odd looking, but not too offensive. I have seen Matte Finish around town lately as well, recently on a 2016 Corvette, in “Hi-Lighter Yellow”.

I’m not sure of the history behind Matte Finish, but I understand the distinction that comes with such an option. It’s just different. On certain cars, it may appear cheap, as if someone forgot to apply clearcoat to the finish. I don’t think you can get away with Matte Finish on a Ford Fusion, but you can on an Audi S7. Luckily for Matte Finish, he isn’t in high demand, nor is made to seen by everyone. In some cases, I do believe he chooses to be exclusive.

Wow, Really? the wind in the “Windy City”


Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

I can see right now, this auto show season is not going to be with out a little drama. We are already a little tense about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)  coming on board and taking up media space for automotive debuts. February 10, Forbes reported that Chicago auto show organizers blamed the media for the lack of attention and promotion of the show. When really there wasn’t as much product to promote in the first place. Laughable.

My views are a little different. In as much as the Chicago show was once competing with Detroit to host the North American International Auto Show, especially when McCormick Place, in downtown Chicago  is larger than Cobo Hall in Detroit. Let’s not excuse the fact that the automotive companies have ties in Michigan and California. Lets all together agree and admit that it’s cheaper to announce a new product online than to stage an elaborate show. What company wants to spend millions of dollars on a product reveal only to be a fleeting afterthought when your competitor reveals their new product 15 minutes later. In this life, its about owning the spotlight, not sharing it. This year, the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, had one media day for the automotive companies and a media day for “Automobility”, We, in Detroit… survived.

Basically, there are 4 major shows in North America from November to April; Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, and New York. Every show has it own niche of reveals and product launches. The auto shows were designed for the dealers to showcase the products under one roof for the customers, not the media. Often times when manufacturers decide not to display vehicles is when when there is a small market for the product or there is not a significant addition or change to the product line. Now maybe because the hottest thing that showed up to Chicago was the 2018 Ford Expedition or the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, which really got its media buzz before the show. If there is a complaint to be directed, direct it at the companies, or even the folks at CES, but not the media, for lack of coverage and product


Now That The Show Is Over…


This Is How I Feel About NAIAS

Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

So, now that the North American International Auto Show is over with, we have some fun notes that hopefully will carry us through 2017.

“Autonomous cars are here to stay, and there is nothing we can do about it”, according to one of my car design buddies. I do believe that everyone i now trying to figure how to package more sensors and still meet “Ped-Pro” requirements.

The total attendance numbers were down this year, with the good weather, i guess consumers had a better alternative. Besides, with Consumers Electronic Show (CES), the week before, there wasn’t anything mind blowing to debut.

Speaking of which, the 2018 Toyota Camry, GMC Terrain, and the Chevy Traverse…

The show reminded me more of a sales floor than an auto show. Everyone was conservatively dressed to do business, but had little knowledge about the product. I got so many business cards to visit a website, I felt like it was more of a networking event. I needed a resume, really I did.

I waiting for the car companies to bridge the generation gap with the product offerings. Instead, I have seen lifestyle focused vehicles, that change in dimension as much as dress sizes. We were inundated with cross-overs and SUV’s. and for those designing stuff and throwing out what sticks, or replicating the same user-friendly, adaptive, vehicular control systems, give me good practical design.

The European luxury brands showcased exterior matte finishes as an option, which i thought looked pretty hot, but for $90,000, I think I want clear coat somewhere.

With the comeback of Detroit in the media, when will the other missing brands grace Detroit with their presence, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, Tesla, I see enough around town, display at the show.

Cadillac reveals yet another luxury concept and still can’t figure out how to make the SIXTEEN. Today Cadillac announced that there may be additional products coming out in the next 2-3 years. A smaller than XT-5, and a larger than XT-5, and a smaller ATS size vehicle could possibly hit the streets before 2020. At some point GM will realize that less is more.

I really liked how the auto manufacturers played up the city of Detroit. Where there may not have been much handed out to the media, Mercedes in particular invested the time to promote the city as well as their product.

I hope everyone had fun this year at the show. Don’t forget next year there will be a change in the date, Thanks CES


January of 2018: Guess Who’s Moving In?


By Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

Monday, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) announced its January dates for 2018: 1/9/2018 – 1/12/2018. This may push the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) back a week later to Martin Luther King Jr. holiday week for media previews. It was bad enough that because of the CES show, some vehicles didn’t make it to the NAIAS show for the media days. Now, who know how 2018’s auto show season schedule will play out.

This year while the 2017 CES show was ending in Las Vegas, the FCA Chrysler “Portal” Concept was on its way to Detroit — double-timing it back, I’m sure, because it had already missed the media days and wasn’t on display on the show floor until mid-week. Obviously, with new technology coming to the forefront and demanding industry attention, the story is more about the tech than the vehicle, forcing automakers  to decide when and where an appropriate reveal should take place — the top tech show or the top car show.

Rumor has it that the decision makers are considering possibly moving the NAIAS show to the month of May after Chicago and New York shows.

I love CES, especially when it lived in November. Now, with CES in January, and moving closer to NAIAS, it reminds me of the neighbor that builds a large modern home, in an established quiet neighborhood of English Tudors.

@ the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Pt. 2


Mecedes Benz EQ Concept

Picture 1 of 11

Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

Day two at the show we spent more time collecting more information and images to share. Since all of the reveals were on Monday, day two focused on the future of mobility and technology. I was able to sit and talk with a few designers and get an overall feel of their view of the future. I walked around and made quite a few observations as the staff grabbed a few more pictures. We cant wait to share. Check back with us often. In the mean time, here are a few notable displays to check out.

Here We Go, the 2017 North American International Auto Show


Stephan Franklin, Auto Show Global

It feels like Christmas in January. We will be among the 5000 media representatives to be at the North American International Auto Show. This year is our year to move the needle in thought provoking ideas and insights to automotive design and technology. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, where we will be having live updates,coverage, and content. #Autoshowglobal

time to get dressed,

Gallant Gray is the new…Silver?


Stephen Franklin, Auto Show Global

So, it has been proclaimed that “Gallant Gray” is the new color for 2017 by Axalta, a market leader in automotive paint finishes. Well it’s about time. I have owned most colors of the automotive color spectrum expect reds, yellows and greens. For the sake of dialogue, Dark Gray has been one of my favorite automotive colors. I owned a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix and a 2007 GMC Acadia, in the same color family. I was an early adopter. I liked the color because It’s less than black and darker than the more popular silver. I have found that it accented chrome, if you like chrome, and brushed metals. It gives balance to black and cuddles with compliment other colors. It reminds me of charcoal gray suits with brown shoes, it allows the owner license to be bold, and less traditional.

Now, as human beings, and our quest to be unique individuals, everyone will be buying into Gallant Gray. All I can say is, “been there, done that”. My new color is navy blue, catch me if you can. For more information, http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2017/01/05/axalta-gallant-gray-car-color/96074546/

Press Conference Schedule Announced for 2017 North American International Auto Show


Courtesy of The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced today the official press conference schedule for the 2017 NAIAS Press Preview, Jan. 8 – 10.

“NAIAS is among the leaders in global media coverage, executive attendance and industry-shaping content, making it the most influential annual automotive event in the world,” said Sam Slaughter, 2017 NAIAS Chairman.

With over 300 exhibitors all under one roof, ranging from global automakers to suppliers to tech startups, NAIAS will truly be the mobility epicenter and will showcase the full automotive ecosystem. NAIAS expects to have over 5,000 credentialed journalists from 60+ different countries attend Press Preview, keeping NAIAS strongly in the lead among domestic shows in terms of global media coverage.

About the North American International Auto Show
Now in its 29th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place. Administered by executive director Rod Alberts, the NAIAS is one of the largest media events in North America, and the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. For more information, visit naias.com.

2017 NAIAS Dates:
The Gallery – Saturday, January 7, 2017
AutoMobili-D – Sunday-Thursday, January 8-12, 2017
Press Preview – Monday-Tuesday, January 9-10, 2017
Industry Preview – Wednesday-Thursday, January 11-12, 2017
Charity Preview – Friday, January 13, 2017
Public Show – Saturday-Sunday, January 14-22, 2017