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

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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

 

January of 2018: Guess Who’s Moving In?

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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.

FCA Portal Concept at CES 2017 Had Me at Group Selfies

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Chrysler Portal Concept Exterior

Chrysler Portal Concept user experience. Once at the destination, interior and exterior cameras can capture the moment with a selfie, which is then automatically downloaded to everyone’s personal device and can be shared via social media

By Karla Thornhill Coleman, Auto Show Global

FCA US announced today at the CES 2017  in Las Vegas a new concept vehicle designed by their own in-house millennials for millennials and their future families. You know, that group of young adults between age 18-33 — tech savvy and environmentally conscious — who are highly self aware and known for their uniqueness and willingness to embrace everything “next.”

So do you have to be a millennial to understand what millennials desire in a future vehicle? Probably not, but FCA US wasn’t taking any chances.  

These designers and engineers dreamed up the ultimate future family mode of transportation, They decided to kick on the time machine and turn up the social media game and give the Chrysler Portal concept the features millennials and their future selves will love. My favorite features are the internal and external cameras (which can be used to take personal or group selfies), the facial and voice biometrics and the personal zoned audio, so I can listen to Janet Jackson without headphones and not disturb the rest of my family, who’ve grown tired of my playlist.

Chrysler Portal Concept Interior

And because this is a battery-operated (pure EV), autonomous vehicle with a suite of sensing technologies, the thought is that less time will be spent driving and watching the road during a commute, and more conversing, learning, and catching up with seamless wireless networks between vehicles, even the external environment. So the interior becomes even more important — with more flexibility between seating and cargo, techy features, social networking features and an open atmosphere — creating what FCA’s young millennial team is calling the “third space.” Continue reading