Exclusive: LA Auto Show growing to three press days?

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Etc., Safety, Technology

Los Angeles Auto Show logo

The 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show is already shaping up to be a big deal, with at least nine world debuts from some of the biggest names in the industry. Now, Autoblog has intercepted a memo that’s going to be sent out to automakers this week explaining that LA will be even bigger this year because it is adding a third day of media festivities.

Called the Connected Car Expo, the additional day will focus on the industry’s burgeoning “connected car space.” Currently, Verizon, Sprint, OnStar and Qualcomm represent the big-name exhibitors, although we expect that list to add more than a few mainstream automakers.

The Connected Car Expo is scheduled for November 19, and will be the first official press day of the 2013 LA show. It should be noted that while the CCE will be held in the LA Convention Center, it’ll be limited to one hall and that the media – that’d be us – won’t have access to the main show floor that day. A whole day dedicated to the future of automobile technology sounds like a great idea to us, though, and we’re anxious to check it out firsthand.

LA Auto Show growing to three press days? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: LA Auto Show growing to three press days?

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Etc., Safety, Technology

Los Angeles Auto Show logo

The 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show is already shaping up to be a big deal, with at least nine world debuts from some of the biggest names in the industry. Now, Autoblog has intercepted a memo that’s going to be sent out to automakers this week explaining that LA will be even bigger this year because it is adding a third day of media festivities.

Called the Connected Car Expo, the additional day will focus on the industry’s burgeoning “connected car space.” Currently, Verizon, Sprint, OnStar and Qualcomm represent the big-name exhibitors, although we expect that list to add more than a few mainstream automakers.

The Connected Car Expo is scheduled for November 19, and will be the first official press day of the 2013 LA show. It should be noted that while the CCE will be held in the LA Convention Center, it’ll be limited to one hall and that the media – that’d be us – won’t have access to the main show floor that day. A whole day dedicated to the future of automobile technology sounds like a great idea to us, though, and we’re anxious to check it out firsthand.

LA Auto Show growing to three press days? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: LA Auto Show confirms it will host nine world debuts

Filed under: LA Auto Show

We still have a whole mess of auto shows to get through before we set our sights on Los Angeles this November, but when we arrive in the City of Angels, we’ll certainly have our work cut out for us. According to the LA Show organizers, more than 50 new vehicle debuts will take place over the course of two press days, though as usual, a lot of those will simply be North American reveals of hot new cars that we’ll first see in Frankfurt this September.

Of those 50 new debuts, nine of them will be world premieres, with BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, Subaru and Volkswagen all having confirmed that something brand-spakin’-new will be shown off at the LA expo. The only one of those automakers to officially confirm its world debut is Porsche; the German company will show its new Macan crossover in LA.

As for those eight remaining debuts, some outlooks are clearer than others. Automotive News suggests that Chevrolet could show its new Colorado midsize pickup truck, and Mini confirmed to AN that “a new Mini” would be on display, though it’s unclear if that just means a version of the current model, or the all-new one, previewed by the Mini Vision concept. Honda could use its LA stage to reveal the updated Fit hatchback, and Volkswagen may show off some sort of Golf-based vehicle – perhaps the redesigned version of the Jetta SportWagen (called the Golf Variant in other markets, which we first saw in Geneva this year). As we reported earlier, Mercedes-Benz will debut the new S65 AMG in LA, and as for the others, your guess is as good as ours.

This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show kicks off on November 20, with a two-day press preview to be held before the doors open to the public. Stay tuned for our usual smattering of live coverage.

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LA Auto Show confirms it will host nine world debuts originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Organizers vow city bankruptcy won’t affect Detroit Auto Show

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Government/Legal, Earnings/Financials

2013 North American International Auto Show - Cobo Hall sign

Detroit’s bankruptcy is going to mess up a lot of stuff in the coming months – if not years. One thing that shouldn’t be affected, though, is the North American International Auto Show, held at downtown Detroit’s Cobo Center.

Currently in the midst of a much-needed $299-million renovation, Cobo’s operation was taken over by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority in 2009, essentially protecting the convention center, and by extension, the auto show, from the city’s ills.

Speaking to Automotive News, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Rod Alberts, said he isn’t worried about the effect of Detroit’s bankruptcy on the show’s most visible municipal presence – security. City officials are committed to providing the same degree of activity as in previous years. In addition to the regular police presence, the auto show will hire its own security forces for this year’s show rather than contracting out. Not all the pressure is on the show and the DPD, though, as Alberts pointed out to AN, “‘I know we can lean on other agencies to help us out if we need to.'”

Held annually at Cobo since 1965, the North American International Auto Show is one of the premiere events on the global auto show calendar. Held every January, it has been a regular source of frostbite news and new vehicle introductions for media from around the world.

Organizers vow city bankruptcy won’t affect Detroit Auto Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Self-transforming Camaro robot unveiled at Tokyo Toy Show

Filed under: Japan, Videos, Chevrolet, Toys/Games

Never doubt the ingenuity of toy makers. Unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Toy Show, toy-maker Takara Tomy has created a real-life transforming Chevrolet Camaro, although it isn’t named Bumblebee. Along with Hasbro, Takara Tomy created the Transformers toys from decades past, and we can only imagine how much cooler our childhoods could have been if the Transformers we owned back then could have actually transformed on their own.

According to Gizmag, this Transformer is controlled using an iPhone, and it can switch from a Camaro – albeit not the prettiest we’ve ever seen – to a robot using “more than a dozen” servos. It looks like the car is able to drive, but the transformed robot is unable to walk or move. No word yet as to when this toy will go on sale or how much it will cost, but you can watch the transformation take place in the video posted below.

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Self-transforming Camaro robot unveiled at Tokyo Toy Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Lamborghini to show Gallardo replacement concept in Frankfurt

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Performance, Lamborghini, Luxury

Lamborghini will give us a big clue as to the look and feel of the impending replacement for its Gallardo model at this September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. According to a report by Autocar, the Italian supercar maker will have a concept car in Frankfurt that will preview a 2015 replacement for the current Gallardo (pictured above).

While nothing is set in stone, the word is that Lamborghini is still considering “Cabrera” as the Gallardo-successor’s name. We didn’t know the company had so many Tigers fans, but the Autoblog Detroit office is stoked.

The same report tells us that the new Lamborghini, currently going by the internal designation LP724, will be based on the same platform as the second-generation Audi R8, rather than on the more exotic Aventador underpinnings. That means a modular spaceframe, aluminum and carbon fiber construction and a reduction in curb weight as a result – the target is less than 3,300 pounds. Even with the diet, the next Gallardo will be slightly longer than the current car, but about the same height and width.

The svelte Lamborghini will draw power from an updated version of the current 5.2-liter V10, which should be good for more than 600 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Autocar also indicates that both a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be optional on the new Gallardo, replacing the existing six-speed E-gear automated manual. Standard cars will offer all-wheel drive, but rear-drive models will be available at some point as well. Bring on Frankfurt, we’re ready to see this one in the metal.

Lamborghini to show Gallardo replacement concept in Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Jun 2013 17:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Internal documents show Fisker lost $35,000 on each Karma

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hybrid, Fisker

Fisker Karma

Anyone looking for a chilling plug-in vehicle warning tale should check out this detailed Reuters article, which digs into the financial history of Fisker Automotive and reveals that the company lost around $35,000 per vehicle.

That number comes from “internal financial statements and interviews with former Fisker executives,” Reuters reports, quoting a former executive saying the luxury plug-in hybrid, “cost far more to produce than we could ever charge for it.” All told, between 2008 and 2012, Reuters estimates Fisker lost $1 billion.

The losses were due, in part, to those many production delays two to three years ago as well as a reduction in the number of cars it was going to make and sell. Remember when the company said it would sell 15,000 units a year? Eventually, the company sold around 2,000 vehicles, total.

There is a lot worth reading in the source article, including how the Karma’s forward-placed exhaust – which hurt the vehicle’s performance and was too loud – was fixed using a metal “pizza box” that cost millions extra. Throw in salaries of around $600,000-$700,000 for co-founders Henrik Fisker and Barny Koehler, even while Fisker was laying people off, and you have a recipe for not succeeding. Here’s a taste of what Reuters has to offer:

In May 2011, the company co-sponsored a pre-race grand prix party aboard a 146-foot yacht moored in the Monte Carlo harbor. Guests drank glasses of champagne served with flecks of gold. Clad in a dark pinstripe suit and open-neck white shirt, Henrik Fisker navigated a crowd that included Prince Albert of Monaco, whom he described as the inspiration for the Karma. … The Monaco weekend, according to several sources familiar with the event, cost Fisker between $80,000 and $100,000. That wasn’t lavish by auto-marketing standards, but by this point every penny mattered. Within weeks, the Energy Department stopped payments on its loan.

You can read the whole thing here.

Internal documents show Fisker lost $35,000 on each Karma originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 17 Jun 2013 10:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cadillac ATS to show how much GM learned from the BMW 3 Series

Filed under: Sedan, Europe, Technology, BMW, Cadillac, Rumormill, Luxury

Cadillac ATS spy shots

Cadillac ATS spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors wants so badly for the upcoming Cadillac ATS to rock our worlds on all markets (i.e., not just in North America) that a source within the automaker has told us that the BMW 3 Series has been a prime focal point for benchmarking the Baby Caddy.

We always suspected this should happen, but then GM hasn’t had much of a tradition of reacting quickly until recently. According to our source, teams at GM have basically stripped various 3 Series cars down to bare naked chassis bits and pieces, and fully intend on emulating an awful lot of what they see there, while, it can be assured, making it all correct for the Cadillac brand.

Sounds intensely good to us. Jeez, mega-millions for Bowling Green to hopefully try and finally keep Corvette interiors from smelling like toxic plastic in the hot summer sun, and now a smaller Cadillac that will actually drive and feel like the Standard of the World? Is it too good to be true?

Cadillac ATS to show how much GM learned from the BMW 3 Series originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 May 2011 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoline After Hours welcomes auto show models in the studio tonight

Filed under: Etc., Marketing/Advertising

Lamborghini Product Specialists

If you have some time this evening, we highly recommend checking out Autoline After Hours. The crew will be hanging out with Margery Krevsky, the author of Sirens of Chrome. Krevsky painstakingly researched the 100-year history of the auto show model for the book and will be sharing some of her insights with hosts John McElroy and Peter Delorenzo for your enjoyment. If that’s not enough to drag you to the computer at 7 p.m. Eastern this evening, the news that Krevsky will bring along a few of her product specialist friends as well should have you patiently waiting at the keyboard.

The booth professionals will model dresses from the last 50 years of the car show circuit as a living, breathing supplement to the discussion on the book. Sound like a good time? You can see all the action by heading over to the Autoline After Hours site or by checking out the uStream feed after the jump.

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Autoline After Hours welcomes auto show models in the studio tonight originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kia K9 headed to Frankfurt Motor Show

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Sedan, Kia, Rumormill, Luxury, South Korea

Kia K9 Spy Photo

The Age is reporting that Kia may bring its new V8-powered sedan to this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Code-named the K9, the vehicle is said to slot right into the market void between the Hyundai Genesis Sedan and Equus with styling penned by none other than Peter Schreyer of Volkswagen and Audi fame. While speaking with The Age, Schreyer said that a rear-wheel-drive layout is the most exciting for designers, but that he couldn’t speak about products that are “probably” in development. When it lands, the K9 is expected to draw inspiration from the BMW 5 Series, though that’s not exactly what we’ve seen from spy shots so far.

From the few photos that we’ve seen of the big four-door, the K9 looks to lift more generously from the design playbooks of Maserati and Jaguar. With side ports on its fenders, a set of aggressively-wrapped headlights and a vertical grille, the vehicle seems to be a potluck of luxury looks, but we’ll wait to cast our final answer until we see the big Korean under the auto show lights. Thanks for the tip, Ed!

Gallery: Kia K9 out and about

Kia K9 front disguisedKia K9 read disguisedKia K9 mirrorKia K9 wheelKia K9 headlight

Kia K9 headed to Frankfurt Motor Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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