Jump to content
  • Greetings Guest!

    CheersandGears.com was founded in 2001 and is one of the oldest continuously operating automotive forums out there.  Come see why we have users who visit nearly every day for the past 16+ years. Signup is fast and free, or you can opt for a premium subscription to view the site ad-free.

Sign in to follow this  
Hogans_Heroes

Some Thoughts on LA Show

Recommended Posts

Well, the show got off to a pretty interesting start. Rick Wagoner's MPG keynote was remarkable for two reasons. First, he did a great job crystalizing GM's efforts on the alternative fuel and fuel consumption fronts. No one in attendance should now doubt that GM is - or will soon be - a leader in this area. It was ironic, then, that the other most interesting aspect of his speech was a demonstration by environmentalists while he was still up on the stage.

The demonstrators at first seemed to disenginuously try to present themselves as representatives of the automaker. They stated Mr. Wagoner would be making an important announcement today - a pledge to make GM the most fuel-efficient automaker in the world by 2010 - and that this was a landmark event for the company. This helps to explain why the event coordinators were so slow to respond.

While I heard a variety of opinions, I felt Wagoner handled the manner pretty well. Like everyone, he was pretty surprised. His response was, "I think my speech speaks for itself, and that you need to please go now" or something to that effect. He's a classy guy and it showed. The speech really did speak for itself.

The product. Well, this year is big as far as LA shows go. But it still seemed a little flat. The VUE - well, we'd seen the Antara. GMC Yukon Hybrid? We've seen the Tahoe Hybrid. The Enclave, of course, was spectacular. I spent a long time crawling all over it. The fit-and-finish is world-class by any definition. I heard only praise from even the snootiest of reporters. Interior, exterior - this production model would have made a great CONCEPT at the 2006 NAIAS!

I hadn't expected the VUE to get the plug-in treatment at GM. In fact, there will soon be a dizzying array of VUE hybrids (3 in all). I'd thought GM might utilize plug-in technology on a smaller vehicle at start. But Saturn's a great brand to trumpet GM's hybrid technology.

What else... Phil LeBeau's on CNBC crowing about the Acura "Advanced Sedan Concept". I thought it was pretty silly, personally. Honda, too, did not have much to talk about. The wierd Step Bus and copy-cat Remix fell a little flat too. All I took away from this was that they feel they need to do something about the xB (Step Bus) and tC (Remix) but don't know what. Honda, did say, though, that they would have a hydrogen sedan (similar to the FCX) on sale in limited quantities by 2008. A little sketchy on the specifics, but the timing is impressive.

BMW had something to say there, too. The hydrogen/gasoline 7-Series got a lot of attention but, if you've seen a 7-Series before it was not that exciting. The X5 is very very solid and will do well. It's amazing how well it still sells given the price point on that vehicle versus its competitors. There was a board member of the parent company there to remind everyone the company is making money hand over fist.

The Sebring convertible was well-executed. And the fact they're offering it in both retractable hardtop & ragtop will ensure it remains the best-selling convertible on the market. Seeing all DCX product together, though, and a couple lone and lonely 300C's in the background (as opposed to the mobs at the 2004 NAIAS) kind of made me think about the Chrysler Group some more. The Challenger is coming, of course, but we'll probably be pretty surprised by how much the LX vehicles age over the next year or so. Plus, the LX to LY redesign should prove problematic given their current iconic design (e.g. PT Cruiser / New Beetle). Then, seeing the Imperial with no one paying any attention to it kind reinforces this idea. Reactions to the Imperial at its debut were, to say the least, mixed. Some loved it, of course. Others hated it. I just saw it as over-the-top. Something that could sell maybe in China. And at that price point, I just wonder if they could compete. It might have VW Phaeton written all over it were it to ever make it to market. Also, the Ram is going to have a very rough 2007 with the 900s, the Tundra, the P356. The Nitro I actually like and the KK Liberty should be good too.

There was the Altima Coupe from Nissan. It was pretty good, way way better than a Solara. The rear is more attractive than the front which is more conventional. Lots of G35, 350Z, even a little Pontiac G6 Coupe (itself maybe inspired by the G35). The SE-R was not to my liking at all. The outgoing Sentra sold an improbable amount of its total sales in Mexico. The Sentra's name has been tainted by neglect in the market and the SE-R is just not going to revive it as a credible competitor to Civic-Corolla-et.al.

That was basically it. Tomorrow should be less eventful still, as the agenda is mostly filled with the more nichey makes. I don't want to say it wasn't a good show. It was. And it was great to see people again... had some very interesting conversations, mostly about Ford, Lambda vans, the future of the Explorer, the Pacifica etc.

I have a good shot of the Wagoner-Global Exchange protest pledge, but left the USB cord to my camera at home. I haven't seen any shots online, but they might be out there. You know what was crazy about the whole thing? There were at least five people in the audience that were shouting "Sign the pledge! Sign the pledge, Rick!" and then there was the kid holding the pledge and another guy on stage making the announcements. That's like 7 people. How did they get in there? I think they were pretty much all wearing press badges too. Someone goofed there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who have no idea what Hogans_Heroes is talking about (from Winding Road)...

At the conclusion of Rick Wagoner’s speech this morning at the L.A. Auto Show, two protesters from Global Exchange climbed on the stage and demanded that the GM Chairman sign a contract that stated:

I (RICK WAGONER) CEO of General Motors hereby pledge to make GM the most efficient automotive company in the industry by 2010.

Wagoner did not sign.

At first, the GM chairman looked confused, as if this person was an official with the L.A. Auto Show. Wagoner then said that his speech did that very thing. The man with the giant contract, Mike Hudema, moved off the stage, where he had an interesting discussion with Don Fuller from MAWG. Fuller is a contributor to Kelley Blue Book. (Fuller’s bio from MPG indicates that he’s also an expert witness for defense in Lemon Law cases and has helped defend a wide range of manufacturers.)

They were discussing the protester’s claim that GM should not have “killed the electric car” because there was a demand that was not served. Fuller argued the other side of the argument, that GM built the cars at a great expense but there was no demand for them.

Here's a video clip of Don Fuller arguing with the guy...

Basically, the guy is living in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who have no idea what Hogans_Heroes is talking about (from Winding Road)...

At the conclusion of Rick Wagoner’s speech this morning at the L.A. Auto Show, two protesters from Global Exchange climbed on the stage and demanded that the GM Chairman sign a contract that stated:

Wagoner did not sign.

At first, the GM chairman looked confused, as if this person was an official with the L.A. Auto Show. Wagoner then said that his speech did that very thing. The man with the giant contract, Mike Hudema, moved off the stage, where he had an interesting discussion with Don Fuller from MAWG. Fuller is a contributor to Kelley Blue Book. (Fuller’s bio from MPG indicates that he’s also an expert witness for defense in Lemon Law cases and has helped defend a wide range of manufacturers.)

They were discussing the protester’s claim that GM should not have “killed the electric car” because there was a demand that was not served. Fuller argued the other side of the argument, that GM built the cars at a great expense but there was no demand for them.

Here's a video clip of Don Fuller arguing with the guy...

Basically, the guy is living in the past.

222003[/snapback]

I see the exchange with Wagoner is actually on the GM Media site (here): http://gmtv.feedroom.com/ifr_main.jsp?nsid...9245.4577081857

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am certainly happy to read an excellent post from Hogans Heroes after an absence of almost 7 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In defense of Chrysler, A lot of the product was NOT setup yesterday to make room for the large area that was needed for the unveiling of the new sebring convert. Today, there were many more vehicles on display and the Impereal was also placed on its show stand.

When I arrived this morning, I was really suprised to see how many more cars there were inside the area then there were the previous day. I think maybe the area set aside yesterday may have been too large, but they had rigging and stuff up for the stunt dancers and a changing room for Jennifer Love-Hewitt to be in cause she was a special guest.

Today the the Gov. was here checking out things and tonight is the black tie gala.....

I will report on the who's who that were there tonight as I am working the Jeep booth.

EDIT -- Did not see the DTS-L there and had a conversation from somebody that is with Cadillac and he said that he hadn't heard anything about it. Did talk about the SLS in China and how popular it is with the dignitaries there as well as the Buick Lacross that they have over there.

Edited by CadillacKing3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.