Friday, November 19, 2010

2010/2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

I spent a few minutes trying to figure out whether I should refer to this as the 2010 or 2011 LA Auto Show, and in the end left the year off altogether. The LA show once tried to compete with Detroit before regaining its sanity and moving to another month on the calendar. By choosing November, LA can now follow Paris/Frankfurt and offer most of the world debuts that showed up over there...for the first time on these shores. The problem lies in the fact that in order to differentiate the two shows that happened the year they changed the date, they called the November show the following year's show. So it happens in 2010, but is the first U.S. show for the 2011 model year. As such I think the LA organizers want us to call it the 2011 LA Auto Show.

Whatever you want to call it, this was a pretty good show for us automotive writers and photographers. There was a lot more energy in the halls that seems to echo the reawakening happening in the industry as a whole. Plus, there were some 50 debuts at this year's show – about half of them "North American debuts." After last year's depressingly limp show, this year saw a huge bump in excitement. Big reveals with stunts and stars were back.

Mercedes took the cake – err, cupcake – by bringing in a Sprinkle's cupcake truck. They also had Nicky Hayden do a burnout on stage on his Ducati Diavel. AMG and Ducati announced a new partnership where AMG will sponsor the MotoGP team and Nicky and Valentino will presumably be driving CLS63 AMG sedans home really soon. Sharon Stone was at the Lotus press conference, as was Billy Baldwin. Heidi Klum was with VW. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was on hand to help intro the Green Car of the Year award which went to the Chevy Volt. Good thing that car finally won an award. In a separate post, you'll find the whole list of reveals, next to which I've written a couple of one line reactions. For now check out the pics.

Link to highlight gallery

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