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Tag Archives: Chicago
In case you’re wondering, yes, I do have some favorites amongst what I have experienced at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.
I am certain that this would turn into another Five Favorites article where I bold the names of five specific automobiles; go into a brief explanation why they’re significant and so forth. No. There were many vehicles I spend time checking out inside and out that only four stood out amongst the multitude in the North and South Halls of McCormick Place. Continue reading
Consider how large the Chicago Auto Show’s exhibition space is. That is 1.2 million square feet of space that has everything and anything you will need to navigate through the automotive world. Couple that with in-show experiences – ride-alongs, an area celebrating the United States Army, fun areas for the kids, vendors, and so forth – then you understand why one would come to McCormick Place in mid-February.
Between the two auto shows I attend annually, Chicago offers more bang for the buck. The First Look for Charity is considered one of the top events to do for the socially mobile in the Chicagoland Area. The show attracts an entire region to McCormick Place with new vehicles that are currently on sale or coming soon to a dealer near you.
As a member of the working automotive media corps, if I was unable not attend the shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, Houston, Washington, or anyplace we are welcome, Chicago is a great place to catch up on what I missed throughout the calendar.
Let’s do some catching up, shall we?
Chicago Auto Show is still considered one of the major exhibitions of the automobile in the USA. Being one of the “majors” on the USA auto show circuit, manufacturers are given the opportunity to debut brand new or revised models to their lineups. Chicago continues to provide this opportunity for the automotive world to see what’s new and different for the upcoming model year.
In recent times, manufacturers are no longer tied to the auto shows to create debut events. Also, the number of opportunities for these debuts are being consolidated or reduced for various different reasons. At one time, the Chicago Auto Show organizers were planning to consolidate their press conference schedule into one day. Luckily, they did not do so this year. Who is to say whether they will do this in the future?
Still, there are some debuts to be discussed. Here’s the best ones that showed up at McCormick Place… Continue reading
Sure, getting there was half the fun. Going home is a different story.
This last road trip was, at best, interesting. I saw a friend in Madison and went around the place I once called home. Then, took in Chicago a day early to add a new experience on my way to close the baseball blog, The Heirloom.
The GMC Terrain paved the way for this trip to happen. However, I did not drive home. The vehicle was based in Chicago, so I dropped it off there. I ended up coming home a completely different way.
Normally, I would fly out of O’Hare. On a short notice, airfares were not in the offing for my budget…even out Midway. Amtrak was an alternative, but I had to be back on a contract site early the next morning. The late arrival of Amtrak into St. Paul would not work there, either.
The question is no longer “what is a crossover.” It is “what size do you need?”
Since petrol prices scaled up to $4.00 a gallon nationwide earlier this year, the North American automotive market saw a general shift towards smaller, more efficient vehicles. Benefitting from this downsizing shift is the small crossover segment. If you scour over the sales charts, you will notice the astounding growth in sales of these smaller utility machines.
It is also a field that is getting a bit crowded. On the top of the segment’s charts are the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. These three vehicles practically boosted this segment’s profile from the onset. However, it appears that almost every manufacturer that sells vehicles in North America has at least one to offer.
As a byproduct of the growth in small crossover sales, there are now niches within this segment. While Toyota, Honda and Ford rule the more mainstream sections of this class; there are now luxury models available for the more discriminating consumer. Even the luxury models are experiencing boosts in their sales figures – evidenced by staggering month-to-month increases by the greatly improved BMW X3.
When you have two distinct sub-segments within a market class, no one seems to be concerned about “the middle.” After all, the North American market had been divesting away from the middle of the market by eliminating entire brands – Mercury, for example.
The arguments are plenty as to the reasons behind diverging away from the so-called “middle.” Still, consumers want something that is not too pretentious…and not too plain, either. The BMW X3 is a wonderful machine, but it can be priced too dear for most families. The Toyota RAV4 may offer three rows of seats, but some consumers complained it’s too cheap and plastic for their tastes.
There is good news, however: The “middle” still exists and it lives right in the heart of the small crossover marketplace.
Tweet Just teasing… All photos by Randy Stern This auto show season was the absolute best in my writing career. It yielded more than I had expected, which is always a good thing. To wrap up both the Chicago and … Continue reading
Tweet 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan 5.0 R-Spec. All photos by Randy Stern Covering an auto show is hard work. You attend press conferences, angle for the best shots possible, mentally prepare your questions and take time to render photos and … Continue reading
Tweet 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8. All photos by Randy Stern If you have read this site over the years, one particular automaker shows up on these pages as a through-line. Why? I have always been a fan of said automaker. … Continue reading
Tweet 2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL. All photos by Randy Stern Welcome to the we’re-almost-out-of-the-global-economic-crisis reality of the automobile industry. Two years ago, government bailouts and bankruptcy challenged the industry’s ability to produce excellence across the globe. With General Motors and … Continue reading