The Class of 1982: Der E28

Tweet All photos courtesy of BMW of North America, LLC Imagine a world without the M5. Shocking, isn't it? It is because we can't….

Chicago 2012: Plenty of Catching Up To Do…

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?

Detroit 2012: The View from Afar

No, I was not there this year.

If you read my Twitter, you'd probably wondered if I were to show up at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Unfortunately, the stars did not align properly. Yet, I was asked by fellow journalists, media relations people and other industry support people whether I would make the trek to the Motor City for this very important exhibition of the automobile. Not this year. I will someday.

Because of the speed of information available online and the ability to see video and images from the show readily, I was able to ascertain the big debuts and the most curious appearances at Cobo Hall. This helped in my coverage last year from my home in the Twin Cities.

Of course, there's nothing like being there. You get to see and touch these new products ahead of consumer sale. You get to see whether you'd feel comfortable behind the wheel of one. That’s why we go to auto shows, right?

Without further ado, here are my picks from NAIAS…

A Teutonic Tussle…To The End

At the top of the automotive heap, it ended with a 2,715 unit advantage. In political terms – someone would probably want to call a recount.

The luxury car market in the USA saw some extraordinary changes inside finance offices at their respective dealerships. Since 2000, Lexus was the top selling luxury automobile brand in the USA. A double whammy of the fallout from the corporate-wide recalls and natural disasters affecting Japan and key parts of Asia toppled the once mighty luxury arm of Toyota. In 2007, Lexus sold over 329,000 units – a record number of deliveries recorded by a luxury brand since 1990.

However, there were two luxury brands at the top of the heap: BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Both brands took advantage of the issues over at Lexus by wooing luxury car buyers with a diverse range of products and an air of confidence in everything from pre-sales engagement to post sales support.

Five Favorites from Auto Show Seasons Past

Next year will mark ten years since I covered my first auto show. No, seriously…

It is a momentous occasion since working press at an auto show has evolved from covering what's new on the scene as a place

Yet, sometime within the last month or so, someone on Twitter called press days at an auto show as sort of a "circle jerk." I get his frustration, as covering the industry certainly has changed over time. Traditional media has been threatened by the likes of myself…and we're being threatened by outlets that can distill the news even quicker.

Still, there is room at the table for all of us – and we're networking with each other all the time. In fact, the industry and the press are interconnected in ways unimaginable when it was strictly the traditional media covering the industry.

In retort to that Tweet that called auto show press days a "circle jerk," I still believe that we need a day to meet with our industry counterparts, enjoy the excitement of vehicle launches and provide varying perspectives on the industry back to you – the readership.

Since the first major USA show is coming up at the Los Angeles Convention Center; this actually calls for a Five Faves post! This posting revolves a single question: What five vehicles made my auto show press coverage experience worth the effort?

That would mean logging back top the 2002 Chicago Auto Show – the one I covered with Midwest Ursine/Tillery Publications along with current Windy City Banner publisher Tom Wray.

I did come up with five vehicles over the past ten years. Here they are…

The Class of 1982

Thirty years ago…a lot happened.

The list can go on forever, but I will concentrate on the most important thing overall: Graduating high school. As I realize today that I am indeed on the latter side of my forties, remembering every moment of that year seems a bit difficult these days.

Thankfully, there's Google. Not for what I exactly did in 1982 – but, rather, the trivial parts of that year.

At the onset of graduation, I ended up the responsibility of car ownership. The 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Luxury Sedan of my mother's was in my care. I was free to do what I please with it – replace tires, fuel up daily, baby the car when it overheated…and so forth.

By that time, I truly grasped the idea of the automobile and its inner workings. At least it was getting there. Sports, cars and music filled my time in-between studies and various plots to go somewhere else. Girls? Well…you probably know where that went by now.

As a public service to the Reseda High School Class of 1982, I offer this little glimpse at our senior year through the windshield of the automobile industry.

The F30 Show – Live from Munich

I understand why the 3-Series is both loved and hated by everyone. It is a symbol of prestige and performance. When you make it in life, the 3-Series is on your shopping list. If you want an enthusiast sedan for under $35,000, you consider one. Or, you avoid anything having to do with the Roundel for something closer to your taste and style for the same amount of money.

The Culture of the Roundel

TweetWhen you see the letters “BMW,” what does that mean to you? In the automotive world, one expects a certain level of excellence from…