LA Auto Show: Changing Gears, Colors and Minds
Flickr Slideshow (click <261>) or Flickr Album
Los Angeles CA, Nov 16 2016 - It should not be a wonder why LA has become the center of the automotive universe. The city was barely a glimmer before the automobile hastened the will and way for hard surfaced roads to cover the hills and valleys. LA Auto Show was already a thing as far back as 1907. That early adoption probably helped paved the way for another transformative industry in the city: Hollywood movies.
Over that period of a century, cars and movies have evolved considerably - but still consist of all the same core elements. An automobile has the same motive power as then - gasoline; diesel; electric; a few other petroleum based alternatives. Motor craft still roll almost exclusively on round tires or tracks with rounded corners. Movies are still and always story driven, needing characters or objects to power interest. In the end what matters is how you change the core elements to suit the tastes spending range of your target audience.
We've been fortunate to attend LA Auto Show since 2009. In that time we grew accustomed to the Press Day process - one of our favorite days of the year. We know where the automakers exhibits would be and somewhat to expect from them. With all the safe sameness at hand, it's our job to scope out the special cars - the flashy paint combos; the different application of accessories and displays; the crazy and oddball pieces, and anything worthy of history. As with our tradition, we do find a few special hosts along the way!
We will admit to be influenced by colorful and shiny objects. Our roster of show photographs is not a linear progression of all makes and brands, but rather what we find attractive. Some brands such as Lexus and Cadillac choose to display a field of monochromatic cars - the safe whites, blacks and greys that reflect what consumers will buy in significant numbers. Dodge showed much more Popsicle colors than Chevrolet; Audi more than Ford - certainly a spectral marketing divide between the staid and the unruly.
2017 BMW 440i Convertible
2017 Audi R8 V10 plus Exclusive Edition with Laserlight
The biggest change to LA Auto Show this year was the strategic merger with another event - AutoMobility. Mobile and electronic technology is enveloping the automotive world - it makes sense to add to the program given the captive audience with the same desire. Change needs to be pushed along sometimes. A professional roster of seminars and programs makes up four days of state of the industry training and knowledge acquisition. Looks like we're going to have to budget for more LAAS time in future.
Zelectric Porsche 911 5-speed selectable torque
While new cars are the buzz, stuff that goes in and on new cars are the buzz saw. "The Garage" is the new moniker for the aftermarket showcase hall of goodies. Al & Ed's Autosound provides a gauntlet of noise-based customs upon entry. The DUB Roadshow covers a huge swath of the best-wheeled cars you've ever seen - the cars of which can possibly drive under the trucks parked next to them. Zelectric gets closer to the entrance ever year and brings more electric classic cars. Nothing charges the old ticker more than the sight of an electric Porsche 911S!
Well, that is until we saw the other future - real 3D printed vehicles that look right out of someone's Art Center College of Design's play book. Divergent 3D displayed some of the coolest object ever in the lobby of the South Hall. We wanted to touch it to see how real, but the host nearly bit the hand off the guy next to me foolish enough to act on the same thought. 3D printing seemed so far away a few years ago - it's stunning to see what is now possible. Hand or mass produced the same way since forever, automobile manufacture will change more dramatically in the next 10 years than all before.
LA Auto Show opens to the public Nov 18 to 27 - that's 10 days to visit and see changes in motion for yourself.
1961 Dodge Polara CHP Pursuit Package in the Garage Hall of Customizations
Rolls Royce - Verdi by Giovanna Wheels
Pictured below: 2018 AMG GTR Coupe; Pink Panthermobile in Galpin Hall of Customs; 1973 Chevrolet Impala custom in the Garage Hall of Customizations; and 1967 Ford Mustang custom in Galpin Hall of Customs
by Randy Berg