Automakers will put emphasis on affordability, not glitz.
Martin Zimmerman - LATIMES
- December 2, 2009
Will this year's event bear any resemblance to past iterations? --Ed.
Forget the supercars and green machines. At this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, the emphasis is on affordable small cars and minivans. The auto industry, trying to climb out of its worst sales slump in decades, wants the spotlight on vehicles it can sell -- now.
Last month's tepid U.S. car sales only underscored the industry's need to focus on getting consumers to buy cars, instead of trying to impress the auto critics.
So the big global debut at this year's L.A. show, which begins Friday and runs through Dec. 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is a redesigned Toyota minivan. And much of the pre-show buzz has surrounded mass-market economy cars such as the Ford Fiesta and the Chevrolet Cruze.
"It's a very straightforward way of doing things," said Dave Thomas, senior editor at auto website Cars.com. "A Toyota Sienna minivan? That's not the type of thing you would normally debut at the L.A. Auto Show. It's certainly nota sexy car, but it's a big deal for Toyota."
Financially troubled Chrysler, which had to endure media gibes last year for its cut-rate display at the L.A. show, certainly got the message.
"No fancy parties, no press conferences, but we'll have a very strong consumer presence," Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown said. "We need to have sales right now. The auto shows are still a... [Read More]