The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is held every year in Detroit, Michigan. It is considered to be one of the top automotive events in the world and has manufacturers and businesses from all over the world showing off and displaying their wares. Since being introduced 25 years ago, it has featured all types of vehicles and interesting displays. This year, about 5,000 journalists have registered for the show with 31 percent of them being from outside the USA. There are 60 countries represented, with Mongolia and Qatar in attendance for the first time. Even charity preview ticket sales are running about 15 percent ahead of last year. Here are some other pieces of news from the show.
Nissan has been busy at this year’s NAIAS, reports indicate. They have introduced what they are calling the Nissan Sports Sedan Concept, which is an application of sports car principles for sedans. This features some styling that we have already seen on the 2014 Rogue and even some of the prototypes for the 2015 Morano. This design direction has been given the nickname of V-Motion, displaying a floating roof and boomerang-shaped headlights.
Also key to this new sports car for sedan concept is a lowered stance and a more aerodynamic look and feel to the traditional sedan. There is a reduced ground clearance, which seems to be right at home in a sports car turned sedan.
The company also introduced their IDx Freeflow and Idx NISMO concepts. These had been previously displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in November. They almost look like a driving simulator on wheels, according to many in attendance.
Ford unveiled their new F-150 during the first day of the show and have already sparked a lot of interest and debate with their use of aluminum in this vehicle. This change was made primarily to reduce the body weight of the truck (and it is successful, lowering the overall weight by nearly 700 pounds). Gone are the traditional steel body panels, replaced by aluminum. This move should also increase fuel economy.
The key question that remains to be answered is how truck buyers will react to this new model. After all, many at the show feel this might be a huge risk for the manufacturer, since most truck buyers tend to focus on power and sturdiness. It should be interesting to see how these attitudes are reflected in forthcoming sales figures.
Kia has also unveiled a new compact and sporty coupe concept, named the GT4 Stinger. This impressive little number has 315hp and is powered by a four cylinder 2.0L turbo fuel engine, along with a six-speed manual transmission. With the 20-inch wheels, carbon fiber spokes, Brembo GT brake calipers, and a rear double-wishbone suspension, this is a very aggressive concept car. This is possibly the most aggressive concept that Kia has ever produced.
This one was created at the Kia Motors design studio in Irvine, California. Yes, the same place where their Trackster and Cross GT concepts were created. The idea here is that this might eventually lead to a sports car destined for the North American market. We will see.
All in all, the news from the North American International Auto Show is very positive. It certainly looks and feels as if the major car manufacturers have a much more positive outlook on the business going forward than they have in previous years. Energy, excitement, and innovation seem to be back in business.
Martin Rocha is the Marketing & Internet Director at the Jack Key Auto Group. Jack Key is a full service dealer group offering sales and service of used cars and new Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Kia, Lincoln, Nissan and Ram Trucks. Jack Key serves all of El Paso, Alamogordo, Las Cruces, Deming, and New Mexico.