Auto Show Press Preview boasts new product, brushes by scandal

Andre Smith Photo
Andre Smith Photo

The 2016 version of the North American Auto Show’s press preview jumped off on Sunday night with a well needed dose of diversity, and continued on Monday with two auto groups embroiled in scandal, revealing products.

Sunday saw the media launch party for the Vision Awards Multicultural Diversity, where information for the first Vision Awards, given to people who have made a contribution to the growth of Detroit and the country.

On Monday, GM announced the launch of the all-electric 2017 Chevrolet Bolt and the 2017 Cruise Hatchback on the same day that jury selection began in Manhattan for a civil trial which is the first of several trials for lawsuits involving hundreds of cases against GM involving faulty ignition switches.

Volkswagen, which is now embroiled in an emissions scandal, revealed the Tiguan plug-in hybrid concept.
The two companies could not have dealt with their current scandals in more different ways. After the Chevy reveal, General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary T. Barra took just a few questions from reporters about the reveals as journalists crammed in around her and she was quickly ushered out by security.

Every Volkswagon executive that spoke at the Tiguan reveal apologized for the scandal and pledged to kiss and make up with their market.

“We’re disappointed that this could happen within the company we love,” said Volkswagen brand Chairman of the Board Dr. Herbert Diess.  “I assure you we are committed to making things right. We are in an ongoing, constructive dialog with the EPA and CART about what is really needed.”

But beyond the boundaries of the scandal, auto companies bragged about their record years. BMW revealed their new BMW M2 coupe, and told the crowd that they turned over 2 million in sales for the group brand. Honda president and CEO Takahiro Hachigo introduced the new Honda Ridgeline and boasted of his company’s record profits in 2015.

Hyundai made waves in the luxury car market by launching the Genesis G90, and in doing so balanced out its models, which usually run on the small car level.  The South Korean automaker has marched into the luxury level in contrast to its small car standing.

The 2016 North American International Auto Show opens to the public on Saturday, January 16.  The Charity Preview, featuring the sounds of Huey Lewis and the News is Friday, and President Barak Hussein Obama is scheduled to make a historic visit to the Auto Show on January 20th.


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