Monday, 2 April 2012

New York Auto Show Raises the Roof

by Dale Buss


The New York International Auto Show has always been a crucial commercial platform for car dealers and buyers in the New York Tri-State area. But more and more, it is joining the big global auto exhibitions — Detroit, Geneva, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai and Chicago — as a place for car brands to make news of worldwide import to the industry as well as to butter up the local market.
That makes sense, given that New York is the global media and financial capital.
With the recent pickup in U.S. auto sales awaiting confirmation with March sales results being reported Tuesday, and more optimism ever in the air with the spring selling season, here are some of what auto brands are serving up at NYIAS:
Chevrolet: Traverse was an important vehicle for Chevrolet when it was introduced a few years ago as one of a new generation of three crossover-utility vehicles for GM brands. Now, the brand plans to bow a new, 2013 version of Traverse in the Big Apple. It has a new front end and a variation of the "power dome" hood first seen on Chevy's new Malibu and Camaro models, Automotive Newssaid, as well as improvements in connectivity technology and interior materials.
Hyundai: The brand will reveal an important step in its further dimensionalization at New York with the unveililng of its all-new 2013 Santa Fe SUV. So far, this vehicle has been a sleepy performer relative to Hyundai's staple small cars, but the company is re-imagining Santa Fe as an important step-up vehicle for existing Hyundai owners as they build households.
Lincoln: The Ford luxury brand is in need of a boost as it begins to introduce a raft of new and overhauled models, and one feature will be highlighted at the show: a retractable glass roof that is due out on a new version of the MKZ sedan that arrives in dealer showrooms later this year. The 15-square-foot glass roof will recede over the car's rear window and create a two-and-a-half-foot void that, according to Bloomberg, is the biggest opening of any glass roof in the car business.
Mitsubishi: The often-overlooked Japanese brand will try to grab some attention at NYIAS with the unveiling of an updated version of its 2013 Outlander Sport. It's Mitsubishi's best-selling vehicle, and the new version features a host of improvements including a new-look front and rear end, interior-design upgrades, and a new continuously variable transmission.
Subaru: The new 2013 Outback bows at the show, powered by a new, more efficient engine and debuting a new driver-assist technology system as well as revised styling. The new front end features new headlights, grille, front bumper and fog lights. And a new 2.5-liter engine produces more power and more torque as well as a little better mileage.
Toyota: The brand plans to unveil an "all-new" sedan that likely will be a replacement for the full-sized Toyota Avalon, due out this fall. Dealers told Automotive News that the new model will bring some substantial styling changes in the extremely vanillla look of Avalon. Toyota called it "elegant yet athletic" in a press statement.
Acura: Another sedan hoping to make some noise. According to an announcement today, "Acura's new flagship sedan will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show. Employing an array of new Acura technologies, including the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, the concept vehicle will deliver an entirely new level of performance, sophistication and comfort."

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