General Motors Highlights from the New York International Auto Show
By: Chaiti Sen
April 10, 2012 3:30 pm ET
Guest blog post by the General Motors New York Auto Show Employee Journalist Team: Keata Page, Labor Relations, Raleigh Allison, Treasury Operations and Khushbu Vora, Treasury Operations
Any event that has been around for over 100 years is, more often than not, worth checking out. When it showcases your industry’s products, you had better not miss it.
We were delighted to have the opportunity to attend the press preview days at the 2012 New York International Auto Show (112 years and still going strong!).
We set out, notepad in hand, with the goal of understanding what it means for GM to “design, build, and sell the world’s best vehicles.”
GM’s current lineup is coalescing around a few common design themes. Nowhere is this more evident than the show floor, where a walk through GM’s secluded swath of turf contrasts Cadillacs and GMC trucks, Chevys and Buicks. From the gleaming chrome and waterfall grills on the new Buicks, to the sweeping Camaro-esque front fascia that has found its way into more than a few new Chevrolet models (2014 Impala anyone?), GM’s core brands are increasingly differentiating themselves on style, both compared with each other and with the competition.
The show kicked off with the unveiling of the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala, which was exceptional – there were so many journalists there waiting to see what Chevy was going to deliver next! The buzz leading into the press conference was exhilarating!
During the unveiling, we were taken back to the 1950’s as we reviewed many classics and were then taken on a new journey to see how the Impala has truly evolved.
John Cafaro, Director of Design, describes this sleek vehicle as an “Iconic Chevrolet” that’s highly sculpted, bold and timeless. He stated that his team wanted to design a sedan within reach that was expressive, with emphasis on comfort, design and ambient lighting – one that would become a “Contemporary Classic”
The 2014 Impala is definitely an impressive vehicle that will turn heads. Its smooth lines, rich style and sophisticated interior will certainly give the competitors a run for their money. One fun fact I learned was that over one million Impalas were sold in 1965. We had no idea!
In addition to the Impala, General Motors unveiled and showcased several other new vehicles and concepts.
With innovative ideas such as the MTV Partnership, John McFarland, the Senior Manager of Global Marketing Strategy, would like to grab the attention of youth. The Sonic and Spark are not only uniquely designed, but will also be featured in bold colors such as “techno pink,” “lemonade,” and “denim.” These concepts were developed through a unique research effort. Target youth consumers were given flipcams (“our flipcam armada”) and periodically answered questions to describe their day to day lives.
“The level of intimacy and, hate to say, confession you get when you’re not sitting there interviewing someone, and it’s kind of their own terms, has been really profound.” In fact, one consumer described their non-GM car as an “ugly boyfriend,” it’s great for practical gas mileage and reliability, but that’s it. “GM will provide the practical elements that everyone else is trying to do right now, but also provide the opportunity to “Drive Passion,” said, John McFarland.
As shown with the 2013 Enclave, Buick is the brand built on intricate and detailed design. Color and Trim designer Ven Lai described the focus on creating a warm, inviting atmosphere for Buick drivers. Inspired by the sophisticated yet simple tones of saddles, coffee, and chocolate, the designs take consumers on different “layers of discovery” and deliver the wants of any driver: “exterior styling, interior comfort.”
This brand is built for the self-reliant, independent individual. In contrast to the inspiration for the Buick, GMC is inspired by modern tools and machinery. Dave Lyon, Executive Director of Global Design, showed how every part of the 2012 Acadia is designed to attract the self-reliant consumer. For example, the headlights are built with many different materials that look “milled together.” It is “more truck, more powerful,” said, Dave Lyon.
Always positioned as a luxury brand, the Cadillac has taken significant steps to improve the driver and passenger experience. One of the most visible improvements is the CUE technology. Drivers and passengers can easily access phone contacts, music, and radio, as well as customize their dashboard to include different displays of speed, mileage, and navigation.
Tell us what you think about all the new products from General Motors and be sure to check out the media site for more details on each new vehicle.