The Nation's longest running auto show in Chicago opened it's doors for a media preview of this year's latest and upcoming redesigned and brand new models. Here is a sneak peek at what we saw at this years show:
Jaguar introduced their latest XJ and XF models which will feature AWD 3.0 Liter V6 engines. The XF will also be available in RWD and XFR-S. The XFR-S is 550 hp and, "is one serious motorcar," said Jaguar and Land Rover President, Andy Goss. Meanwhile the manufacturer also introduced their fourth generation Range Rover which will feature an all aluminum body. "Everything about this Range Rover is new except the engine," Goss added. They will also be releasing a two seater F-type sports car, "which is our most important new car we have released in many years."
Also in the new car mix is Kia who introduced a very svelte concept crossover and their new Superhero, DC Comics inspired line. Michael Sprague Executive VP of Kia's Marketing and Communications gave a glimpse of models with superhero paint, logos, and trims. The Optima Hybrid and Sorento will be available in this line and Kia's 'hero' theme ties in with their Builtforjustice.com program which helps those located in the Horn of Africa. Kia will also have, "seven all new significantly redesigned vehicles to go on
sale this year," Sprague said. The Kia Forte is one of those redesigns which will be available in March. The Forte will offer two trims and
will be a turbo charged compact which features 201 hp.
Nissan's VP Joe Castelli introduced the manufacturer's expansion of their Nismo option which now includes a Juke Nismo and 370 Z Nismo. There will also be a Nissan GTR track edition which will sell 150 units. This highly anticipated GTR track edition will feature an even greater level of high performance components.
Sunday night at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit the 17th
annual Urban Wheel Awards were held to celebrate and award prizes to people of
color within the automotive industry. This year all of the recipients of this
prestigious award were women.
They included Crystal Windham who won Designer of the Year, Company of the
Year Progress in Human Resources, Georgette Borrego-Dulworth, Chrysler's talent
acquisition and global diversity director, and Pioneer of the Year Jenell Ross,
president of the Bob Ross Auto Group and 2013 chair of the American
International Automobile Dealers Association.
"If it weren't for women, the American auto industry wouldn't exist.
Who do you think told Henry Ford to go outside and build a car in the first
place? Mrs. Ford," said actor Edward James Olmos, who co-hosted the awards
with Niecy Nash.
This was to honor "wonderful women who are helping to make those wheels
roll," U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told the audience of 500.
Established in 1970, the American International Automobile Dealers Association, (AIADA) is the only
association whose sole purpose is to represent America’s 10,000
international nameplate automobile franchises that sell and service: Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari,
Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati,
Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls
Royce, Saab, Scion, Smart, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and
Volvo. These retailers
have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local
communities they serve, providing more than 500,000 American jobs.
Currently AIADA is partnered with Federated Insurance to bring
attention to the growing and serious problem of distracted driving. Through
the partnership, Federated Insurance is offering a free copy of its
video, “In the Blink of an Eye,” to AIADA members. The video reveals the
devastating, real-life consequences of distracted driving. Dealers can
also request accompanying materials to increase awareness of the problem
among their employees and within their local communities.
Federated Insurance provides members with products for risk management resources, customer service,
financial strength, mutual structure, and association relationships.
Visit AIADA.org/federated-insurance to learn more. To view a
clip of the video, "In the Blink of an Eye", click here.
"We are excited to take part in an event that recognizes the commitment of young people to making a positive difference,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “This is also a great opportunity for Ford to help elevate the conversation around teen driving safety."
At a recently held Bridgestone Tire event the manufacturer shared big news regarding their latest tire designs and their launch of a teen driving safety program.
One of the corporation’s latest designs is the updated Potenza RE-11, from Bridgestone’s premier tire line. “We recently added a groove in the tire’s shoulder for better road contact which helps maintain a strong corner stiffness by being flexible and draining water, (away from the tread),” Bridgestone Senior Project Engineer Cara Adams said. Another new design is the S-04 Pole Position, “Which is our ultra high performance and is designed for wet and dry roads. The S-04 has wide (silencer) grooves for rapid water evacuation and the design provides a quieter ride. We have also included high silica which improves tread (for wet braking), and ridges which increase response and handling,” Adams explained. The S-04 also has a, “Rayon body ply which assists in high speeds and provides excellent durability.”
The ladies of Specialty Equipment Market Association's SEMA Businesswomen's Network, (SEMA/SBN) and FORD Motor Co. held a contest for female automotive enthusiasts to design and customize a 2013 Ford Mustang GT donated by FORD. The venture is appropriately named “Powered by Women” and later in the year the customized car will be auctioned off with the proceeds going towards the SEMA scholarship fund. The fund is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators. Scholarship awards range from $1,000 - $2,000, with $4,000 going to the top student enrolled in journalism, engineering, transportation and many other college majors will qualify.
The three design concepts developed submitted were created by female designers and the build of the winning design will be conducted by female volunteers. The project is meant to shine the light on females working in the automotive aftermarket and encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry.
Two of the designs were created by SEMA Businesswomen’s Network member (and Ford Motor Co. employee) Jennifer Seely. Seely submitted her design concepts for the contest which were named High Gear and Chromatic.
In case you didn't know, Ask Patty is on Pinterest and we're busy pinning away everything automotive we think is neat! This weekend we've put up a pinboard just for Easter, featuring Easterly (is that a word) Automotive goodies. From bunny ears for your car to Peeps in Twinkie-mobiles, we hope this pinboard will brighten your weekend.
And while we're at it, if you're a pinner, follow us! We'll do the same. Have a great weekend, and happy Easter Ask Patty Nation!
This weekend, we celebrate one of my favorite colors. Green! Don't forget to wear yours, or you risk a good pinchin'. And don't forget to be green as well! Have you given your car a green checkup lately? Find out how you could be saving on gas and polluting a little less by contacting your local Certified Female Friendly Service shop - find yours at askpattycertifiedfemalefriendly.com
Of course, St. Patty's is a time of celebration as well - a day when everyone's Irish. If you plan on celebrating, don't plan on driving. As we've told youbefore - buzzed driving is drunk driving. Have a good time, but stay safe!
Finally, I leave you with one of my most favorite songs, which isn't Irish, but I think it's appropriate nonetheless. You've probably heard it before, but give it a listen again - and take some time to appreciate bein' green this St. Patty's Day weekend.
As well as being Women's History Month, March is also dedicated to another cause near and dear to us here at Ask Patty: It's National MS Education and Awareness month, a month set aside by the MS Foundation to educate and bring awareness of this debilitating disease to the public. Multiple Sclerosis, says the MS Foundation, stops people from moving. Thei goal, along with organizations like United Spinal and others, is to make sure it doesn't.
Ask Patty, as many of you know, is an ardent supporter of both United Spinal and the MS Foundation, and is a sponsor of the annual Jon Lancaster Toyota Scion Bike MS ride and fundraiser, so we wanted to do our part in helping to spread awareness. If you know someone who has MS, or have perhaps been recently diagnosed yourself, take a moment to read through these materials brought to you by the MS Foundation and United Spinal. Even if you don't - take a moment to read them anyway.
Take a moment this month to help someone with MS to keep moving forward.
November/December 2011 Issue Tinkering with MS Theories: What if the Problem is in the Plumbing? Possible implications of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). MS Life: A new low-vision product, the Swank Diet, assistive tech experiences, research news, and a perspective on secondary-progressive MS.
September/October 2011 Issue MS Life: The Baclofen pump, exercise tips, transferring advice, research news, and a perspective on the transition to scooter.
July/August 2011 Issue Yoga for MS Relief: Research and personal experience. Seated Yoga: Pose Instructions Gym Chains: An exercise fan with MS reviews Bally Total Fitness. MS Life: Fighting fatigue, mindfulness meditation, home access, research news, and a perspective on swimming with dolphins. Travel: Cruising with MS.