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February 11, 2013

Chicago Auto Show Brings the Bling

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." 

KiaAlso 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 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. 

For 2013 Volkswagon received nine IIHS tops safety picks. Chief product and marketing officer Tim Mahoney announced the manufacturer will be building their 2014 Passat at their Chattanooga plant. "We are also expanding our R-line to include the Beetle, Tiguan, and Touareg and are making German engineering more accessible,” Mahoney said. The Beetle GSR is sure to be bringing Beetle back to its roots with sport seating, steering, and 210 hp engine (the turbo model will go on sale in the fall).

CruzComing from Chevy will be the pure electric Spark EV and the long awaited release of the fully redesigned Corvette Stingray which goes on sale this summer. Chevy's Marketing Director Christi Landy announced the maker will be launching 20 models globally this year. The Chevy Cruze clean turbo diesel will be one of those models and will compete with the Jetta TDI diesel achieving 42 mpg/hwy. The Cruze Diesel will start at $26,000 dollars and will have a turbo overboost.  "It  will be the first diesel passenger car we have had for sale in the U.S. in quite some time," Landy said.

SpeakersChicago ended their press event with a Marketing to Women program moderated by famed automotive industry writer and adventurer Sue Mead. Mead (pictured second from left) led a lively discussion with panelists; Jane Collins, director of market research, BlogHer; Jill Ciminillo, automotive writer and social media director, Barrington Broadcasting Group; Mary Henige, director, social media & digital communications, General Motors; (shown from left to right in photo) about the importance of women in social media.


Video of the Marketing 2 Women panel held at this years Chicago Auto Show


Diana Merrill Claussen
Senior Editor




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