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Monday, March 31, 2008

NY Auto Show car porn wrap-up.

Went to the NY Auto Show for the umpteenth time and nothing’s changed much. I go to these things so you people don’t have to. (You’re welcome.) It’s cool on media-only days and not so cool with the general public. (Real hard to shoot pics.) If you have the time, read all about it on my specially modified hi-performance Flickr page with optional sport package. (Start at the top left and amble through them all, which pretty much follows how I went through the show.) Most of the pics contain notes that are either half-serious or half-snark. I don’t cover every single concept car or new production model out there, so if you need those kind of details, get a life, then go here. Most of the time, I just vented on general stuff I thought ventable.

A few impressions:

.VW and Toyota had a genuine vibe going.
.With rare exception, no good auto schwag. (Catalogs don’t count.)
.Seating hasn’t improved much. Not many places to chill.
.Major push to sell manly trucks to manly men and weekend warriors—but no tie-ins with major tool brands?
.Show was boring overall. Lexus Axis5 was cool though. Speed Racer drew interest but more movie stuff is more better.
.Only VW, Ford and Dodge tried to do anything interactive beyond a typical website.
.Like Paris fashion, you see a ton of concept cars in all shapes, sizes and finishes, but at the end of the day, America just wants a better minivan. Not one soccer mom promo?
.For video game nation, one display in the entire show for either PS or Xbox platforms?
.Sirius isn’t enough. Scion had a wall of sound you couldn’t help but notice. Rest of the time the overall music was limited to mentions by models with mics: “And, it has seven gigs for all your mp3s!” A whole seven? Sorry, obsolete before I ever turn the key. Ford had a rock van and that thing shoulda been outside with a band playing on top of it. This ain’t rocket science.

Maybe next year.

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3 comments:

Angela Natividad said...

I hope you put all this on your comment card. o_O

Ben Kunz said...

I'm digging the Tonka Jeep. Your photos remind me ... the VW Bug went from being the iconic must-have feel-good car of 1998 to a silly bubble piece of plastic in 2008.

Why do we fall in and then out of love with sheet metal? Are car designs like tunes that get played too often in our heads until the serotonin runs dry?

Branding guru, please explain.

Make the logo bigger said...

Guru? Where? Not here my friend.

Maybe it’s not a case of played too often or falling in love, but more a case of the generic shapes reflecting the mindset of the country: keep it simple and safe.

Even the ‘reimagined’ styles of cars past are so generic now they’ve lost their originality. The new Challenger? All you can do is compare it to the original. Does it stand on its own? Not sure.

Having driven it, it’s definitely not gonna win over the Green crowd. So what’s the hook? Detroit trying to push those old buttons for the muscle car crowd?

As for the rest, the designs on most cars seem hard to tell apart.