GM Announces Shadow Presence at LA Auto Show– But Not Alabama!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm announces shadow presence at la auto show but not alabama

You know how it is. You’re talking with someone in the autoblogosphere on Ye Olde iPhone and he says “You know, GM’s pulled out of the LA Auto Show.” So you click over to the GM media website to see if it’s true, and there it is in black and white: “Public Invited to Put Pedal to the Metal Behind the Wheel of GM Vehicles at the Alabama International Auto Show November 14 -16.” No really. “Consumers attending the Alabama International Auto Show… will have a unique opportunity to truly ‘experience’ the GM display by getting behind the wheel and test driving many of General Motors’ new, fuel-efficient vehicles.” Such as the HUMMER H3T ALpha. Meanwhile, The Detroit Free Press‘ Katie Merx minx reports that GM’s “scaling back” its participation in the LA Auto show. “General Motors Corp. has canceled plans to unveil any new vehicles or host any news conferences at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month… The automaker will still have a presence at the LA show next week. The production version of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle will make its first auto show appearance and GM’s two-mode hybrids will be driving there.” By themselves, presumably.

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  • Njgreene Njgreene on Nov 11, 2008

    Wasn't there a death watch a while back discussing Studebaker having a premier in a cow pasture as the corporate harbinger of death? Too lazy to find the specific article now, was just struck by the similarity.

  • Bozoer Rebbe Bozoer Rebbe on Nov 11, 2008
    Cobo is an absolute dump with an awful union. And early January in Detroit is… well you get the picture. The unions and February weather in Chicago are any better? Chicago in February is worse than early January in Detroit, at least in terms of weather. February is the coldest month in the Great Lakes region and McCormick Place is a block away from Lake Michigan, with its prevailing winds. They do call it the Windy City for a reason. It's hard to tell what the show organizers do more, diss Detroit and the NAIAS, or whine about bogus journalists. As often Paul Brian whines about literature and swag dealers obtaining his precious press credentials (his recent email warned that he personally reviews each application), I think that's their primary concern. Cobo's biggest obstacle to expansion (besides finding financing and the political wrangling between blacks in the city and whites in the suburbs) is geographical. The can't expand west unless the Red Wings build a new arena in the Fox Theater district to replace Joe Louis, which lies immediately due west of Cobo. Expanding north or east would involve expensive real estate purchases (the Ponchartrain Hotel and those parking garages on Congress won't go cheaply). Expanding to the south, putting part of the structure over the river on pylons might make the most sense, but there'd be lots of EPA and MichDNR hoops to jump through, maybe even the Army Corps of Engineers too because of river traffic. I suppose they could tear down the attached Cobo Arena, where the Pistons played when I was a kid but there seems to be political opposition to that even though the ~10,000 seat arena is hardly used except for the Ford pressers at the NAIAS. The NAIAS needs more space but I think there's a point of diminishing returns. The Chicago show likes to talk about how big McCormick is and frankly, it might be too big. It's a very long walk from the end of the south hall to the end of the north hall at McCormick. They should put some kind of moving sidewalk in or something.
  • Conslaw Conslaw on Nov 11, 2008

    Ok, I give up, why the Purdue cheerleader? (Not that I"m complaining.) To 1996MEdition - I'm a Purdue alum too, Class of 1983.

  • Rodster205 Rodster205 on Nov 12, 2008

    O.K., I live in Birmingham and this show is no big deal. I will attend this weekend but only because I scored two free passes. I have been to it 3 of the past 5 years. It is not a press event at all, unless you count the Birmingham (s)News(zz). It is an excuse for the local new dealer's association to have a 'big event' and make a few bucks on concessions and sell 'booth spaces' to every radio station and insurance agent in town. G.M. has done the "drive" thing out front for several years. It is a total joke, they usually have a Tah-kon or two and a few Buicks out there and have a line none-deep to go around the block. Maybe a photo of a 'Bama cheerleader should have been at the top? Oh wait... Alabama is not home to GM, Ford or Chrysler. That's right, it is the beloved home of Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota. Ironically Birmingham is home to a CEO that probably has the skillz to turn around the big 2.8. We've quietly watched him do it the past 4 years. That's right, check out Jay Grinney, the best CEO no one has ever heard of. He has turned around bankrupt Healthsouth and made it into a solid company in a not-so hot industry.