CarGurus was honored to attend yesterday’s press preview of the 2016 New England International Auto Show. With more than 600 cars from 37 manufacturers valued at over $22 million, we were able to see and get into a bunch of brand-new vehicles for the first time. The show offers any car fan with an interest in new vehicles an unbeatable opportunity to take a close look at and ask experts questions about the wide world of cars available to American buyers.
Last week I wrote about seven Detroit Auto Show debuts to watch. The only one I got remotely wrong was the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country, but that was only because FCA pulled a fast one and changed that vehicle’s name to the Chrysler Pacifica.
Here are the five vehicles that made the biggest impact at the North American International Auto Show, which runs through Jan. 24 at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.
The Honda Ridgeline is all the truck you’ll ever need.
Not the truck that languished on dealer lots between 2003 and 2014. That Ridgeline lasted far longer than it should have and became something of a laughing stock in the truck world.
It’s unfortunate, really, because the past-generation Ridgeline was good enough at doing the things most truck owners do with their trucks. By which I mean get stuck in the same traffic jams as the rest of us, sometimes while hauling a couch.
The new Honda Ridgeline, which debuted at the North American International Auto Show, is similar, but could also revolutionize how we see midsize trucks.
If people buy it, that is.
So now Volkswagen didn’t lie.
If you’ve been following the VW emissions saga with even an occasional passing glance, you know that the German automaker was caught in the midst of a lie. There’s incredibly compelling evidence that the company lied to the U.S. government about the emissions of its cars and lied to consumers who purchased those cars.
The problem, of course, was a piece of software that detected when a vehicle was being tested for emissions, allowing the car to emit acceptable levels of exhaust during testing before returning to its normal toxic-fume-spewing self once back on the road.
In the midst of a lawsuit with the United States, VW CEO Matthias Müller now says his company never lied, and the problem can be attributed to a “technical problem.”
Excuse us, but… what?
The automotive industry could change more in the next five years than it did in the last 50.
Think about the last five decades. We’ve seen cars get bigger, faster, safer, and more fuel efficient, but we haven’t seen any radical changes in the way cars are built, marketed, sold, or driven. Our car culture is built on a fossil-fueled desire for personal transportation and the freedom to go wherever we please whenever we choose.
Things are changing, though. Ride-sharing programs are gaining in popularity and cars that can drive themselves don’t seem to be very far behind.
Here’s one of the surest signs of coming change: General Motors just placed a $500 million bet that ride sharing is the wave of the future.
We’re in the midst of an intense one-week period in the automotive industry that’s unmatched the rest of the year: The Consumer Electronics Show is currently in Las Vegas, and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicks off Monday with press days.
It’s a period that sees more new vehicles and concepts introduced than at any other time of year. The news is already out about vehicles like the production-ready Chevrolet Bolt and the Farraday Future FFZERO1 concept.
Now it’s time to look ahead to Detroit and its reveals. Here are a few that will make a big impact.
The best marketing device for a startup company is mystery.
Mystery builds intrigue and interest. It makes people wonder what the company is up to and how its products will influence life as we know it. The larger a new company is, the more it can play up the mystery aspect of what it has to offer.
Faraday Future is a perfect example.
With billions of dollars in backing and plans to build a $1 billion manufacturing facility, along with months of hinting at a new car that promises to change the way we see cars, Faraday is primed to hit the big leagues and potentially change the auto industry as we know it.
Unless it under-delivers on its promises. Then it becomes nothing more than a modern-day Segway.
And guess what? It under-delivered.
I can’t imagine anything much scarier than finding out your business is being sued by the United States of America.
Of course, to avoid that from happening, all you have to do is play by the rules and not intentionally deceive the government while taking home millions of dollars in profit. Pretty easy, right?
Volkswagen is learning that lesson the hard way. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed suit against the automaker over the emissions scandal that saw the German car giant install software in hundreds of thousands of cars to cheat emissions tests.
The allegations in the lawsuit, which accuse Volkswagen of intentionally violating the Clean Air Act by installing illegal devices to impair emission control systems in 600,000 vehicles, carries penalties that could cost Volkswagen billions of dollars. Yes, the wrath of the U.S. government will finally rain down on VW.
Another year has passed, and as time goes on things in the auto industry are starting to get a little shaken up. Yes, we did have a pretty great 2015, with some amazing cars leaving a lasting impression. But as we look forward to the upcoming year, we can expect auto manufacturers to yet again step up and produce some cars that can get us really excited. These cars have been on our radar for quite some time as they’ve been teased and previewed, but now it’s time to buy.
Welcome to 2016, friends.
If the Chinese did their calendar correctly, this would have been the year of the car. I mean, the year of the monkey is all well and good, but 2016 will be among the best in a long time as far as new car debuts go.
There are a few cars, though, that aren’t available yet but should set the pace for excitement in 2016. Are you ready for these?