Roundup of Top Announcements from the 2019 NAIAS

This week all eyes were on Detroit as the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked into full gear. Below is a recap of the most newsworthy stories and announcements coming out of NAIAS and Automobili-D, as well as what to look forward as you visit the show.

Announcements:

  • Congratulations to Genesis Motor America, Ram Trucks and Hyundai Motor Company – recipients of the 2019 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards. Announced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The awards are among the most prestigious in the industry. Winners are chosen by a panel of 54 jurors from print, online and broadcast media across the United States and Canada.
  • Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Company and Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen announced today that both company’s have decided to work together to cut the cost of new technology development in a joint alliance.
  • Making waves on Tuesday, Detroit Mobility Lab’s Chris Thomas and Jessica Robinson, who both spoke at MICHauto’s Student Summit this past October, announced the Detroit Mobility Lab is launching the Michigan Mobility Institute in Detroit. The institute will focus on educating and re-educating engineers in AI, robotics and other mobility needs. The Michigan Mobility Institute was created as a way to answer the need for the estimated 100,000 new mobility jobs to come with future mobility.
  • Techstars Mobility announced a new name, Techstars Detroit, along with a new partnership with Lear Corporation and new home at the Lear Innovation Center.
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced four pilot projects funded by the $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge that will address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans across the state.
  • Eyes on Design awards were awarded to Axalta for “Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials,” ABC Technologies for “Best Interiors” and Ford Motor Co.’s 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 for “Best Production Vehicle.”

Reveals:

  • Ford Motor Company: Revealed the new Shelby GT500, the most powerful street legal Mustang ever. With more features and more power, the Shelby GT500 produces more than 700 horsepower sending it from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds.
  • RAM: Making its debut at NAIAS, Ram rolled out their new heavy-duty Ram 2500. Offering advanced safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning on all versions. The Ram 1500 also scooped up as the truck of the year award.
  • Toyota Motor Corp.: Aiming to return to Toyota’s signature, performance and excitement, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda revealed the new Toyota Supra on Monday. As Toyota’s commitment to Michigan to continues to thrive, this announcement was felt throughout Detroit as the excitement around the newly unveiled vehicle increased.
  • Nissan EV: Focused on luxury, Nissan reveled the IMs concept EV. The concept is explained as a “elevated sports sedan” the concepts proportions positions the vehicle as a segment of its own due to its electric vehicle identity and unique features.

View photos and read more coverage from NAIAS.

Michigan Automakers Kick Off 2017 Auto Show with Flurry of Product Unveils

The 2017 North American International Auto Show kicked off in grand fashion at Cobo Center in Detroit with a flurry of product announcements and vehicle unveils Monday during the first day of media previews. Press Preview Days give more than 5,000 credentialed journalists from around the world an up-close look at the latest automotive, technology and mobility innovation. Highlights from the day include:

  • Audi unveiled its all-new redesigned SQ5. The lightweight SUV boasts a 3-liter V6 engine with 354 horsepower and 368 pounds of torque. The SQ5 is equipped with a suite of advanced driver assist features, including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, and Audi Active Lane Assist. Read more about the SQ5.
  • BMW revealed its newest midsize 5-series sedan, which is equipped with adaptive LED headlights, fatigue and focus alerts and 18-inch, double-spoke wheels. The automaker also showed off its BMW X2 concept SUV and a new motorcycle. Read more about BMW.
  • Ford Motor Co. showed off its redesigned 2018 F-150 truck featuring a redesigned front-end grille and wheel options, new diesel engine, Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility, adaptive cruise control and driver safety technology. The automaker also laid out its vision for growing in the new mobility era through a mix of investment in smart technology development and autonomous vehicle research. Read more on Ford’s smart mobility vision.
  • General Motors Co. unveiled its 2018 Chevrolet Traverse crossover. The redesign features spacious three-row seating, 4G LTE wireless internet, and a 6-liter V6 engine boasting 305 horsepower and 260 pounds of torque. Read more about the Traverse.
  • Honda unveiled its 2018 Odyssey, which will be available at dealerships nationwide this spring. The next-generation Odyssey includes features such as a uniquely versatile Magic Slide second-row seat, new CabinWatch and CabinTalk technologies, and a new rear entertainment system with streaming video. Read more about Honda’s 2018 Odyssey.
  • Lexus unveiled its fifth-generation LS sedan featuring a “coupe-like” design, twin-turbo V6 engine capable of 415 horsepower and a new advanced safety package. Read more about the luxury sedan.
  • Mercedes-Benz unveiled its sleek E-class coupe, one of its newest additions to a newly designed AMG lineup. The coupe features twin-turbo V6 engines that produce 392 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Options include autonomous vehicle following at up to 130 mph. Read more about the coupe.
  • Nissan unveiled its 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport. The body is edgier and precise by shaving 2.3 inches of wheelbase, 12.1 inches of total length and 5.1 inches of total height over the standard Rogue, making this option most suited for functionality and appeal. Read more about the Nissan Rogue Sport.
  • Toyota unveiled its 2018 Camry. The sleek design features three powertrain options, including an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and a hybrid model. Read more about the Camry.
  • Volkswagen unveiled its new Tiguan and Atlas R-Line SUV, both being launched in the United States this year. “North America is very significant for our brand, and the most important task we face is to regain the trust of our customers,” said Herbert Diess, chairman of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management. The I.D. Buzz, the first zero-emission van to drive fully autonomously, was also debuted. The I.D. Buzz combines a tremendous amount of travel space with an electric driving range of up to 270 miles. Read more about the I.D. Buzz.

For more updates from the auto show, visit www.naias.com.

Chamber forms group to sell state as right fit for auto-related business via:Crains

By Dustin Walsh originally for Crain’s Detroit Business

The U.S. auto sector is flocking south, lured away from the Motor City by enterprising industry groups in Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina. But a new initiative by the Detroit Regional Chamber launching this week is set on rebuilding Michigan’s automotive future.

MichAuto will serve as a statewide association designed to establish an automotive-centric economic development and advocacy platform, said Sandy Baruah, the chamber’s president and CEO.

“There’s no question we’ve lost out to states like Tennessee and Alabama,” he said. “They have been out there proactively recruiting businesses to their state on the auto platform they’ve built over the past 25 years while we’ve ignored ours. We’ve been afraid to tout our industry in the international marketplace in fears of seeming too myopic, but that must change.”

Nearly every new auto plant built in the U.S. in the past 10 years has been built in the South, including a $1 billion Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a $1.1 billion Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Ala.

The lack of a cohesive organization caused Michigan to lose out on these opportunities, Baruah said.

“No one is out there knocking on doors saying, “Come to Michigan, the water’s fine,’ ” he said. “We’re the auto capital of the world, and we need to protect what is ours.”

MichAuto is compiling a board of directors to oversee its operations, including Allan Gilmour, president of Wayne State University; Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO of R.L. Polk & Co.; Rodney O’Neal, CEO of Delphi Automotive plc; Chip McClure, CEO of Meritor Inc.; and Tom Manganello, partner at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.

Baruah expects the addition of Detroit 3 executives to the board, as well.

Baruah said the Detroit Regional Chamber and its members will share assets to serve as a unified economic development voice to get prospective auto companies to locate in Michigan, and step aside and let individual counties offer abatements and tax incentives.

“We’re not here to supplant what counties are already doing,” he said. “Counties have an important role to play, but we can’t expect Wayne County or Oakland County to canvass the world for leads. We want that to be (MichAuto’s) job and become real advocates for the state as a whole.”

The group will also serve as a collective voice for smaller suppliers in Lansing that don’t have the resources to do so on their own, he said.

The chamber is currently seeking members and will formally unveil MichAuto on Thursday to media and industry executives at the Detroit Athletic Club. For more information, visit michauto.org.

Dustin Walsh: (313) 446-6042, dwalsh@crain.com. Twitter: @dustinpwalsh