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January 14: General Motors Sweeps North American Awards at NAIAS; Joint Legislative Hearing to be Held at NAIAS

General Motors Sweeps North American Awards as 2014 NAIAS Kicks Off

The 25th anniversary North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked off with a bang with Press Preview on Monday. The show, which is expected to attract more than 800,000 attendees, opens to the public on January 18.

Featuring some of the world’s most anticipated new vehicle premieres, Monday proved to be a strong day for Detroit-based General Motors (GM), as the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was named the North American Car of the Year, while the Chevrolet Silverado captured Truck of the Year honors. This marked a clean sweep of the awards by GM, the first time a single automaker won both awards since Ford accomplished the feat in 2010.

Check out some other news items from the first day:

Ford Unveils Plans for New Generation F-150:
Change will lighten vehicle by 700 pounds using advanced lightweight materials, should be the most fuel-efficient full-size truck on the market.

Chrysler reveals new 200 sedan:
New release is the first midsize sedan with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and highlights the world-class assembly plant in Sterling Heights.

Marchionne to lead Chrysler, Fiat 3 more years:
Chrysler chairman Sergio Marchionne will lead the combined Fiat and Chrysler for at least three more years to reinforce management and investor certainty as the companies continue to integrate.

Mercedes unveils new C-class and high performance GLA45:
C-Class sheds 220 pounds of weight, yet offers more passenger and luggage room than its predecessor.

Corvette Z06 is a race car for the street:
If the 2014 Car of the Year, the Corvette Stingray, isn’t enough for you, this higher-performance version, Z06, pumps out 625 horse power and is street legal.

For complete information on the NAIAS, click here.

Joint Legislative Hearing at NAIAS to Inform Michigan Lawmakers about Auto Industry’s Future

The Chamber’s MICHauto program, with the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA), will host a joint legislative hearing of the state’s Senate Economic Development and House Commerce committees from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15 at the NAIAS.

The hearing is open to the public, and will provide testimony to lawmakers on Michigan’s role in the global automotive industry and what Michigan can do to attract automotive investment. Experts including Michigan’s senior automotive adviser Nigel Francis, MICHauto’s Rob Luce, Nissan’s Carla Bailo, Magna International’s Scott Paradise and others will testify before the committees on key issues impacting Michigan’s automotive industry. For more information on the hearing, click here.

GM’s Mark Reuss Featured on Detroiter Cover

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual automotive Detroiter magazine is available on newsstands now. With distribution at the NAIAS, the issue highlights many of the leading experts, companies and assets that make Michigan the global epicenter of the automotive industry.

Designed by local graphic artist Leyland DeVito, the cover features General Motors’ Mark Reuss alongside award-winning vehicles that represent the carmaker’s dramatic resurgence out of bankruptcy. The Detroiter also includes features on Toyota’s Simon Nagata and OESA’s Julie Fream, as well as expert industry analysis from John McElroy, Paul Eisenstein, Jay Baron and Neil De Koker. There is also a welcome from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, six state lawmakers to watch, and an update on the Chamber’s MICHauto program.

Look for the Chamber’s special Auto Show eDetroiters later in the week. To view the online version of the Detroiter,click here.

Auto Leadership Award Winners to be Honored at NAIAS

You are invited to network as the Detroit Free Press will honor automotive industry leaders during the NAIAS, as it holds its 2014 Automotive Leadership Awards ceremony on Thursday, January 16 from 9 to 10 a.m. in the new COBO Center Atrium. The event is open to the public. Individuals from three MICHauto companies – General Motors’ Mark Reuss, Visteon’s Tim Leuliette, and Toyota’s Jamie Bonini and David Benedict – and others, will be recognized for outstanding accomplishments in 10 categories.

Following the awards presentation, a panel discussion will focus on auto technology and marketing trends and the state of the auto industry. Led by Free Press business columnist Tom Walsh, the panel will include Bridgestone’s Mike Martini, a MICHauto steering committee member, as well as Edmunds.com analyst Michelle Krebs and two award winners, Leuliette and Ford’s Amy Marentic. For more information, click here.

MICHauto Holds Annual Meeting and Reception for More Than 200 Attendees

More than 200 attendees joined MICHauto at the Detroit Athletic Club on January 9, as the program held its third Annual Meeting and Reception. The reception provided members an update on MICHauto activities during the past 12 months, as well as the opportunity to network with other members and business and industry leaders.

Attendees heard from two executives with connection to the automotive industry. Ziad Ojakli, group vice president of government and community relations at Ford Motor Company, spoke about the political landscape in Washington and how it relates to the automotive industry. Tim Ryan, vice chairman and markets, strategy and stakeholders leader at PwC, discussed five global mega trends recently identified by PwC and their implications on the future of the automotive industry.

Also at the event, the Chamber introduced Glenn Stevens as the new vice president of MICHauto and strategic development, and recognized Scott Gallett of BorgWarner Inc. as the Volunteer of the Year for his work promoting the auto industry with MICHauto.

To watch footage of the speakers at the reception, click here.

House Local Government Committee Holds Hearing at Chamber on City Blight

About a month after House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) toured blight areas in Detroit, the House Local Government Committee held a public hearing on blight in the city on Thursday, January 9 at the Detroit Regional Chamber. The Committee, chaired by Rep. Amanda Price (R-Park Twp.), took testimony on the impact of blight, remediation efforts and key legislative issues important to addressing the issue. Those testifying included David Carroll, vice president of miscellaneous stuff at Quicken Loans, as well as representatives from Wayne County, Black Caucus Foundation, the Blight Authority, Motor City Blight Busters, Neighbors Building Brightmoor, Brightmoor Alliance, Schaefer 7/8 Lodge Association and others. To learn more about the efforts to remove blight in Detroit, click here.