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New York Auto Show:  One Last Look
Apr06

New York Auto Show: One Last Look

By Brendan Moore

Press days at the show were over four days ago, but due to technical difficulties, the site was quarantined from new posts, and so my apologies for the lateness of this piece.

Of course, the show is still going on for the public, and will be, until April 11. So, we’re only a little late as far as the wrap-ups done by media.

As I noted in my post from the first day, it was immediately obvious that there were a lot more media people at the show this year compared to last year, and, everyone seemed to be in much better spirits. And, I mean everyone, including the people from the manufacturers, the other exhibitors, the staff at the Javits Center, and assorted media types from all over the world.

Last year was somber, no, scratch that, it was depressing.

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New York Auto Show:  2011 Mazda 2
Apr06

New York Auto Show: 2011 Mazda 2

By Brendan Moore

The subcompact Mazda 2 will go on sale here in the U.S. this summer, and Mazda finally has released some specifications for the car here at the New York Auto Show, after showing the car in Los Angeles last year, but providing no technical specifications.

The diminutive Mazda 2 is a distant cousin to the 2011 Ford Fiesta subcompact in that much of the platform is the same since both cars had their gestation while Ford still had Mazda in their corporate family. But you would be hard-pressed to find much else of substance shared between the two cars.

The car comes with a 100 hp, four-cylinder engine for the North American market, which will drive through either a five-speed manual transmission or a rather basic four-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission will get you 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The automatic gives you 28 mpg and 34 mpg, respectively.

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New York Auto Show:  Interview with Victor Muller of Spyker and Saab
Apr05

New York Auto Show: Interview with Victor Muller of Spyker and Saab

By Brendan Moore

During press days of the New York Auto Show, I got the opportunity to sit down with Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker, Saab’s new owner, for a moment.

The interview occurred during an evening cocktail reception for Saab senior executives the first night of the show, in a lovely classic car gallery in Greenwich Village in New York City. A few people from Saab, including Mr. Muller, made brief remarks at one point during the evening, as is the custom during these things, and I was able to speak with Muller one-on-one towards the end of the party.

After the usual introductions, we started talking, and the transcript of the interview follows:

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New York Auto Show: Swedish Cool

By Brendan Moore

Just a short note while I’m going back and forth on the floor here at the New York Auto Show during the second press day: I couldn’t help but notice as I passed by the Saab stand that everyone there seemed so, well, unusually calm.

So I stopped in, and the effect on me was the same, my blood pressure went down almost immediately. It was a bit like sitting in your favorite cafe.

After being put through the wringer over the last six months as different parties went back and forth over the continued existence, you might think (understandably) that Saab as a living entity might be pretty stressed out. Yes, they got a new owner and their short-term future is now assured, but the task ahead of them is daunting.

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New York Auto Show: Ram Truck Brand

By Brendan Moore

The Chrysler media relations people are on a charm offensive here at the show, telling everyone that they are a viable company with a long, prosperous future in front of them.

The cynical among you might say something along the lines of “it sounds like they’re trying to convince themselves more than anyone else”, or, “whistling past the graveyard,” or the other sorts of snarky things overly-cynical people say, but I would expect that from the likes of you.

Anyway, beside the general message of “here to stay”, Chrysler is also endeavoring like mad to make the Ram brand their new truck brand, separate from Dodge trucks, and so is giving all sorts of Ram-branded stuff to the journalists that want it. I demurred, but did get this nifty press release.

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