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Auto Show 2013: Day 2 Of North American International Car Show In Detroit Promises New Reveals

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The 2013 Detroit auto show kicked off its first full media preview day with all the drama and pomp we've come to expect from the world's biggest and best car show.

The unveiling of the first new Corvette model in nine years a day early was the first surprise, but it wasn't the last.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE UDPATES)

Infiniti and the Cirque du Soleil teamed up to introduce a new sports car model for the brand, the Q50. The brilliant Toyota Furia concept car ignited speculation that the Japanese automaker might overhaul design for its popular Corolla automobile. Thomas Edison even showed up at downtown Detroit's Cobo Center to school GM CEO Bob Lutz on the future of electric vehicles. It seems like somebody in the crowd was listening to the hologram -- Nissan announced it will drop the price on its Nissan Leaf EV to compete in the hybrid market.

Expect Day Two to turn up the notch on luxury -- after all, that's the buzzword for this year's car show in Detroit. Ford will reportedly present a concept car for a redesigned F-150, while GM's first luxury hybrid, the 2014 Cadillac ELR, will make its public debut at the show. Lexus, Acura, Kia and electric car designer Tesla Motors will all present new storylines on Tuesday morning. We've also heard Counting Crows and FUN. will be in town to play an auto show party tonight downtown. Early last evening, Ben Folds performed live for press at the Panasonic Conference at Cobo. And of course, Danny Glover is in town, but he's actually supporting a group that's protesting what they call Nissan's unfair treatment of labor in Mississippi. Let us know if you see any other celebrities around town for this year's NAIAS spectacular!

More than 6,000 journalists are expected to attend the two day media preview of the auto show. The show will be open to the public from Jan. 19 to 27. The North American International Auto Show's website has more information, and we've compiled a guide of the best things to do around Detroit if you're in town for the event.

See below for live updates and photos from the auto show throughout the day.

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Auto show journos and industry types will be headed to the Fillmore Detroit tonight. FUN. will open for Counting Crows at an invite-only party hosted by Cars.com.

Are you going? Tweet your pics to @HuffPostDetroit .. and hopefully we see you there!

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@ NathanBomey : BREAKING: GM projects profit will rise "modestly" in 2013 as new products hit showrooms and European losses start to fall. #NAIAS

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@ DetroitUnspun : #Detroit designed Corvette Stingray: “We can take on the world and win.” http://t.co/IabsjSxg #NAIAS

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Chrysler, Fiat and a Chinese automaker will be building Jeeps in China.

But hold on there, Mitt Romney.. representatives from both Chrysler and Fiat (which owns Chrysler) say that the deal inked with Guangzhou Automobile Group and announced at today's NAIAS 2013 will only produce Jeeps for the Chinese auto market.

From The Associated Press:

Jeep already sells several models in China, including the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler and Compass, but they are imported. Jeep has said volume would be incremental to start.

"This agreement is another milestone of our partnership with Fiat and Chrysler Group," Zeng Qinghong, general manager of GAC Group, said in a statement. "It definitely creates the basis for our JV to reach very ambitious objectives in Chinese market."

chrysler jeep china

Guangzhou Automobile Group President Xiangdong Huang talks with reporters at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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@ MichelinMedia : Check out this sweeping 360 degree video tour of the latest and greatest from #Corvette #stingray #NAIAS http://t.co/q80ferXk

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kia batman superhero

We're not sure these "heromobiles" from Kia will ever be for sale, but massive props to whoever dreamed up the Green Lantern-themed Kia Soul and the Batman-inspired blacked-out Optima on display in Detroit, as chronicled on the New York Times' Wheels blog.

From NYT:

The Justice League-styled Kias were made in collaboration with DC Comics to raise awareness for its “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, a relief effort to combat hunger in the Horn of Africa.

The two noble automobiles are part of Kia's comic-inspired dream team, which also includes detailed designs for the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman in you.

kia buzz green lantern

More pics available at the Kia Motors global site. Photos from Kia Buzz.

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@ FIATUSA : Last day of the #NAIAS Preview- it was fun but, now it's time to bring #FIAT style & ingenuity to the people! Retweet if you'll be there

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@ imnewjack : These heels ain't made for walkin'. #naias #detroit #detroitautoshow http://t.co/YmxMkv1U

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In case you were wondering, one automaker impressed DallasNews.com with its speaker system so loud it rustled his pants. Sounds like an average Saturday night.

Toyota may have the best sound system at the Detroit show. When the music got cranked up for the introduction of the Furia concept car, the bass pouring out of the speakers was so strong it appeared to be rustling the legs on my jeans. I am pretty sure I was not dancing, but, then, I’m over 60. Anything’s possible.

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We're not sure about that moniker, but the Shelby Focus ST four-cylinder, four-door compact car sounds pretty nifty.

Reports MLive: "'It's something small with big power,' teased Shelby American President John Luft."

More from MLive.

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@ AsianMartin : The number of auto show attendees who use iPads to take photos seem to double every season. I want to beat them with their own iPad. #naias

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Over 6,000 auto journalists may be swarming Cobo Center in downtown Detroit right now to check out the latest in automotive design. But they're also serving the guinea pigs for new experiential marketing techniques, compliments of the folks who bring the Vegas-style showmanship to the Motor City.

Nissan turned to scent designer Air Aroma to create a personalized Nissan scent this year that's wafted through the staging area by vaporizers, reports the New York Times. The result? You'll have to smell it in person, but Nissan says it's a "fresh, luxurious and oriental fragrance” that also smells like green tea.

From NYT:

When the project began, the designers naturally thought first of new car smell. “That is the kind of conversation we are having right now,” he said. “What is that smell, and how to do we do it the right way?”

“The architecture is simply the envelope for the experience,” Mr. McCall said. “You’ve got to do the whole thing at a stand today. You can’t just do some music, do some video. It is the Apple experience. The stand now has to be a retail environment where you feel everything the brand is trying to say.”

Does a brand experience help sharpen your appreciation for a car or truck? You'll have to tell us after you visit. But Nissan isn't the only company at NAIAS going beyond cars to connect with visitors. Luxury, this year's buzzword, means pulling out all the stops for journalists. Musician Bruce Hornsby played a Steinway piano for spectators witnessing the Mercedes E-Class series launch (or refresh, as the NYT dubs the modernization of the car).

From the Detroit Free Press:

Zetche compared the elegance of the Steinway piano that musician Bruce Hornsby played to introduce the new models — which included a sedan, wagon, cabriolet, coup — and played off Hornsby’s lyrics, saying that while the automaker was introducing new vehicles, “some things will never change."

We're guessing Bruce Horsnby is more "refreshing" to the Mercedes E-class demographic than he is to the HuffPost Detroit staff.

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Jalopnik sums up the hologram and circus-infused VIA Motors presentation from Monday:

I stood with a group of people and watched two suicide-girl-type women with lithe, muscular bodies wearing lingerie climb up some ribbons and then toss and grapple one another in a eerily but humidly erotic manner, and then I watched an orange-faced man lie to a ghost. Oh, and then a clumsily customized truck drove up!

And not just that, but according to Jalopnik, Bob Lutz lied to hologram Thomas Edison. Right to his hologram face.

More from Jalopnik here.

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@ alisapriddle : Mulally has disarming speaking style, no slides or notes, had house lights turned up so he could see big audience at World Congress. #naias

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@ nytimeswheels : Thinner crowds on Day Two at #NAIAS can mean closer looks at cars/concepts...but beware of surly and over caffeinated cameramen.

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@ BaronVonClutch : Odd That. RT @BrentSnavely: A man wearing helmet constructed of 3 iPads projecting Peter Schreyer's voice unveiled the #Cadenza. #NAIAS

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Can the new Ford concept truck stave off the (rugged) competition?

From The Associated Press:

Ford won't say when the new truck will go on sale, but it's likely to be a 2015 model.

But the company wants buyers to know what's coming as competition heats up in the pickup market. General Motors is bringing out new pickups this spring and the Ram is also newer.

ford atlas

The Ford Atlas concept pickup is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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@ AsianMartin : Fact: 82% of all light fixtures in all of Cobo Hall is found at the Audi and Porsche stands. #naias

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@ crainsdetroit : RT @Automotive_News: #UAW 's Bob King talks with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis at the Detroit auto show. http://t.co/RqNxbIoM #NAIAS

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A press release from the Governor's office reported that Rick Snyder didn't visit Cobo Center Tuesday morning just to take a spin in the newest concept cars.

He was there to champion Ford Motor Co., as well as several automotive suppliers who have joined the state's Pure Michigan Business Connect Plan.

The billion public-private initiative, which was launched in 2011, gives Michigan businesses better opportunities to buy and sell to each other. Consumers Engery and DTE Energy, the state's largest utility companies, have increased their procurement to in-state businesses eight-fold since the program began.

Certainly, celebrating in-state procurement plans at the auto show is less controversial than drafting a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the state GOP's recent right-to-work victory.

From the press release:

“The participation of Ford, Chrysler and key suppliers in Pure Michigan Business Connect is a huge commitment to Michigan’s businesses, and we thank these companies for their investments in Michigan,” Snyder said. “These commitments, along with those of current members, will mean significant growth opportunities for Michigan companies.

“It’s appropriate that we share this announcement during the Auto Show. The energy and excitement that always come with this world-class event give Detroit and our entire state a chance to shine. The show is a great platform for telling our story.”

The commitment by Ford and Chrysler to Pure Michigan Business Connect opens the doors to millions of dollars per year in additional procurement opportunities that may not have been available previously to Michigan auto suppliers, Snyder said.

“Ford has spent more than billion with Michigan suppliers over the past year,” said Tony Brown, group vice president of Global Purchasing for Ford. “We expect great growth opportunities in 2013 from the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative, especially with minority, women and veteran-owned suppliers.”

“With our recent announcement of a 0 million capital investment in our Mack 1 Engine Plant and the creation of 1,250 new jobs, we continue to reaffirm our commitment to Michigan,” said Scott Kunselman, senior vice president of purchasing and supplier quality for Chrysler. “Our purchases from Michigan-based companies have grown substantially over the last few years, including those from minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses.”

In addition, Canton-based Schuler, a Schuler AG subsidiary focused on metal stamping equipment and hydroforming, is increasing its Michigan spending by 20 percent over the next five years.

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@ nytimeswheels : Lost in the shuffle a bit was the new #Chevrolet Silverado pick-up--one of the most vital vehicles for GM and the Chevy brand. #NAIAS

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There could be an amazing car announcement happening ten feet behind this crowd, and we bet no one would turn around.

detroit auto show

Trapeze artists Marina Luna, left, and Cameron McHenry of Duo de Luna perform at the opening of the VIA Motors news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Al Goldis /AP Images for Pacific Gas & Electric Company)

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@ nytimeswheels : Judging from a walk around the show-floor on Day Two at #NAIAS, the 2014 #Corvette appears to remain the main attraction.

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They call it the Atlas, Ford's new concept vehicle for their 2015 F-150 truck that debuted Tuesday during Detroit's auto show.

The Atlas is built from high-strength steel that includes boron alloy, the Detroit News reports.

Call its entrance at NAIAS 2013 an example of canny timing.
Ford showed the concept truck, analysts said, to steal some of the spotlight from General Motors Co. and its two auto show debuts — the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The F-150 has been the best-selling pickup truck in the U.S. for 36 years running and the best-selling vehicle for 31 straight years.

While the concept truck looks a lot like the company's current truck, it comes with a bulkier front end and hood and several aerodynamic features, like an adjustable front spoiler. There also may be a surprise under the hood.

From USA Today:

Jessica Caldwell, industry analyst at Edmunds.com, pointed out that Ford avoided any mention of aluminum construction but hinted at a new EcoBoost engine. She said the reference to that engine indicates Ford will continue to use fuel economy as a selling point for the Atlas.

EcoBoost is Ford's name for smaller-displacement, turbocharged engines meant to take the place of larger, less fuel-efficient engines.

ford atlas

Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford, right, and President and CEO Alan Mulally stand next to the Ford Atlas concept pickup after its unveil at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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@ AsianMartin : Oldest surviving Ford from 1903. The stories it can tell. #naias http://t.co/rtjTgnNO

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Lions, tigers and Kias, oh my! Though Kia unveiled their 2014 Cadenza Tuesday, they did it without quite the circus at a 2010 auto show in Manila:

kia cadenza 2010

A tiger in a glass inclosure walks past South Korea car maker Kia's Cadenza model during the opening of the 3rd Philippine International Motor Show in Manila on August 19, 2010. Around 20 brands were participating in the show, expected to attract thousands of visitors, with hundreds of vehicles on show. (TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

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@ MichelinMedia : Blankenship: We're going to open supercharging stations everywhere in North America & it's going to be free #Tesla #NAIAS

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The name Kia doesn't automatically bring to mind a premium vehicle, but they're hoping to change that with the 2014 Cadenza, a sedan unveiled at the auto show Tuesday.

From the Associated Press:

Kia is making a move into the North American premium sedan market with the 2014 Cadenza, which goes on sale later this year.

It's being unveiled Tuesday during press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Kia Motors America said the car comes amid interest among its customers for a sedan with more upscale amenities and technology. The car replaces Kia's Amanti.

The arm of South Korean automaker Kia Motors Corp. describes the Cadenza as having elements of European design, which help define the luxury market, and it will be offered with Kia's most powerful V-6 engine. Kia in 2009 launched a version of the Cadenza in its home market.

Kia got its start in the U.S. as an economy car maker, but has been moving upscale with the Optima midsize sedan and the Sorento crossover. Last year its U.S. sales jumped nearly 15 percent thanks to higher demand for the Optima as well as the compact Rio.

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@ crainsdetroit : The Gibbs amphibious vehicle. Too bad it's too cold for a spin on the nearby Detroit River. #naias http://t.co/TGDSMblf

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@ freepautos : The #Viper sports car returns after a two-year break with new brand name, new persona. #NAIAS http://t.co/FPGGD2S9

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