North American Auto Show Musings

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Spent the better part of last Saturday at the autoshow. Actually, it had been several years since I'd paid any attention to the show. IMHO, there really have not been very many innovative and exciting technical advances in the auto industry in recent years. Besides, I wasn't afforded any tickets to attend the show in recent years. Typically, vendors drop me a few tickets for these and other noteworthy events. One of my buddies encouraged me to go, so I dropped $12.00 US, and checked it out.

As I spent time checking out the interior of most of the upscale vehicles, and reviewing the infomatics. I noticed that some of the automakers are beginning to realize that bluetooth and audio jacks should become standard features on all platforms. It appears that Acura are probably the leaders in getting the latest gear into their vehicles. According to an Acura product specialist (aka Traci), every Acura vehicle released in 2006 will include bluetooth and 0.125" audio jacks in the center stack. So, if you've got a portable mp3/ogg player, it should play through your car stereo speakers. Not bad, but probably a few years too late. The European autos are typically better equipped, and have had bluetooth for the past couple of years. Pushbutton ignition also seems to be the next big rage in the US.

Of course we're again late at recongizing the convenience in eliminating all of those ridiculous keyrings. During my last trip to Germany, I drove an Audi A4 (diesel) which was equipped with the pushbutton ignition. *Aside* - If you ever get an opportunity to drive on the Autobahn, _do it_. Mad fun.

Another item of note, was the stong hip-hop influence that was pervasive throughout the show this year. While I can't knock the hustle of Ford, Scion and others that are using the culture to push their products. To Toyota's credit, they seemed to always have their ear to the street. In fact, they have always catered to the hip-hop audience. You may recall that Xzibit's, "Hook up my ride", featured a few Scion kits. Their aftermarket revenue is pretty substantial.

Nonetheless, as a +30 native NYer, whose generation was largely responsible for the birth of the hip-hop culture, it saddens me to see how commercial interests have dumbed down the art form and bottled it for sale at every conceivable venue. Hell, companies can't even sell a biscuit without somebody beatboxin or droppin a verse or two. Curiously, you never see a graff writer (read graffiti) getting put on for potential millions. Obviously the corporate power movers have not figured out a means to profit off that element of the culture. Well I suppose Palm did, they stole the name graffiti for their shorthand writing application. None of that loot ever made it back to the ghetto tho.

Anyway, I digress. It was still pretty funny to see Funk Flex hawking the huge, oversized Ford Super-Chief concept Super-Duty pickup truck. I'm pretty sure that it will never see a production line of any volume. Gas prices are simply ridiculous.

I'll post photos in the usual places Photo Journal | my flickr.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on January 20, 2006 6:05 AM.

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