If you haven’t read Part 1, start here.
After lunch on Day 2 of the North American International Auto Show, I headed back to the show floor. I was lucky enough to run into one of my absolute favorite chicks, Nina Price of General Motors. Nina was looking FAB as usual. She introduced me to Alvin Jones. Now, EVERYONE from the DC area will recognize Alvin’s voice, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell. Alvin was the host of the WHUR’s Weekend Quiet Storm–back in the day! Wow, I’d never met him and found him charming. I will DEFINITELY keep in touch with him, as he’s now producing a show in the DC area, called Planet Vehicle.
Soon, it was time for me to meet with Don Butler, US Marketing Vice President for Cadillac. What a cool dude! He talked about the legacy of the Cadillac brand (Derivative of NOTHING!) and what the new marketing strategies are for it. He spoke about this particular television ad, running now, narrated with the voice of actor Lawrence Fishburne. It’s called Red Blooded Luxury. LOVE IT!
Don literally had me on the edge of my seat, talking about the exciting things coming up for the Cadillac brand. Even after the meeting was over, I was already looking forward to having dinner with Don and the rest of the Cadillac team the following night.
Next, I was able to spend time with Chris Perry, VP of Marketing for Chevrolet. He came to Chevy after a long stint with Hyundai. I was amazed at how much time he spent with me and the other bloggers. He, along with every other GM executive that I met, was truly interested in what we had to say about the brand–both good and bad. I can NOT imagine how I would have ever gotten an audience with this caliber of executives, if not for this event.
I wandered the show floor, taking looks at the new vehicles from Toyota, Ford, Porsche, VW, Chrysler, Mazda, Lexus and others. I even happened upon the Kia booth, just when they were giving away chili dogs! Talk about good fortune!
Finally, it was time for the Chevrolet press conference. There was a lot of excitement, as we awaited the debut of the new Chevy Sonic. I couldn’t imagine what cool tool Chevy would use to usher the new car in. Would there be smoke? horses? clowns? I had no idea. And the stage was empty. Nothing. No props. No orchestra. No magician. Nothing to give me a clue. Then something bizarre happened. A young man from the crowd walked casually up onto the stage. I thought he was a tree hugger or something and that he would do something crazy before Security could usher him up. But he didn’t. He had an iPad with him and and he used it to make a loud sound. Then others started coming up, one by one. They all had iPads or iPhones, and they ended up playing a tune, using them as instruments. I thought it was cool! And, after much ado, the Sonic arrived. It’s a compact and really didn’t appeal to me–I’m more of a luxury type chick, but it would be perfect for my college aged daughter. LOVED IT!
After the announcement, servers came out with sliders and locally brewed beers. It was quite a festive mood. Finally, we gathered to head back to the People Mover–dinner was next! Only a few stops later, we got off of the train at Greektown, where we dined in a private room at a VERY FAB restaurant, called Mosaic with members of GM’s Chevy team, including the infamous Phil Colley.
The food was exceptional. We had a choice of 2 starters–either a salad or black bean soup. Then you got to choose between filet, sea bass, chicken or shrimp scampi. I had the Chilean Sea Bass. IT WAS FANTASTIC! I also had the apple crostada for dessert.
The ride back to the hotel was quiet, as everyone was tired. But we still gathered down in the hotel bar area, before turning in and wondering just WHAT else General Motors could do to WOW us!
Disclosure: I was a guest of General Motors for this press junket. They provided my travel, lodging, and all meals. My opinions remain my own.