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Detroit: Day Two – Part 1

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Day 2 in Detroit started off a bit rocky.  Per the instructions in our General Motors Welcome Kit, we were to either order breakfast from  room service or eat in the hotel restaurant.  Either way, we were to be ready to head to the Cobo Center for the start of the North American International Auto Show by 7am.  Since I’m an early riser anyway, I ordered my breakfast for 5:45am, thinking that I would have plenty of time to linger and watch the morning news.  Well, let’s just say that when I got downstairs to meet the group at 7:45, I was hungry.  Only a few meals had ever been delivered.  I headed over to the hotel coffee shop and got a muffin.  NOTHING was going to ruin this day for me.

By 7, everyone was ready.  Almost nobody wore a coat (even though the temperature was in the teens), as there would be no place to store it and we weren’t expected to return to the hotel until late that night.  Luckily the People Mover station is accessible from the Ren Cen and there was only a brief moment of braving the chilly cold air.  The People Mover took us right into the Cobo Center.  I was glad that I had chosen to leave my coat.  We headed downstairs to wait for the announcement of Car of the Year.  The Chevy Volt was one of the finalists, as was the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Sonata.  There was a throng of folks gathered for the announcement.  Those of us in the GM group had our collective fingers crossed.  Finally, the announcement was made–the 2011 North American Car of the Year was….

The Chevy Volt

Woo hoo!  We hooted all over the hall.  What a great moment!  Everyone was tweeting and emailing and Facebooking–trying to be the first to break the news.  I tweeted it out and then called the one person that I knew actually cared–my own personal “car guy”–my husband.  Then we headed upstairs and into the show. 

Now I go to the Miami Auto Show every year, with my own, personal car guy.  But that one has NOTHING on this one.  There were all kinds of displays–each automaker trying to outdo the next.  HUGE displays–some with entertainment, games, food, drink, and fun.  I tried to snap pictures of everything.  One of the first booths that I passed was Tesla Motors–remember when I drove the Tesla?  LOVED IT!  I was able to snag a tiny Hot Wheels version of the Tesla Roadster. 

I headed to the GM area with Mary Henige, Director of Social Media and Digital Communications for General Motors.  All of their brands were represented FABULOUSLY.  There was a huge area for Chevy, who only 5 mins ago got the award but already had the banners up touting the Volt as COTY.  Talk about being prepared–they must have been Girl Scouts!  Everyone was gathering for the upcoming Buick press conference.  I grabbed a seat next to Drew Bennett of BenSpark.com, a fellow member of the GM social media group.  He had already gotten some great shots of the Show.  We listened as John Schwegman, Buick’s VP of US Marketing, unveiled the new Buick Verano, in a cloud of smoke.  It looks like a cool car!  But wait–Didn’t Buick used to be for old folks????  I tell ya, I’m either an old folk or Buick has gotten hecka stylish, because between this new Verano and the Regal, I don’t know which is more FAB. 

Soon after the Verano launch, we headed up to one of the meeting rooms for lunch with GM’s Tom Stephens, who is Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations.  He is a SUPER HEAD HONCHO.  He’s been working for GM for more than 40 years.  He talked to us about his time there and his personal obsession with cars.  He owns more than 20, a lot of them vintage models.  He also took questions from us.  What a great guy!  LOVED HIM!

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.

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One Response to “Detroit: Day Two – Part 1”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jewel Figueras. Jewel Figueras said: Check out my second day in Detroit. MAD FUN but no breakfast :( http://tinyurl.com/48dmb6w […]

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