NAIAS 2017: Keeping Up with the Trends

It’s big, it’s shiny, it’s the BMW i8. We like looking at elegant vehicles and keeping up with trends in the automotive industry, so the North American International Auto Show in Detroit has become a regular event for us. Last year at NAIAS 2016, we noticed tendencies toward safety and technology. Once again, we joined the masses in Detroit to observe the latest in automotive technology.

European Automakers Utilize New Technology

We were excited to see some new technology implemented by European automakers. Their luxury vehicles included laser-intelligent forward lighting systems. We enjoyed seeing how advanced lighting systems are becoming. We also liked the matte color body paints; what a handsome design! These changes should be well received. What new technology can we expect European automakers to utilize in the future? We’re excited to find out.

German Brands Continue to Impress

German automakers showcased some powerful-looking vehicles at the NAIAS 2017. Germany’s “Big Three”—Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz—unveiled new designs that caught our interest. From Audi’s flashy S8, BMW’s sleek 7-series, and Mercedez-Benz’ classy AMG GT, we were very impressed with their vehicles. (See for yourself below.)

Meanwhile, by contrast, our engineers noted that the “Big Three” in the United States—General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler—did not make significant changes to their models. We acknowledge that it’s not unusual for automakers to keep similar body design from year to year, but we have been waiting for American automakers to make some big changes. When compared to their German counterparts, American vehicles simply aren’t keeping our interest.

Visiting Later in the Week is Better

Our engineers gave varying reports: one reported that there weren’t many concept cars and the other said he was impressed by how many new models were displayed. So what’s the difference? The first engineer visited on January 14, and the second engineer visited January 21. Since January 14 was the first day of the public show, we think that he missed out on some of the displays the first day. We are not sure if that’s true or not, but just to be safe, we recommend visiting the show during its second weekend.

Seeing the Finished Product

One of our engineers enjoyed finding a vehicle he worked on. He works as a contract engineer, and he recognized the seat side garnish and rear tray that he developed for a 2017 Honda Civic. He said it was fun to see the finished product and see his hard work come together.

Overall, we were not as impressed with the auto show as we were last year, but NAIAS 2017 still had much to offer. We got to see lots of models and engage with other engineers and enthusiasts at the event. We look forward to NAIAS 2018 and another year of keeping up with the automotive industry.

Written by Grant Francis, 1/30/17, with pictures and observations by Marco Arteaga and Edwin Pineda. Reviewed by Dawn Garcia.

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