Detroit and LA auto shows ease away a headache

LOS ANGELES — It used to be that the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows took place at the same time early each New Year. While that may not seem a problem for show goers living in either the Motor City or the home of American car culture, it was a huge headache for the automakers, whose executives would do things such as unveil a new car in the morning in Detroit and then rush onto an airplane and fly to LA to showcase the same car later that same day.

Adding to the anxiety was that while the news might be made in Eastern Daylight Time,  and for the global media that gathers each year at Detroit, no one could afford to ignore the potential sales volume in car-crazy southern California.

Several years ago, however, the schedules were adjusted with LA moving its show to  Thanksgiving, give or take a few days either way, and with Detroit giving people a few days to recuperate from the year-end holidays with its show being now staged around the second week in January, again, give or take a few days.

This auto show season, the LA show opened to the public November 30 and what they saw inside the Los Angeles Convention Center included some new vehicles that are likely to sell in very high volumes, including the new Toyota RAV4 and a facelifted Honda Civic, and some hints that somewhere not too far down the road are electric-powered vehicles that will be fun to drive.

In the meantime, we’ll just have to make do with some other if more conventionally propelled fun-to-drive new rides such as the new Porsche Cayman and Jaguar F-type.

You’ll get to see all of those — and a lot more — come January 19 when the North American International Auto Show opens its doors to the public in Cobo Hall.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at