California Autos Examiner

Monday, August 10, 2009

GM shows its frilly underthings to select bloggers prior to tomorrow's press conference

Chevrolet Spark at its 2009 debut in Geneva (GM)

General Motors is offering select bloggers a very broad ranging tease of forthcoming vehicles. The event is tied to the ‘230’ event that GM has scheduled for tomorrow, August 11.

What exactly are people seeing? Well, unfortunately yours truly was not invited to the event, so it’s off to Twitter for the latest and greatest in updates.

View this slideshow for images of GM's latest and greatest.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu: Folks who have seen it say it looks much better than the current and sports a very nice interior. Given that the current model was a huge leap from its predecessor and how good the Buick LaCrosse looks, one can only imagine how tasty this morsel will be.

2011 Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Spark: The Aveo could use a serious refresh and the Spark will be a new entry for Chevrolet here in the US. We know about the Spark, but the Aveo redesign is newsworthy. Without seeing it, it’s hard to tell how much of the gushing we read on Twitter is the free champagne talking.

Visitors are also being shows a pre-production Chevrolet Volt to help dismiss the moon landing conspiracy theorists who say the car isn’t real.

Cadillac is showing its wares as well. In addition to a mock up of the DTS/CTS replacement tentatively called the XTS, bloggers are being shown a sub-CTS model along the lines of the long discussed Alpha project called ATS. Would this actually be the Alpha project or something lower cost?

Buick is also joining the game. First up was a rebadged, slightly tweaked Saturn Vue. Think mini-Enclave. More than likely, journos were also shown the Opel Insigna rebadge as a Buick Regal that should go on sale next year here in the states. Also on tap was the next generation Saturn Astra which will now be a Buick here in the States.

GMC also had a concept on display that was a “blend of old and new” according to one Twitterer.

A quick chat about the event with GM's Director of Global Social Media, Christopher Barger, revealed that tomorrow's "Will offer a sneak peek, but will only feature a few of the vehicles on display today." From what this author has read elsewhere, the new Buick crossover and the Caddilac XTS will probably be the models shown.

If you read accounts of this event on various automotive blogs, there is a mixture of excitement about new product with a touch jealousy that traditional journalists did not get the scoop first. How did GM come up with the list of invitees? I posed that question to Mr. Barger. According to Christopher, the group of the people invited today were people that GM has "met" on Twitter, a few were consumers who wrote in to "Tell Fritz," some were moms GM invited off of moms' message boards. Other invitees were college radio DJs or station managers. The idea was to go as "real people" as GM could. Today the concept was CONSUMER first.

Traditional media will get the same tour tomorrow, but as previously noted the webcast available to the rest of us will not include as much material.

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