July 2018 INDUSTRY BRIEFS
Chevrolet Blazes New Trail With Five-Passenger CUV
There’s nothing old about General Motors’ newly revealed 2019 Chevy Blazer. Yet another crossover for the automaker’s volume brand, the new Blazer is not a reincarnation. It has a target audience of younger, more affluent buyers than either the value-oriented Equinox or the family-focused Traverse, not mention a contemporary look and high-tech features, according to the automaker.
Key design elements include a bold grille and huskier proportions than either the Equinox or Traverse, more cargo space, a sliding second row that also reclines, a new, optional cargo-management system, an optional dual-pane power sunroof, and a suite of active safety features. The Blazer will tow a maximum of 4,500 lbs. when equipped with a V-6 engine, and can be fitted with an optional rear-view camera to assist the driver in connecting the hitch to the trailer.
“We think we have the right vehicle for the right people,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “It’s not three rows, it’s not a family hauler…we wanted an expressive design. That’s why (customers) buy these two-row (CUVs), and we think we’ve nailed it.”
General Motors has reinvented the Chevy Blazer as a modern-day, five-passenger crossover, complete with an edgy, bolder stance and a bevy of contemporary features, sure to appeal to the targeted audience of affluent buyers.
LA Roadster Show Celebrates American Car Culture
For 54 years, the LA Roadster Show and Swap Meet has been a Father’s Day weekend staple in Southern California. Produced by the LA Roadsters Club and held at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, this year’s event attracted more than 10,000 attendees who came to ogle some of the finest pre-war roadsters and vintage vehicles, and shop for rare and unique parts at the enormous outdoor swap meet.
“It was a fantastic weekend, said the show’s producer John Buck. “We thank those that came out to enjoy it with us at the 54th Annual Los Angeles Roadster Show. We cannot wait for the 55th show next year, and continuing this storied tradition with the club.” The 2019 event will again be held on Father’s Day weekend, June 14-15.
Pristine roadsters belonging to members of the LA Roadster Club lined the entrance to the 54th annual LA Roadster Show & Swap Meet, held over Father’s Day weekend at the Pomona Fairplex.
The 2018 edition of the LA Roadster Show drew more than 10,000 attendees on a sunny Southern California weekend.
Towel Pros Opens Four U.S. Distribution Centers
Robert Regan, third-grade teacher in Santa Barbara, California, experienced high-end detailer and founder/owner of Towel Pros Microfiber Specialists, has announced a huge expansion with the opening of four distribution centers across the U.S. in New Jersey, Texas, Washington, and later this fall in Florida.
Towel Pros specializes in four types of microfiber towels: highly absorbent waffle-weave drying towels; edgeless, tagless paint towels offered in a variety of thicknesses; thin glass towels; plus a variety of all-purpose towels. “I understood early in my detailing career the importance of using soft, absorbent material for cleaning automobiles and precious surfaces,” said Regan. “With Towel Pros I perfected the durable, absorbent microfiber fabric, (which is) ideal for cleaning surfaces like car paint, glass, metal, countertops, vinyl and ceramics that are susceptible to fine scratches, holograms, smudges, streaks and water spots.”
Dirty Harry’s Detailing & The Hogfather Motorcycle Detailing, based in Rochelle Park, New Jersey, and owned by Harry and Debbie Sandwith, has been set up as the East Coast distributor for Towel Pros. The large distribution center and warehouse is located in Sayreville; a second warehouse is slated to open in Cape Coral, Florida, later this year. The Sandwith’s territory covers the Eastern seaboard east of the Mississippi River from Maine to Florida. www.towelpros.com. www.dirtyharrys.com.
Harry Sandwith of Dirty Harry’s Detailing and Bob Wiener of Finer Details, Long Branch, New Jersey, are shown here using Towel Pro’s microfiber towels to detail actor Keanu Reeves’ Arch motorcycle.
2019 Ram Offered In Two Body Styles
As Ram edges closer to launching its all-new 2019 Ram 1500 with a new body design, the automaker has decided to also offer its former and popular body style that has long been a favorite of fleet and entry-level buyers. The strategic move means that Ram will offer both the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic and the all-new 2019 Ram 1500.
“As we launch the all-new 2019 Ram 1500, we didn’t want to walk away from a key part of the light-duty truck market,” said Mike Manley, head of Ram Brand, FCA. “Ram will continue to produce the 1500 Classic targeted at entry and commercial buyers.”
The 1500 Classic sports several segment-exclusive features, including multi-link rear coil suspension, Rambox bedside storage, hidden bins, a flat-load floor, and unique badging. The 1500 Classic will be available in four trim levels: Tradesman, Express, Big Horn/Lone Star, and SSV (Special Service Vehicle), all are covered by a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
In a strategic move aimed at satisfying commercial and entry-level buyers, Ram is introducing the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic. A rebadged, updated version of the popular Ram 1500, the Ram Classic, shown here, is not to be confused with all-new, redesigned 2019 Ram 1500.
Classic Car Festival To Cruise Into Southern California
Taking advantage of Southern California’s storied car culture and the ability to secure a larger footprint, the producers of the Classic Auto Show have booked their third annual event at the expansive Orange County Fair & Event Center, located in Costa Mesa. Billed as a classic car festival, the two-day event is slated for March 16-17, 2019, and is expected to attract more than 1,800 classic cars, hot rods and other vintage vehicles, along with 80 car clubs from throughout the region.
In keeping with its tried-and-tested format, the event will showcase such popular attractions as the Grand Boulevard filled with a stunning array of the finest and rarest classic and historic vehicles from all eras. The show’s Celebrity Stage will continue to feature well-known car culture celebrities and will enhance its hands-on demos stages focused on restoration and auto detailing. For gearheads and enthusiasts looking for parts, products and memorabilia, the show also will have a dedicated marketplace filled with exhibitors and sponsors.
“We are thrilled with the move to the OC Fair & Event Center, which will allow us to evolve the Classic Car Show into a true festival experience for classic car enthusiasts,” said Senior VP Mike Carlucci. “Our attendees wanted to see more cars, more vendors, hands-on demos, interactive features, more food options and entertainment. The new venue gives us the flexibility and space to do everything our fans are asking for.” www.theclassiccarshow.com.
New York Dragstrip Under Consideration
The United States Motorsports Association (USMA) has launched an independent research effort to investigate the economic benefits of bringing a new motorsports complex to Long Island, New York.
The need for the study was initiated by Long Island Needs A Dragstrip (LINADS), a group which has been gaining community support for a new track since 2016.
LINADS envisions a motorsports complex that would serve drag racing, sports car racing and recreational and competitive off-road events, as well as non-automotive activities, such as concerts, fairs and fundraisers, and as a training ground for first responders or the military. If approved, the complex would not be the first racetrack on Long Island. Although Riverside Raceway, a paved oval, is the only racetrack in current use, the Island was once home to six tracks.
“Long Island is home to over seven million people… We know already that the Island is rich with automotive and racing enthusiasts. There is a great opportunity for motorsports growth and rejuvenation on Long Island,” said Shawn Stewart, USMA executive director. “The USMA’s research team is excited to take a deeper dive and uncover the potentially tremendous benefits of a new motorsports complex on Long Island.”