(MENAFN -Arab News) • WHEN the dust settled after two remarkable days of vehicle unveilings, organizers of the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) counted 50 vehicle introductions, the majority being worldwide, presented to a crowd of 5,169 journalists from around the world. NAIAS Chairman Bob Shuman said the optimism and confidence felt on the show floor is a reflection of a healthier auto industry, and stronger economy, and a demonstration of the continuing importance of the NAIAS. Journalists from 60 countries were treated to an exciting vehicle unveilings on an electric show floor that resembled Times Square with LED walls virtually everywhere. Striking images and positive messages about new vehicles, new automotive technology, and the renovated Cobo Center were transmitted nonstop by traditional and new media alike. Shuman pointed out that the vehicles that were introduced in Detroit over two full press days are some of the automakers’ most commercially successful models. From the Ford F150, which introduced the company’s breakthrough aluminum body, to the race-inspired Cadillac ATS Coupe, to the Nissan Autonomous Leaf and Chrysler’s all-new, sleekly styled Chrysler 200 — global automakers chose Detroit’s world stage for their most strategically important vehicle introductions.
• THE NEW Porsche Macan made its UK debut in a distinctive window display at the Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London. The new Macan is the first Porsche in the compact SUV segment, and received its global unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. Now, it is being shown in London until February 5, two months ahead of its formal arrival in Porsche Centers in the UK. Fresh from celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, an example of the iconic 911 coupe — in this case, the new 560 HP Turbo S — sits beside the Macan in the display, together with the latest Panamera S E-Hybrid, the world’s first plug-in hybrid in the executive saloon class. Special prominence is given to a scale-model of the ground-breaking 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid super sports car which features a V8 petrol engine and two electric motors to deliver 887 HP combined.
• THE Qatar International Motor Show (QMS) is returning to Doha in February 2014. This was announced at a press conference, held at the InterContinental Hotel-Doha, being the official hotel for 2014 edition, and attended by senior delegates as well as local and regional media. The press conference revealed details of the fourth edition of QMS — to be held at the Qatar National Convention Center from February 21 to 25. The 2013 edition of the event drew crowds of 150,000, and this year’s event is set to be even bigger. The week-long event, organized by the Qatar Tourism Authority, offers visitors the chance to discover the latest technology in car manufacturing and design and provides a platform for trade professionals to come together.
• BMW HAS recorded the best ever sales figures in the Middle East last year, with sales of 24,596 BMW and MINI cars. This is an increase of 15 percent over sales of 2012 and the third successive record year for the company.
The UAE remains in first place with almost half the sales followed by Saudi Arabia which sold 4,228 cars, an increase of 18 percent. Overall, the 7 and 5 Series were among the best-selling vehicle in the region.