Car show ‘goes green’ in style

By Brian Loschiavo
February 19, 2009

Patrick McGowan

Car enthusiasts alike strapped themselves in and hit the fast lane for the 108th Philadelphia Car Show to check out the latest and greatest in “highway bling.”

Doors opened on Saturday, Feb. 31, at 10 a.m. and stayed opened until Sunday, Feb. 8, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“The thing that made this year’s car show unique was the fact that the automotive industry is changing so rapidly,” senior education major Mary Kate Korp said. “It was interesting to see the newest and latest hybrid, clean diesel and hydrogen fuel technology.”

Cars from around the world were shown off for thousands of people that came to the event.

Besides the actual car show, there were many other events that were hosted throughout the week.

One of the big events was one featuring a list of Green Technology cars.

There was a car from this group spotlighted each day throughout the week.

“The most surprising one on this list was the gigantic Cadillac Escalade SUV,” sophomore political science major John Solewin said. “Whoever thought a huge SUV would be discussed in the same breath as fuel economy cars.”

This new Escalade hybrid will deliver more than a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving with its new fuel savvy two-mode Hybrid system.

It’s only listed at 20 MPG but that’s a lot better than the miles per gallon the regular version gets.

But then again, if you’re spending $70,000 on a car, gas prices probably aren’t a worry.

“The theme of this year’s auto show was definitely focused on fuel-efficient and environmentally- friendly cars,” senior education major Felicia Neuber said. “It’s nice to see car manufacturers thinking about the economic situation of our country as well as environmental factors.”

Although there was a “going green” theme to the 2009 show, there were still many of the same exotic, vintage, domestic, import and specialty cars on display.

Some people headed to the car show to actually get themselves a new ride and others came to just look around and discover the new technology in cars.

The most popular car at the show that drew huge crowds the whole week was the Rolls Royce.

For only a half a million dollars, you could be rolling in Rolls Royce Luxury.

That price tag may be worth it with all the gadgets in every nook and cranny of the car.

“The Rolls Royce was definitely the show stopper,” Neuber said. “If I had half a million dollars to throw around I think it would be worth it.

Everyone needs doors that shut themselves and an umbrella that pops out at your beck and call.”

A lot of good came out of the auto show as the Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation hosted the Black Tie Tailgate Preview Gala.

At this event that occurred on Friday, Jan. 30, from 7 to 11:30 p.m., guests previewed the show before it opened to the public and enjoyed food, drinks and entertainment.

All of the proceeds from this benefit went to the Auto Dealers CARing For Kids Foundation and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

One dollar from every ticket sold to the auto show itself was also donated to the Auto Dealers CARing For Kids Foundation benefiting The Children’s hospital of Philadelphia.

“I think it’s great that a huge event like this can step away from just making money and donate back to the community and children in need,” Solewin said. “I’m happy that a portion of the money I paid for my ticket went to such a good cause.”

The big story for this year’s car show is the impact the recession our country is facing is having on the car industry.

Many people thought that this year’s event would be a flop considering checking out the latest high-tech cars may not be atop many peoples’ to-do list.

Though this was a thought, ,many car dealers had their hopes high for this year’s show.

Even though cars are the second most expensive asset Americans own and not many people are buying big-ticket items, car dealers were expecting many people to attend the event.

They hoped to have many people come out, in return having showroom sales rise with their display of 700 cars from 40 different manufactures putting the attendees in awe.

“I think with the way our economy is right now people may not want to even go out to events like these because of the money they will have to put out,” Neuber said. “Though I think the more people that go the better off the car industry will be.”

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Brian Loschiavo

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