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  • 12 Oct 2022 1:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), the area’s new-car dealer association and producer of the Chicago Auto Show, successfully concluded Chicago Drives Electric—its first-ever electric vehicle experiential test drive and educational event. Due to the event’s overwhelming success among EV intenders, organizers plan to bring Chicago Drives Electric indoors to the 2023 Chicago Auto Show this February, 11-20, at McCormick Place. 

    In alignment with National Drive Electric week, Chicago Drives Electric aimed to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles and help consumers understand how EVs can fit individual needs and lifestyles. Featured brands and vehicles included: Alfa Romeo Tonale; Chrysler Pacifica PHEV; Chevrolet Bolt EV; Chevrolet Bolt EUV; Ford F-150 Lightning; Ford Mustang Mach-E; Ford E-transit; Hyundai IONIQ 5; Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV; Hyundai Tucson PHEV; Hyundai Kona EV; Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe PHEV; Jeep Wrangler 4xe PHEV; Kia EV6; Volkswagen ID.4; Volvo C40 Recharge; Volvo XC40 Recharge; Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV; and Volvo XC90 Recharge PHEV.

    The event kicked off with a media day co-hosted by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). Over 65 MAMA members attended along with additional broadcast media to cover the event. Alfa Romeo kicked off the day with a presentation by Larry Dominique, Senior VP and Head of Alfa Romeo on the new Tonale. Immediately following was a presentation from Escalent Research's KC Boyce regarding the state of the EV Revolution. Two informative panel discussions and a lunch presentation from Cars.com were also part of the day's activities. Journalists were able to get behind the wheel of the aforementioned vehicles for some direct EV comparisons. Following media day, Chicagoland new car dealers and consumers were invited to attend the rest of Chicago Drives Electric.


    In addition to putting interested parties behind the wheel of some of the latest EVs, event organizers brought in a variety of experts to help break down the various aspects of EV ownership and tackle complex topics such as range anxiety; at-home charging solutions; on-the-go charging and infrastructure; tax credits and incentives; and where people can begin their search. On-hand experts included Cars.com, Charge Enterprises, ComEd and Powering Chicago.

    Organizers anticipated a range of 750-1,000 attendees. Over the course of the weekend, the event netted 947 total registered drivers and nearly 3,000 in-vehicle experiences, surpassing expectations. The buzz generated from the event carried over to social media; Chicago Drives Electric reached 4.5 million, according to initial results from media measurement firm Meltwater. 


    “We invited previous Chicago Auto Show ticket purchasers, in the form of one email, to preregister for their preferred date and two-hour timeslot,” said CATA Chairman JC Phelan. “We were shocked to find all the timeslots filled overnight! The response and interest were overwhelming, in a very good way, which is why we’re looking to enhance our indoor EV track at the Chicago Auto Show and incorporate elements of Chicago Drives Electric including consumer education and resources.” 

    “We’re planning to triple the size of our indoor EV track, adding more brands and vehicles, and building out the surrounding area with educational exhibits and panel discussions featuring industry experts,” said Chicago Auto Show Co-General Manager Jennifer Morand. “All of that rich content will translate well to social media where we’ll take in-person panel discussions and broadcast them live on our Facebook and Instagram channels, create educational Instagram Reels and TikTok videos, and partner with key influencers in the space to take over our social media channels throughout the show.”  

    “Chicago Drives Electric validated to us the public’s enthusiasm to further their knowledge about EVs,” continued Morand. “There are many complexities associated with the topic, which is why personal service and education is needed now more than ever, and the Chicagoland new-car dealers are dedicated to assisting consumers in their EV journey.” 


    According to the 2022 EVForward Dealer DeepDive study by independent analytics firm Escalent, the dealership will remain a pivotal part of an EV intender's shopping experience. The DeepDive survey found that 74 percent of respondents prefer to buy an EV at a dealership, rather than from an auto manufacturer or third party. This research proves that the franchise dealership model works just as well for EVs as it does for traditional vehicles. 

    “The Chicagoland dealers have been behind the Chicago Auto Show for nearly a century, and we are so proud to lead the way in this EV revolution into the future,” said Phelan. “This next stage of EV adoption will look more like getting average consumers into mass-market vehicles they depend on to get to work and manage family life. Dealers will remain critical in this process to bring EVs to scale.”


  • 07 Jun 2022 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    The Midwest Automotive Media Association Hosted 87 Journalists for the 2022 Rally at Road America

    ELKHART LAKE, Wis.--The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) hosted the 2022 MAMA Rally on May 24-26 at Road America. Over the course of two days, 87 journalists working in automotive and related industries put a variety of the industry’s latest vehicles through their paces including on-track, autocross, and scenic street drives. Due to popular demand, the technical off-road course sponsored by Jeep was expanded to a full day. 

    Auto manufacturer partners and sponsors provided nearly 65 vehicles for journalists to test and evaluate over the two-day event.

    The sky was cloudy, but MAMA members were eager to get the first day started after a breakfast presentation of Hyundai’s IONIQ 5. After the first morning of track touring laps, street drive evaluations, and muddy all-terrain off-road challenges, the group fueled up with lunch sponsored by Mazda when they were briefed on the new CX-50. 

      

    That afternoon, after the track went cold, a brave group of MAMA members participated in the second annual “4 Miles of Fitness,” sponsored by Kia. This event is an opportunity to enjoy the legendary track from a new perspective, walking, running, or by bicycle.

    Later that evening, Subaru hosted dinner with a presentation on the new Solterra.

      

    Day 2 offered up sunny skies and participants were greeted at breakfast by the new Nissan Z, with street drives and an autocross competition to follow. Lunch, sponsored by Cars.com, marked the conclusion of the event.

      

    Preliminary voting for MAMA’s annual Family Vehicle of the Year (FVOTY) and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year (LFVOTY) Awards also took place. The FVOTY finalists include the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, and 2023 Mazda CX-50. LFVOTY finalists include the 2023 Genesis GV60, 2022 Lincoln Navigator, and 2022 BMW i4.

    A final round of online voting will take place later this year to determine the overall winner in each category. Winners in both categories will be announced at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show in February.

    This year’s rally also marked the introduction of five new awards to recognize vehicles across a wider range of categories, including vehicles that are not new or redesigned.

    “MAMA members have strong opinions, so we decided to give them another opportunity to express themselves with the MAMA’s Favorite awards.” said Harvey Briggs, MAMA President. “This diverse group of winners highlights the broad background and varied interests of our membership.”

    Members chose their “favorite” candidates in each category from among the vehicles available to drive at the rally, with the following results.

    MAMA’s Favorite Off-Roader: Gold: 2022 Jeep Wrangler 392 Xtreme Recon, Silver: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe, Bronze: 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe

    MAMA’s Favorite Street Vehicle: Gold: 2023 Nissan Z, Silver: 2023 Mazda CX-50, Bronze: 2022 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle Hybrid

    MAMA’s Favorite Performance Vehicle: Gold: 2022 Hyundai Elantra N, Silver: 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe (Tie), Silver: 2022 Toyota GR86 (Tie), Bronze: 2022 Mazda MX-5 Club RF (to qualify vehicles had to be run on the track or autocross course)

    MAMA’s Favorite Luxury Vehicle: Gold: 2022 Genesis GV70, Silver: 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Bronze: 2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label

    MAMA’s Favorite BEV: Gold: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, Silver: 2023 Genesis GV60, Bronze: 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

      

  • 07 Apr 2022 9:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 6, Toyota presented details on the brand’s latest hybrid technology to 38 MAMA members via Zoom. MAMA VP Rob Duffer introduced Jordan Choby, VP of Powertrain Controls at Toyota. 

    The i-FORCE MAX hybrid system debuts on the new 2022 Toyota Tundra, providing the beefy truck with impressive horsepower and torque. The mission, Choby said, was to make the Tundra a “premium towing machine.” In the early days of development, the idea of a hybrid truck made people nervous, and the Toyota team was determined that they “don’t want a Prius truck.” The solution? Step up the Tundra’s luxury features and “double down on towing,” ensuring the new Tundra retains – or strengthens – its reputation within the large truck segment. 


    Choby said the i-FORCE MAX architecture is very modular, designed to be used with different engines and transmissions, with the goal of increasing electrification in the brand’s stable. It will be the sole powertrain on the redesigned 2023 Sequoia SUV. The system drives “powerfully and naturally,” according to Choby, and as the Tundra was designed specifically for the North American market, the team branched out into more areas of the country to evaluate its performance in different environments.

    Keep an eye out for the Toyota Tundra, GR Supra, and GR86, as well as other Toyota and Lexus models, at the MAMA Spring Rally in May!

    Key specs and features of the 2022 Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX include:

    • Twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine paired to a motor generator system located between the engine and 10-speed automatic transmission

    • 437 horsepower (an increase of 48 horsepower over the non-hybrid i-FORCE model)

    • 583 pound-feet of torque (an increase of 104 pound-feet over the non-hybrid i-FORCE model)

    • Maximum towing capacity of 11,350 pounds

    • Fuel economy ratings of up to 19 mpg city/22 highway/21 combined in 4x4 models



  • 18 Mar 2022 3:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    With 33 MAMA members logged on to Zoom, MAMA President Harvey Briggs and Vice President Rob Duffer introduced Carley Bly, Senior Analyst for Lexus. Bly introduced the fully redesigned 2022 LX 600, the flagship model of the brand’s SUV lineup. 

    Bly explained that the LX redesign focused on improving known pain points from the model’s previous generation, such as the outdated technology and unimpressive fuel economy. Lexus also improved functionality with fold-flat third-row seats and more efficient use of cargo space.

    In a growing segment, Bly said, Lexus has a big opportunity and plans to double the brand’s market share. However, Lexus anticipates some of those new buyers will be “Land Cruiser orphans,” moving upmarket to Lexus because Toyota has discontinued the mechanically identical, but less luxurious, legendary Land Cruiser off-roader. Lexus also plans to appeal to younger affluent couples, and features like newly-available 22-inch wheels and upgraded technology should support that goal.

    Though the Lexus LX 600 has already started to arrive on dealer lots, the brand plans to raise awareness with an upcoming national TV campaign, which Lexus has not done for the LX in 14 years.

    As usual, MAMA members couldn’t wait for the Q&A session, despite the familiar caveat that Lexus could not discuss future product. In conclusion, those of us who have already seen the new LX 600 got a great refresher with the opportunity to ask questions, and the rest of us are even more ready for our first encounter. We can’t reveal specifics yet, but Bly and the Lexus team are excited to participate in the 2022 MAMA Spring Rally.

    Key specs and features of the 2022 Lexus LX 600 include:

    • An all-new 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission
    • Standard dual touchscreen infotainment interface
    • Five available trims, including the all-new F SPORT and Ultra Luxury models
    • Available 5- and 7-passenger configurations
    • Available 25-speaker Mark Levinson audio system
    • Standard and available off-road technology and hardware
    • Towing capacity of up to 8,000 pounds


  • 09 Mar 2022 2:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    - Wendy Orthman has joined in the role of Executive Director, Marketing

    News Provided by: Genesis Motor America

    Genesis Motor America is pleased to announce the expansion of its executive leadership team with the appointment of Peter Donnellan as Executive Director, After Sales, Customer Satisfaction, and Training, and Wendy Orthman as Executive Director, Marketing. Both Donnellan and Orthman will be reporting to Claudia Marquez, chief operating officer of Genesis Motor North America.

    Donnellan joins Genesis from Audi where he held multiple positions as Regional Aftersales Manager, VP of Aftersales for FAW-VW in Changchun, China, and Senior Vice President of Aftersales. During his tenure, he led the strategic efforts that improved the company's JD Power CSI ranking by 11 spots to #1. Internally, his strong leadership skills allowed him to improve the annual employee satisfaction score from last place to first place. Peter's experience also includes roles in Customer Service Operations and Owner Retention with Lexus and various field positions in Sales and Service with Acura and Honda. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Illinois University.

    "Peter is a leader with a proven track record in driving exceptional customer experience results," said Marquez. "As a brand with the ambition to provide a tailored experience to suit the needs of our customers, we are pleased to have Peter onboard."

    Wendy Orthman will lead Genesis marketing strategy in the U.S., continuing to grow awareness and consideration for the brand.

    Orthman brings more than two decades of integrated marketing and communications experience in the auto industry both in the US and abroad. She joins Genesis from INFINITI Motor Company where she was the Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Communications based in Yokohama, Japan. Prior to that, her extensive marketing and communications background includes roles focused on brand, social media, and product lifestyle communications at Nissan, FCA and GM.

    "Genesis is a new brand with an incredible opportunity to grow," said Marquez. "I am looking forward to working with Wendy to enhance and grow our presence in the market and increase consumer consideration for the brand."

    Orthman brings a passion for creative thinking, diversity and inclusion, and challenging the status quo. She was an early adopter in leveraging the power of social media in automotive, and has won awards for creative launches. Orthman holds an Executive MBA from Northwood University and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications & Advertising from Michigan State University.

    Genesis Motor North America

    At Genesis, we put the customer at the core of everything we do. Genesis is a global automotive brand that delivers the highest standards of performance, design, safety, and innovation while looking towards a more sustainable future. Genesis designs customer experiences that go beyond products, embodying audacious, forward-thinking, and distinctly Korean characteristics within its unique Athletic Elegance design identity. With a growing range of award-winning models — including the 2022 MotorTrend SUV of the Year, GV70, along with G70, G80, G90, GV60, and GV80 — Genesis aims to lead the age of electrification by focusing on a dual electrification strategy involving fuel-cell and battery EVs, starting with its Electrified G80 and GV60 electric models.  Genesis has stated its commitment to becoming a 100% zero emission vehicle brand by 2030 and to pursuing carbon neutrality by 2035.

    SOURCE Genesis Motor America


  • 28 Feb 2022 10:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    CHICAGO (Feb. 28, 2022) – The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) today announced that Jennifer Morand was named co-CEO of the 500-member dealer association. She joins David Sloan in the top job as they together lead the organization that represents the Chicago area’s franchised, new-car dealers and produces the annual Chicago Auto Show. Effective March 1, Morand will officially transition to the role of President of the CATA and General Manager of the Chicago Auto Show.

    “I’ve known for a number of years that Jen would someday be President of the CATA and General Manager of the Chicago Auto Show,” said Sloan. “When she was recruited by an outside organization for a great opportunity, I realized it would take a bold move to keep her.  So, we accelerated the timeline a bit and we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.”

    “This is a pivotal time for the franchised dealer model, the association and the auto show,” said Sloan.  “Jen’s strengths as a communicator and a marketer perfectly align with where we want to take the organization as well as the future of the auto show.”

    “When I first made the offer, she declined, but then I got our Executive Committee involved and they were incredibly supportive and persuasive,” said Sloan.

    “Jen is the type of person that you just can’t let go,” said CATA Chairman Kevin Keefe.  “We’re thrilled that she and Dave will lead the organization for a two-year transition, at which time she will fully take the reins.”

    “I applaud Dave for having the foresight to appoint Jen as his successor, even if it meant expediting his own retirement timeline,” said Keefe. “When he shared the vision with me and the board, it clicked with us immediately. We’re excited to see what’s in store for the future of the association and the Chicago Auto Show, especially at this crucial time when change is imminent.”  

    A graduate of the University of Iowa, Morand began her career with the CATA in 2008 as a seasonal Communications Specialist to help with public relations for the 2009 Chicago Auto Show.  After working in agency public relations for several years she returned to the CATA as Manager of Public Relations and Social Media in 2012.  She was promoted to Director in 2014 and has established the Chicago Auto Show as an industry leader through strategic media relations, targeted digital campaigns and social media engagement year-round—despite the show only being 10 days.

    Sloan has been with the CATA since 1993, beginning as Executive Vice President before being named President in January 2010. He worked for General Motors Corporation’s Communications prior to joining the CATA.

    “I am beyond grateful and honored to have been recruited by Dave and the CATA board for this prestigious, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Morand. “After an intense period of carefully weighing all sides—while simultaneously producing the auto show, nonetheless!—it quickly became clear that accepting the role was the right decision all around. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario than to have a steady, strategic leader in Dave to stay on board through the transition period.”

    “It’s evident the auto industry is rapidly changing, and we need to be planning for the future, not adapting to the now,” continued Morand. “I look forward to rising to the challenge to lead this organization into the next decade and beyond.”

    For more information on the CATA, visit www.cata.info. For more information on the Chicago Auto Show, visit ChicagoAutoShow.com.

    ###

    About the Chicago Automobile Trade Association

    Founded in 1904 and located in Oakbrook Terrace, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is comprised of more than 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group’s dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information, please visit www.CATA.info.

    About the Chicago Auto Show

    First staged in 1901, the Chicago Auto Show is the nation’s longest running auto exposition in North America. The show is produced by the Chicagoland’s new-car dealer association, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, which has staged the show since 1935. The 2022 public show is Feb. 12-21 at McCormick Place. For more information and the latest updates, visit ChicagoAutoShow.com or Facebook.com/ChicagoAutoShow.com.



  • 25 Jan 2022 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MAMA kicked off the 2022 eMeet season with guests from Ford to discuss the new 2022 Maverick compact pickup. After MAMA VP Robert Duffer welcomed the 40 members in attendance, he introduced Ford representatives Rhonda Bambrick from Ford’s communications team; Trevor Scott, Marketing Manager for the Ford Maverick and Ranger; and Dawn McKenzie, Communications Manager for the Ford Trucks line.

    Many MAMA members have already experienced the Maverick through events or press drives, so this eMeet was less like an introduction, and more like a second or third date. Trevor Scott refreshed meeting attendees on Maverick’s specs and features while providing insight on the truck’s success so far. As Ford anticipated, the unibody pickup, with its standard 5-passenger crew cab, has captured buyers both new to the brand and to trucks in general.

    Some noteworthy trends from early sales data:

    • Strong interest in coastal areas where pickups are not typically popular
    • Many buyers transitioned from sedan or SUV ownership
    • Buyers are younger and skew more female and more diverse than traditional pickup sales

    One of Maverick’s unique features is its customizable bed, designed specifically to encourage DIYers to come up with new and creative ways to fit the truck into an active lifestyle. Many Maverick owners share their innovations on social media, which has created a community feel among early adopters. Custom bike racks are an especially popular example, according to Scott.

    "There's really a lot of exciting things we're seeing from our customer base thus far," said Scott.

    The Maverick has proven so popular that the initial production run of hybrid-powered trucks is already spoken for, the model enjoys a turnaround time of just four days on a dealer lot, and it has earned several accolades, including 2022 North American Truck of the Year and Car Connection’s 2022 Best Car to Buy. Check out the Chicago Auto Show, from February 12-21, to see it for yourself.

    Key specs and features of the 2022 Ford Maverick include:

    • Unibody design with 5-passenger cabin
    • XL, XLT, and Lariat trims
    • FX4 package for upgraded off-road capability
    • Base hybrid model; turbocharged 4-cylinder powertrain available
    • FWD standard; AWD available with turbo 4-cylinder
    • 4,000-lb max towing capacity
    • 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities
    • Starting price of $19,995

    Member Coverage:



  • 19 Jan 2022 9:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), an organization comprised of automotive journalists and related industry professionals, elected its 2022 board of directors during its annual January business meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom.

    MAMA President Harvey Briggs, Senior Vice President Robert Duffer, Vice President of Membership Jennifer Newman, and President Emeritus Damon Bell continue into the second year of their two-year terms.

    Kelley Enright, who served as Secretary, moves into the role of Treasurer. Cherise Threewitt and Jim OBrill were elected to two-year terms as Secretary and Communications Director, respectively. 

    During the annual business meeting it was reported that the association, which was founded in 1991, currently maintains a membership of 240 automotive journalists and industry professionals serving in the automotive industry or related fields.

    It was also announced that the winners of MAMA’s annual Family Vehicle of the Year and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year awards will be revealed at the Chicago Auto Show MAMA Breakfast on February 10.

    The finalists for Family Vehicle of the Year are the 2022 Hyundai Tucson, 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, and 2022 Kia Carnival. For Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year, the finalists are the 2022 Acura MDX, 2022 Genesis GV70, and 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer/Wagoneer.

    For more information on the Midwest Automotive Media Association and related news, visit www.mamaonline.org.

    ###

    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991, and now in its 31st year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association comprises 240 automotive journalists and public relations professionals from across the country – though based in the Chicago area. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, major issues and new products in the auto industry.

  • 20 Oct 2021 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – Oct. 19, 2021 – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) hosted the 2021 MAMA Rally last week at Road America, one of the world’s premier road racing tracks. Over the course of two days, more than 70 automotive and related industry journalists had the opportunity to put a variety of the industry’s latest vehicles through their paces including on-track, scenic street drives and a technical off-road course. 


    “What better way to celebrate MAMA’s 30th anniversary than reconnecting with so many colleagues to experience the latest and greatest from the auto industry at this legendary track following a challenging year,” said MAMA President Harvey Briggs. 

    A handful of the attending manufacturers also provided detailed overviews of their latest product offerings. Additionally, it was the first time journalists were able to experience the all-new 2022 Jeep Compass Limited, which made a special appearance at the Rally following its global reveal at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show Special Edition.

    Road America sponsored the morning breakfast to get attendees fueled up for a fun day at the track. It was mentioned during the breakfast that Road America will host major IndyCar, NASCAR, IMSA and vintage car races in the upcoming 2022 season. Following the morning of track touring laps and street drive evaluations, Nissan’s Product Planner Wade Willat shared highlights of the 2022 Nissan Frontier with MAMA members during a lunch presentation. Willat discussed the ways in which the iconic mid-sized pickup was totally redesigned for the 2022 model year including a rugged, bold exterior; adventure-oriented interior; a best-in-class 310 horsepower; and equipped with the latest driver assistance and connectivity technologies.


    “Nissan is happy to continue its partnership with the Midwest Automotive Media Association at their member-only events,” said Wendy Payne, Nissan Midwest Regional Communications Manager. “Their solid media group offers us the opportunity to showcase newly launched vehicles such as the all-new 2022 Frontier to this important audience in order to help us get the messages out on new products.” 

    The 2022 Frontier arrived at dealerships last month. Pricing begins at $27,840 for the Frontier S King Cab 4x2.

    After the track closed and street drives concluded for the day, a dozen MAMA members took part in the inaugural “4 Miles of Fitness,” sponsored by Kia, a new on-track fitness event where attendees had the chance to run, bike, or walk a shortened two, or all four miles of the Road America racetrack that they drove on just moments earlier.


    Later that evening, Lexus hosted the dinner presentation to showcase the 2022 NX 350 and 2022 IS 500. The NX 350 expands to four powertrains, including a 2.4-liter turbo and Lexus’ first-ever 2.5-liter plug-in hybrid, and is the first vehicle with Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 and digital latch with safe exit assist. As the first model in the new Lexus F SPORT Performance line, the IS 500 engine provides a boost in displacement and performance over the IS 350’s 3.5-liter V6. It expands the IS family and ushers in a new era of F SPORT Performance models that are geared towards passionate driving enthusiasts who desire higher levels of performance over the standard F SPORT Design and Handling models.

    “The MAMA Rally continues to be one of the premier events for automotive media in the country,” said Curt McAllister, Midwest Public Relations Manager for Toyota/Lexus, and a 24-year MAMA member. “Road America is the perfect backdrop to showcase our vehicles on and off the track. The dinner sponsorship provided Lexus a tremendous opportunity to do a deep dive on two of our newest products, the 2022 NX and 2022 IS 500.” 


    Jeep opened the second morning of the MAMA Rally with a breakfast presentation on the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and the 2021 Grand Cherokee L, both of which were available for test drives during the Rally. 

    “For 80 years, the Jeep brand has introduced an iconic lineup of vehicles. The off-road course created by the team at Jeep Jamboree at this year's Midwest Automotive Media Association Rally was the perfect place to showcase some of the newest Jeep models,” said Scott Tallon, Product Director, Jeep Brand – North America. “Providing SUVs for both on and off-road driving, like the premium Grand Wagoneer, the family-friendly Jeep Grand Cherokee L, the redesigned Jeep Compass, along with the rugged 4x4 Jeep Wrangler, enables the media to experience the same level of passion and excitement of adventure that our customers do.” 


    Throughout the day, journalists also had the opportunity to maneuver 4WD and AWD trucks and SUVs through a newly created off-road course designed by experts from Jeep Jamboree and sponsored by Jeep. Participating vehicles included the Ford Bronco, Ford Raptor, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Jeep Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler 392 Xtreme Recon, Jeep Wrangler 4xe, Nissan Frontier, Ram TRX, Subaru Outback Wilderness and Toyota 4Runner.


    Following an action-packed morning of more street driving, off-roading and MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year analysis, Volkswagen wrapped up the Rally with a lunch presentation and overview of the 2021 ID.4 AWD. The Volkswagen ID.4 is the brand’s first all-electric SUV and first global EV. Built on Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle architecture, ID.4 marries the strengths of a purpose-built EV with performance, packaging and value, features that have marked the brand for decades.

    “ID.4 is a transformational car for Volkswagen, at a transformational time in our industry,” said Mark Gillies, Senior Manager of Product Communications for Volkswagen of America. “We are pleased to have such a great group of journalists experience everything the car delivers for our customers and for the brand as a whole.”

    In addition to the meal sponsorships and presentations, MAMA received support from the following sponsors: Acura, Cars.com, Chicago Automobile Trade Association, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz. 


    Voting for MAMA’s annual Family Vehicle of the Year (FVOTY) and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year (LFVOTY) Awards also took place. The finalists include:

    FVOTY Finalists:

    ·        2022 Honda Civic 

    ·        2022 Hyundai Tucson

    ·        2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

    ·        2022 Kia Carnival

    ·        2021 Toyota Sienna 

    ·        2021 Volkswagen ID.4 

    LFVOTY Finalists:

    ·        2022 Acura MDX

    ·        2022 Genesis GV70 

    ·        2022 Infiniti QX60

    ·        2022 Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer

    ·        2022 Lexus NX

    ·        2021 Mercedes-Benz S Class

    To qualify for the awards, the vehicle must have four doors and be new or significantly updated within a year of the Rally. Eligible vehicles must have been available to drive at MAMA’s July 2021 Summer Drive and this 2021 Rally. A final round of online voting will then take place to determine the overall winner in each category, both of which will be announced during the MAMA breakfast that will open the 2022 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview in February. 

    For more information on the Midwest Automotive Media Association, please visit www.mamaonline.org.

     

    ###

     

    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991 and now in its 30th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) comprises nearly 240 automotive journalists and industry professionals from approximately 25 states and the District of Columbia. Though based in the Chicago area, MAMA welcomes members from all parts of the country. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, current issues and new products in the auto industry.

  • 14 Apr 2021 10:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last month, Nissan held an eMeet to introduce the redesigned 2022 Pathfinder to the MAMA audience. Vishnu Jayamohan, Nissan’s Senior Manager of Product Strategy and Planning, opened the presentation by sharing Nissan’s mission with the new Pathfinder, which was to “fuse truck-like brawn and people-mover brains into an unbeatable product.” Jayamohan also communicated that the Pathfinder was designed for the “super-parent” who needs the “swiss-army knife” of a three-row family hauler.


    This set the stage for all of the truck’s specifications to follow. Some key highlights of the 2022 Pathfinder include:

    • All-new bold, rugged design.
    • All-new 9-speed transmission for a smooth, direct response.
    • All-new Intelligent 4WD with 7-position Drive and Terrain Mode Selector.
    • Best-in-class available 6,000-lb. maximum towing capacity which allows drivers to confidently haul boats, ATVs, and trailers.
    • Seating for up to eight, new captain's chairs option, and new EZ FLEX one-touch release (adding comfort and flexibility for the whole family).
    • All-new available 10.8-inch Head-up Display, 12.3-inch digital dashboard, ProPILOT Assist with Navi-Link, and standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 that leads to confident driving on- and off-road.
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay (offered for the first time on Pathfinder) and wireless charging.

    The Pathfinder nameplate was first introduced 35 years ago which, according to Nissan, has helped the brand to refine itself with lessons learned along the way. Today, the 2022 Pathfinder conveys strength and rugged capability paired with advanced safety and technology features to keep families safe and comfortable.

    Some key exterior highlights include:

    • Sculpted, fresh body slides.
    • New floating C-pillar.
    • Unique fender crease line over each wheel.
    • Distinctive U-shaped headlights fuse powerful fender blisters together.

     Interior features include:

    • Refined new premium materials with quilting.
    • Seven available “environments” (such as brushed bronze metallic accents).
    • Wide, open instrument panel with a user-friendly layout.
    • New 9-inch. touchscreen placed high for easy visibility.  
    • Integrated electronic shifter allows room for wide “bridge” center console.
    • Cabin quietness has been drastically improved.

    The all-new 2022 Pathfinder is offered in 2WD and 4WD and in four grades: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. Two packages, SV Premium and SL Premium, are also available. The Pathfinder is set to go on sale this summer; pricing is still TBA.

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