Magic, Song, and Hybridization Rule the Day
Magic, Song, and Hybridization Rule the Day
  • Matthew Weigand
  • 승인 2009.04.09 13:33
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A magician displays one of her four dresses, each one embodying one virtue of Ford Motors
Press day and opening day are fundamentally different animals at the Seoul Motor Show. Press day is a highly regimented event where a desperate crowd of camera-wielding people crowd one booth after another in a prearranged schedule, and each carmaker attempts to outdo the others in pizzazz and style. Opening day, on the other hand, has only one press scrum - the opening ceremony. After that, it's every hand for themselves as the press spreads out into the show floor.

Girls' Generation

Press day this year had a number of fun times. GM Daewoo's marketing department outshone all others, as they used the popular band Girls Generation to promote their Next Generation Matiz, which is a rebranded Chevy Beat. Compared to the stoic and by-the-book Lexus lecture on the perfection of their automobiles, GM Daewoo's merry excitement gleamed through.

Showing the Magic

Ford also took a different turn in order to capture the attention of the crowd. While most of the cars were draped with scantily-clad women sitting there trying not to look bored, Ford taught its scantilyclad women magic tricks. A smiling beauty stepped out from behind a screen with one color of dress, and a sign proclaiming safe driving. She walked sedately back behind the screen, and without breaking her stride emerged again in a green-colored dress proclaiming energy efficiency. She took a summer hat, and showed us its empty top. Then, she proceeded to pull flowers out of it, first one by one, then handful by handful, and eventually dumping the hat over and letting them pour out onto the floor. Finally, her angelic assistants gave her a cape, which she wore for a few seconds before flipping it and producing three huge bouquets of flowers. For her last act, she brought an empty box into the middle of the arena, closed up the box, and opened it again to produce a man. The man was lucky enough to be gifted the new model Ford that was there. It was definitely a different take on the car unveiling ceremony.

After that imaginative performance, David Westerman, the Asia Pacific Regional Manager for Ford Export & Growth Operations, came out and gave a speech on how Ford was changing to meet the times, emphasizing green technology and more environmentally-friendly cars.

Hybrid Everything

Even though Westerman spoke specifically about environmentally-friendly cars, there were none on display for Ford, a striking difference when compared with the other companies. Hyundai, KIA, Toyota, and even Renault Samsung had hybrid vehicles on display at the show. Hyundai in particular had the most impressive selection of hybrid vehicles. They displayed new concept cars such as the HED06, also known as ix-onic, a “dynamic and beautiful futuristic crossover car.” It's a combination of a sedan and an SUV, and boasts a gas and electric hybrid motor. But Hyundai had also retrofitted some of its older models to be hybrid cars as well, showcasing the Santa Fe Hybrid, Verna Hybrid, Click Hybrid, and Avante LPi Hybrid vehicles.


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