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The 2014 L.A. Auto Show From a Newbie’s Perspective

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/24/2014 Miguel Cortina

You're probably wondering who I am. I'm Miguel Cortina, a journalist based in Mexico City for the portal Autos Terra Motor Trend, a partnership that started in January of this year. This is my first auto show as a journalist, and the opportunity to cover it came when our other editor traveled to the New York show last April. He said that whatever auto show invitation came next, I would go. A few months later Mazda sent out an invitation to Los Angeles, where it was going to reveal the new CX-3.

Funny story: When Mazda debuted the compact crossover at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood the night before the auto show, I was coming down the stage after taking some pictures of the newly presented model. Shortly after, a guy says "Hey! Nice to see you again." I turned around, and after looking at him I replied, "Sorry, I think you are confusing me. I'm from Mexico." I noticed he had a Mazda pin on his jacket when he said something like this: "Oh, sorry. I thought you were a movie star or something. We are in Hollywood, so it could happen, right?" I laughed, shook his hand, and went back to the table where I was sitting. Fast-forward to next day at the auto show presentation, and the first person who gets on stage to reveal the new CX-3 is Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO for Mazda North American Operations and managing executive officer of Mazda Motor Corporation, the same guy who told me I looked like a movie star and I pretty much ignored him. Yeah.

As this was my first show, I had read and written numerous stories about what was going to be presented, but I never studied the faces of the U.S automakers' presidents and CEOs. I've met their counterparts in Mexico, and that was it. So, Jim, if you are reading this, please excuse me. Next time I run into you, we can have an actual conversation.

But let me tell you how my experience at the show went. I felt like I was at Disneyland. A world of cars was at my fingertips, with new models that would come out in the next year or years to come. Best part of all was that I was part of that history. So when I see one of the new models on the street, my mind will probably go back to the L.A. Auto Show and the presentation of that vehicle.

2016 Mazda CX 3© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Mazda CX 3

Although this specific show isn't that big (at least that's what I've heard from other journalists), I thought it was pretty special. Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V (pictured in blue, above), Ford Explorer, Fiat 500X, Chrysler 300, Acura ILX, Cadillac ATS-V, BMW X5 M, and X6 M are just a few of the models that were presented in Los Angeles. Compared to Paris or Detroit, it's still a small show. Thankfully our other editor helped me with some of the stories. As we are an online outlet only, we needed to have everything up -- fast.

After I finished writing an article, I headed from the media room to the showroom to get more information and take pictures of the cars. Most of the debuts happened right next to each other, so it was impossible to cover all at once. But the experience of being there was fantastic. The work that the OEMs put into all of the presentations is phenomenal -- some even include a short spectacle from dancers.

After two days of coverage, your feet hurt from walking all over. I wish I had synced my iPhone with the step counter to know how many miles I walked. Comfortable shoes are something I will definitely bring with me to whatever the next auto show is. And, yes, I will study the CEOs' faces, so if I run into one again, I can at least have a good conversation.

All in all, this auto show was one to remember. You never forget your first time.


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