US: New York Auto Show redefines American luxury image

While the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is usually treated as the most important US automotive event, it’s safe to say this year its New York rival was at least on par.

The NAIAS was not only the first auto event of the year, signaling the incredible health and wealth of the US auto market, the second largest of the world, it was also the venue where automotive surprises were – finally – trendy again. That’s because back in January next to the flamboyant Honda / Acura NSX supercar that everyone expected we could also see Ford’s new generation GT – an equally magnificent supercar that no one saw coming. And at the New York Auto Show it was déjà vu all over again – although slightly ahead of the actual press days. Lincoln, Ford’s luxury division presented the concept that previews the brand’s flagship and the resurrection of the iconic Continental nameplate.

And while there were other numerous premieres, entitling the New York event to a leading position in the calendar of automotive events this year, all hype surrounded the Lincoln and Cadillac’s rivaling CT6 flagship introduction. The latter is even faster to arrive in showrooms, signaling Cadillac’s introduction of a billion dollars revival plan that aims to lift the brand’s sagging deliveries. Meanwhile, the Lincoln previews a production model that would only be available in late 2016, early 2017. What both do is to serve as the reinvention basis for American auto luxury. The US automakers look finally set to attack the sales crown, held for years now by the German brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz or Japan’s Lexus.