New car manufacturers and models, as well as experiential attractions, will welcome the public at the Los Angeles Auto Show Friday, Nov. 19, to Sunday, Nov. 28.
Lefteris “Lefty” Tsironis, senior director of strategy and business development with LA Auto Show, said the event is a tradition for Angelenos and car enthusiasts.
“It’s a tradition that people from LA and beyond have been waiting to return to for a long time,” he said.
The show has been postponed twice, in November 2020 and May 2021. Now, the million-square-foot show is on schedule for Nov. 19 and will be hosted at the LA Convention Center.
“There are a lot of new automakers from Southern California and beyond that are going to be making their debuts,” Lefty said.
VinFast will bring its electric SUVS, marking its North American debut. The Vietnamese automotive brand will sit alongside established car brands like Porsche, Kia and Subaru to present their new car models and products.
Attendees can expect many attractions, including outdoor exhibitions from Jeep and Ford and opportunities to test drive select cars. In addition, Tsironis said this year’s event will be an “experiential, discovery zone,” for consumers who are curious or already interested in electric vehicles.
Recognizing the demand and interest in electric vehicles, the LA Auto Show will host a 55,000-square-foot electric vehicle test track for patrons.
“We’ve never done this before. It will be the first time you will be seeing this at any auto show,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a really pivotal year in the (automotive) industry, because you’re going to see the juxtaposition between established automakers that have been around for 100 years and these new (automakers) who are coming out with some incredible innovations to give consumers new options,” Tsironis said about car manufacturers and electric vehicles.
Tsironis said with several zero-emission vehicle mandates on the table and private companies making pledges to decrease their carbon footprint, “Electric vehicles will be on the forefront of everyone’s minds this year (at the auto show). You’ll really feel it on the auto show floor.”
Tsironis said the LA Auto Show is an “inclusive environment,” which prompts neutrality about the type of car and power source it utilizes, whether that be an internal combustion engine, a battery or a hybrid. There is still an existing and growing demand for electric vehicles.
Tsironis referenced a survey LA Auto Show did earlier this year with show attendees that revealed a 78% increase in electric vehicle interest.
Founded in 2017, VinFast is one of the newer electric car brands making an appearance at the event. Vingroup is the largest private conglomerate in Vietnam with a focus on technology, industry and services. In an emailed interview with LA Downtown News, VinFast’s U.S. CEO, Van Ann Nguyen, expressed that the company’s focus is on becoming “a global smart electric vehicle brand.”
Nguyen said the pandemic and related supply chain issues have not affected it. It has “made us more flexible to achieve our goals,” she said.
“As planned, we will launch the VF e35 and VF e36 models globally in 2022 and participate in several large-scale exhibition events in the U.S. and Europe. While adapting to new conditions in COVID-19, we also take this chance to promote the development of the domestic supporting industries, restructure supply chains to reduce dependence on external sources, and diversify sales methods.”
VinFast plans to participate in other large-scale exhibitions in the United States and Europe. The two SUV models will be available for preorder in 2022.
The car company quickly became popular in Vietnam, and Nguyen said that VinFast “has prepared and researched thoroughly to understand the U.S. market and its consumer insights.
“Thus, our product strategy is ‘tailor-made’ to meet the U.S. market’s customer demands and operating conditions.”
Nguyen specifically mentioned its two latest models of electric vehicles, which it believes will provide for the needs of Western consumers. The company said the two vehicles will “have designs that meet American needs and habits and are equipped with many smart technologies that contribute to a user-friendly and valuable experience to users.”
Technology included in the car includes “remote firmware updates, smartphone — smart city connectivity, voice control, native-language virtual assistant, theft warning, learning and remembering user habits, service center locating, etc.,” according to Nguyen.
VinFast’s popularity in Vietnam is attributed to its team of “reputable experts” with experience working with other major car manufacturer companies, along with their product quality, after sales services and outstanding sales policies.
“The U.S. is a vast market, with open-minded consumers, strong development potential, economic conditions and favorable policies. Therefore, it is the most suitable place for VinFast to have a strong foothold in the global market. … Regarding services, our battery rental policy and 10-year warranty (will eliminate) customer concerns. VinFast will always directly connect and interact with customers through centralized marketing that focuses on building a modern experience, along with traditional communication methods,” Nguyen said about the unique aspect of the company.
VinFast, having its sights on becoming a reputable, global car brand, is also focused on sustainability and “intends to play a significant role in the global development of green transportation,” Nguyen said.
Tsironis, noting that the LA Auto Show is not just for car enthusiasts, said, “So many different companies have come through the (LA Auto Show) to present their innovations because of the notoriety of the show being inclusive of all (vehicle) powertrains.
“Not only is the LA Auto Show an informational place, it’s a tradition for Angelenos. It’s a big, big tradition for so many people to come from all over because they want to spend time with their family and friends.”
General admission tickets are available for the event, along with VIP group tours, which allows for an extra experience where goers will be accompanied by an automotive journalist and see the new vehicles on the show floor for a slightly more expensive ticket, according to Tsironis.
Though the auto show serves different purposes to each individual, some purposes and intentions aligning with others, Tsironis said, “We create an environment for automakers and other innovators to come and introduce their products and their services and themselves, but ultimately the consumer decides what impression it has, having come to the show.
“We as the show provide not only the space for this to happen but a fun experience. That’s where the beautiful mix happens, where it’s not just information and it’s not just entertainment. It’s both.”
Los Angeles Auto Show
WHEN: Various times Friday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Nov. 28
WHERE: Los Angeles Convention Center,
1201 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles
COST: Tickets start at $20