Some call the L.A. Auto Show the official beginning of the unofficial U.S. auto-show season. (We'd probably throw SEMA in there, as well as the State Fair of Texas, but no matter.) It starts in Los Angeles with stops in Detroit, Chicago and New York. These are important places for automakers to highlight key products to each region's dealers.
Unfortunately, California is not seen as a huge pickup-truck market for most of the buyers, so automakers typically don't reveal the latest and greatest pickups at the Los Angeles show (but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of new cars being revealed).
It's a shame, really. Not only is it a huge population center for the West Coast, there are tons of pickup trucks all over the place. Granted, these pickups are not usually hauling produce to market (though some do) or cleaning out the stockyards (though some do) or pulling mining equipment into the mountains (though some do). In fact, many of the pickup trucks in Southern California are likely to be upper trim packages with quite a few "stylistic" aftermarket additions: 22-inch rims, bed caps, grille guards.
It doesn't take long, driving around the seemingly endless city of the Los Angeles, to notice that many in California use full-size pickups like midsize and large family sedans, especially for those who like to play with boats, motorcycles or camping gear year round. For that reason alone, you'd think this auto show, in this huge metropolitan city, would get more pickup-truck reveals or debuts of new trim packages. Oh well.
This year, like many before it, we'll have to be satisfied with much of the attention at this show on electric cars, new hybrid powertrains and eye-catching supercars. Of course, it wouldn't be an auto show without other "eye-catching" display models as well.
We thought we'd start this auto-show season by highlighting a few of the hard-working spokesmodels who literally have to be the face of these new (and sometimes very old) cars and trucks on the show floor. Believe it or not, some of them actually know quite a bit about the vehicles they represent. For more truck news and photos, click here.