Young journalists gain real-world experience
By Heidi Paxson
The North American International Auto Show in Detroit was a great opportunity for University of Findlay students to step out of their journalistic comfort zone during the two-day press preview. Several UFTV members got a chance to report, conduct interviews, photograph, and learn about new car models.
More than 100 manufacturers showcased new products and cars to the public for the first time at the NAIAS.
“The NAIAS was a great opportunity given to us by the university. We were able to see and get in all of the new models. My favorite by far was the Ford F-350 super duty,” said Findlay Media Network President Steve Mathie.
FMN members attended the event throughout the week, and had the opportunity to learn more about local automobile history.
Northwest Ohio’s history is tied to the automotive industry since Jeep’s Division Headquarters are in Toledo, Ohio.
This local history is one of the significant reasons why UF students attended the auto show.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Jeep became instrumental for the United States in World War II.
The Jeep brand was born when the Army wanted a rugged reconnaissance and message-dispatching vehicle to replace motorcycles which had been used for the same purposes.
The vehicle’s lighter weight also allowed it to be flown on airplanes. Jeeps played a big role in the war because the vehicles continued to function despite large amounts of damage. In addition to that, since they were standardized, parts were interchangeable.
Toledo is the only place in the world where the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Liberty models are manufactured. Jeep did not release any new products at the show. However, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that the next Jeep Grand Cherokee model is planned to go on an Alfa Romeo, rear-wheel drive platform.
Announcements such as Toyota’s eighth generation Camry and BMW’s seventh generation 5 Series were made at the NAIAS.
Toyota announced that the new car has gained an “emotionally charged design and performance experience.”
The sales charts have had the Camry on top for a decade and a half, and now that Toyota has gained reliability, they are changing the looks of the car.
Toyota says three engines will be available, including a 3.5 liter V6, a 2.5 liter inline-four, and a hybrid. The hybrid will not be a plug-in engine, but its batteries have been relocated to beneath the rear seats to aid in car handling.
BMW’s announcement included information such as the new series being 137 pounds lighter than the previous F30 generation, even though the new model is longer.
The auto show gave students the opportunity to hear about new car models, and allowed them to learn more about history that is very significant to the Northwest Ohio area.