DETROIT, Michigan – The launch of The Ultimate Caribbean Driving Experience in the Motor City Capital of the world brings a fresh focus to Detroit’s 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Jan. 11kicks off with 1,800 foreign members of the media then the world’s largest black tie and children’s charity fundraiser on Jan. 15 will raise some USD$5.5 million (Cdn$7,696,000) in one night at Cobo Hall.
With bone-chilling conditions outside, the mission is simple. Bring the Caribbean’s sundrenched tropical islands of land, wood, and exotic waterfalls to NAIAS.
To learn if they could do that, we asked auto executives this question: “If you could pick an island in the Caribbean, which island would you pick for vacation and what car would you drive for the ultimate Caribbean driving experience?”
Here are some of the one-on-one interviews with the world’s top automotive executives. It was quiet the eye-opener.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman, Daimler AG.
“I pick Jamaica and Jamaica is never too much for Mercedes G Wagon (aka The Beast).”
Zetsche knows what he’s talking about, given the gullies and unforgiving back roads of country parishes. Mercedes G Wagon can handle anything in its path and, you won’t be disappointed.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
“I love the Bahamas.” (But the Bahamas isn’t in the Caribbean …) “Well. I love my Bahamas and I drive my Fiat 500X.”
Marchionne is a tall, burly man of Italian and Canadian heritage. The advertising campaign at Superbowl 2015 gave the subtle comparison of its boost in size and prowess, implying that the little blue pill Viagra in the gas tank of the Fiat 500X was just as appealing as an older man’s performance with his lady.
Equally stunning is the tour de force X-Factor about the inner city limits. This experience I know all too well after my test drive with Ralph Giles on Detroit’s I75 Freeway in the Hell Cat Supercharger. Let’s just say that I was very smitten.
Ralph Giles, global president product design, Fiat ChryslerAutomobiles.
“Personally, I don’t like to drive. My favorite pastime on vacation is biking in my native Haiti and throughout the Caribbean. I’m attracted to challenging new terrain, usually biking with friends who love exploring new unchartered territory.”
Still, Giles is of Mother Nature’s car designing ilk. His soul is inspired by heart muscle, earth, wind and fire so expect nothing less from the cars his team creates.
By Claudette de la Haye
Caribbean Financial Network News