Chevy keeps things short and simple... for a change

Automotive News | January 14, 2013 - 10:32 am EST

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Most carmakers unveiling new models at the Detroit auto show use up their allotted 25 minutes of time, and then some. Chevrolet, having already held a huge off-site reveal for the 2014 Corvette Stingray the previous night, apparently decided it had little else to say Monday.

Chevy's press conference was a model of efficiency, wrapping up in under 10 minutes.

Mary Barra, head of global product development, talked briefly about global Chevy sales before all seven generations of the Corvette were "unveiled" from beneath purple cloths.

Mark Reuss, GM's president of the Americas, said, "I could talk about this new Corvette for hours," then stopped talking about the new Corvette after about 3 minutes.

Not that any of the journalists crammed into Chevy's stand were complaining. More than a few rolled their eyes last year as GM's press conferences about the Buick Encore and marketing efforts aimed at the "millennial" generation dragged on.

One reason GM can be more succinct is the absence of Barra's predecessor, Bob Lutz, who clearly relished the spotlight and tended to veer far from the script in his prime moments on stage.

But Lutz, who retired from GM in 2010 before returning briefly as a consultant, hasn't faded into auto show history yet; he's just relocated to another corner of the floor.

Later Monday, Lutz is scheduled to appear on behalf of Via Motors, a startup maker of electric vehicles. He will be having a conversation, as only Bob Lutz can, with a holographic reincarnation of inventor Thomas Edison.

Chevy's press conference -- celebrating the new Corvette -- was a model of efficiency, wrapping up in under 10 minutes.

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