Explaining Southern California's economy

LA Auto Show: The glorious gullwing Mercedes SLS AMG

Perhaps thankfully, I'm nearing the end of the videos I shot while at the press days for the LA Auto Show last week. 

But here's a last one, because...well, because I love the British racing green cars. You just don't see them that often anymore. And in this case, I think the Mercedes SLS AMG looks pretty sharp in that storied tone. The gullwing doors don't hurt, either.

The show runs through through Nov. 27, so you've got plenty of time to go down and check out this ride — which has quite a history — in the flesh.

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New Porsche 911: Still no substitute

A few final hits from the the 2011 La Auto Show, which runs through the Thanksgiving weekend. In this video, the mighty 911, now available in a new version for 2012. 

The 911 is the sports car by which all other sports cars are judged. Sort of the Platonic form of the sports car. Great handling. Fast. Beautifully made. The kind of car that, in theory, can seamlessly transition from a freeway cruise to a brisk turn on the racetrack, in the span of nothing more than an offramp.

In other words, there's still no substitute.

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LA Auto Show: The future of Lincoln

So let me throw this one open to the audience. Lincoln: luxury yes or luxury no? And does Ford have any business keeping its luxury brand alive, when many people think that it just isn't as...luxurious as brands like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, and even Cadillac, its historic rival?

I've argued elsewhere that Ford should let Lincoln go. But maybe I'm wrong...

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LA Auto Show: Telling the luxury technology story at Cadillac

Cadillac has a new in-car infortainment system, called Cue, that it's rolling out for the 2012 model year. At the 2011 LA Auto Show, it was one of the minor examples I saw of a major trend in the car business: bringing technology into vehicles.

An important thing to note now is that while just a few years back, luxury customers might have been more interested in whether their car seats were hand-stitched, heated, and massaged to a butter-soft texture by elves, they now want to know that their $50,000 automobile will be able to keep pace with the technological innovations that we're seeing almost montly in consumers products.

If a sub-$20,000 Chevy Cruze can talk to the interwebs and play MP3s, the Cadillac had better be able to, as well.

When it comes to tech, luxury cars aren't immune from the discussion anymore. And we all know how important the luxury market is in LA.

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