January 2012 President’s Letter

Happy New Year!
Now that everybody is back to work, it’s time to look ahead to a couple of busy months for NEMPA, and then to look back at the year gone by.

The New England International Auto Show is just around the corner, and Press day is January 12. Yes, this smacks up against the Detroit Auto Show. But nothing could be done about it because of the convention center schedule. Thanks, however, to Fiat, Ford, Scion and GM for putting on media programs. The complete schedule is at www.nempa.org.

The show still needs several more automotive authorities for its Ask the Experts panel. If you can participate, contact Barbara Pudney at [email protected] or 781-237-5533×104. She’ll reimburse parking fees and is offering show tickets as well. You’ll also get star billing on show signage and on the event website.

We are now in the midst of our annual Winter Vehicle judging. Some makers, especially Chrysler and GM, have really stepped up. Wade Hoyt had to move heaven and earth, but managed to shake free a 2013 Lexus GS 350 AWD (in our fleet as I write this) almost two months before it goes on sale.

Final Winter Vehicle judging is on February 11, when NEMPA media members gather to evaluate the vehicles, eat a little bit, do some driving, eat a little more, vote and then pack some food to bring home. (Last year we had the most cars ever, the best judging effort ever, and the worthy winners made the most of their honors.)

The more we can drive your Winter Vehicle contenders, the better. Time is quickly running out, but even having your vehicles with us for four weeks is better than having something show up the day before judging and then melt away the week after. Contact John Lawlor at 508-378-3023 or [email protected]

On February 16, we will have a Mazda SkyActiv presentation at the Boston Globe, focused on the Mazda3’s new powertrain technology. Note that we’re not meeting on the 14th, our regular date, because that’s Valentine’s Day.

Now that we’ve looked forward, allow me the luxury of looking back.

2011 was a great year for NEMPA. We produced a successful seminar on vehicle connectivity that established a strong relationship with one of the most esteemed universities in the world. MIT faculty now help us select our annual Yankee Cup Technology Award winner.

Moving our annual general meeting to May at MIT in conjunction with the seminar also was a success, with excellent attendance and participation. Look for this year’s seminar and AGM to be even better as we celebrate NEMPA’s 25th anniversary. Stay tuned for dates and more information.

As always, we had a lot of fun at our annual Ragtop Ramble/Crustacean Crawl, again with some great participation (and no moving violations, either).

Chevrolet and Buick put on excellent programs at John Lawlor’s garage. Other makers-thank you, Nissan and Jeep-brought ‘product’ to the Museum of Transportation, in Brookline, for up close & personal presentations to NEMPA. (We tend to respond to this sort of extra effort with extra coverage in our many and varied media.)

And, of course, nothing highlights our year like the annual Christmas party. NEMPA paid for dinner and some of you generously reached into your pockets to support the Globe Santa Fund. We raised almost $1,300 for this worthy charity. If you haven’t seen the photos, head over to www.nempa.org.

Thanks, Automotion!
Finally, no look back at 2011 could be complete without thanks to John Lawlor and his crew from Automotion. Without them, we’re just a bunch of gearheads wandering around in the snowy darkness.

See you at the Auto Show.

Keith

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