THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #274 

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, we get up to speed with top companies of the automotive industry. Technology is changing at an alarming rate and many exciting innovations are on the rise. We explore the bleeding-edge tech surrounding autonomous cars, review the future of safety features, get the inside scoop on car of the year, and define the new car landscape.


  • [00:00:00] Infiniti Believes in the Art of Movement & Technology
  • [00:07:10] Infiniti’s Alfonso Albaisa on the Romance of Design
  • [00:12:31] Michael Sprague & BJ Killeen Introduce Kia Stinger
  • [00:19:52] 2017 North American Car of the Year: Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • [00:29:56] Toyota A.I. Concept to be Released in 2030
  • [00:35:53] Heads-Up Display with Navdy Keeps Eyes on the Road
  • [00:42:14]  JD Power and Associates Helps Your Find Your Voice
  • [00:49:45] New Video Series Connects BMWwith Customers
  • [00:54:45] LINE-X Creates Extra Tough Liner for Truck Exteriors
  • [01:02:06] Continental and Nexteer Create Autonomous Car
  • [01:07:54] Car Buffs, Dan Sandberg and Ludwig Willisch, Talk BMW
  • [01:18:06] Ford Surges Ahead of Competition with New Raptor


Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] Infiniti Believes in the Art of Movement & Technology

In a world split by an infatuation for technology and a love for classic car design, how do we decided what is most important? Alfonso Albaisa, Executive Design Director for Infiniti, says style, class, and staying a step ahead of the competition are at the core of their business model. The new frontier promises artful design and fully-integrated technology. Alfonso predicts a surge in screens will bolster, not hinder, the human-car connection. With many engineers and designers eager to leave their finger print, you can bet you’ll be riding in style. Learn how Infiniti aims to make driving an artful expression from bumper to stylish-bumper.


[00:07:10] Infiniti’s Alfonso Albaisa on the Romance of Design

Okay, okay… So, maybe it’s not fair to choose your favorite kid, but when it comes to cars, we know you have one! Alfonso Albaisa, Executive Design Director for Infiniti, tells us why the Q60 is the design closest to his heart. The Q60, created by the designer of the original FX, inspired Alfonso to re-imagine the possibilities of car design. He found himself wooed by the romance expressed in the powerful design of the Q60. No matter the car, it is important for the beauty of design to reflect inside and out. Alfonso shares the challenges presented with creating Infiniti’s SUV, the QX80. Clever engineering was needed to strike a delicate balance between being driver-centric and also comfortable for passengers. Learn more about flagship vehicle now.


[00:12:31] Michael Sprague & BJ Killeen Introduce Kia Stinger

It’s time for a shift in perspective! Kia is changing the way we look at their brand. Michael Sprague, the Chief Operations Officer for Kia Motors America, is here with CarBuzzard’s BJ Killeen to rave about their new performance car, the Kia Stinger. This Stinger has an artistic touch with safety in mind; equipped with some of the most technology forward accident prevention features on the market today. This performance sport sedan is meant to be driven on lengthy journeys, and can even warn you if you’ve been driving too long. Discover how Kia has raised the bar on initial quality!


[00:19:52] 2017 North American Car of the Year: Chevrolet Bolt EV

Electric is now attractive and affordable! Winning the North American Car of the Year, Motor Trend Car of the Year, and Green Car of the Year for Green Car Journal is the new Chevrolet Bolt. Kathy Beslic, Head of Advertising and Marketing for Chevrolet Electric, reveals all of the details that make owning an electric vehicle much more appealing than it was in the past. Second in range in its class, this affordable electric car gets up to 238 miles per charge and is relieving consumers of their ‘range anxiety’. Aiding buyers, Chevy has an application for your smartphone that will direct you to charging stations, making it much easier to travel to unknown areas. Explore with us how you can save money, time, and look great in your new Chevy Bolt EV!

[00:29:56] Toyota A.I. Concept to be Released in 2030

Accident avoidance, alert systems, and a personal relationship with your car is becoming a reality. William Chergosky, Project Design Manager for Calty Design Research and Toyota, brings us exciting news to come in 2030. The Toyota Concept I is going to change the way we interface with our vehicles, its abilities will be mind blowing! This design is a unique expression of how Toyota envisions the world of autonomous cars to evolve. Harmonizing artificial intelligence and human interaction, the concept will take the relationship we have with our car to the next level. Being connected at all times while not being distracted by tons of screens is an extremely important part of this design. With new levels of safety, comfort and connection you’ll want to take a step into the future with the Toyota Concept I.

[00:35:53] Heads-Up Display with Navdy Keeps Eyes on the Road

Let’s face it, the days of looking at a paper map are over, but scanning  our phones for directions can be distracting and dangerous. Doug Simpson, Founder & CEO of Navdy, shows us a whole new world of ‘heads-up’ navigation, that allows drivers to stay connecting while still looking forward. A small glass pane flips up over your steering wheel, and suddenly everything you need from your phone including directions and text messages, is right there in front of you. Hop in the driver’s seat with us and learn how you can enhance your driving experience for a very affordable price!


[00:42:14]  JD Power and Associates Helps Your Find Your Voice

“What does that button do?” is a question many new vehicle owners find themselves asking. In fact, when it comes to purchasing a car, lack of knowledge can make the experience very intimidating. J.D. Power and Associates makes it easy for you to find the information you need. Geno Effler, Head of Corporate Communications, explains that the global data and analytics company is dedicated to being the voice of the consumer in any marketplace. The automotive industry is where they began and customer satisfaction is at the forefront of their work. New studies are being taken regularly focusing on everything thing from initial quality, to autos to avoid, dependability, customer satisfaction and more. Learn how J.D. Power and Associates can help get into your new car with confidence.


[00:49:45] New Video Series Connects BMWwith Customers

How we obtain our information has changed greatly, and video content consumption is still on the rise. It’s so easy to stop and watch a video while scrolling through your social media sites! Trudy Hardy, VP of Marketing for BMW USA, talks about the changing landscape of “story sharing” on social platforms. With millions of viewers on their channel, BMW USA keeps things fresh; sharing first looks, innovative designs, and cutting edge videos. It is their goal to make sure that they are not only marketing to their consumers, but also creating an unforgettable experience. This company has always had a pioneering spirit, hear how they continue to stay one step ahead.


[00:54:45] LINE-X Creates Extra Tough Liner for Truck Exteriors

Aftermarket durability is extremely important when you are buying a new vehicle. Buying a truck may mean you want to get out there and get dirty, however, you’ve got to protect your exterior. Paul DeSmet, Executive VP for LINE-X, covers the release of the new LINE-X Ultra and how it goes above and beyond compared to the competition. In the past, covering the exterior of your vehicle with a bed liner was not very practical because of the material’s thickness. At only 1/4 inch thin, the new LINE-X Ultra is a different story, managing exceptional strength AND versatility. Unlike paint, you can hit it, bend it, and beat it up however you like without causing any damage to the liner itself. The design of your car will still shine through, and the 100% UV stable formula will keep it looking brand new. Discover LINE-X and their new line of protection products.

[01:02:06] Continental and Nexteer Create Autonomous Car

We are entering a new age of driving, readying to hand the controls over to our cars. Autonomous vehicles are emerging, and with the advancement of technology, surprising partnerships are forming. Ralph Lauxmann, Senior VP of Continental Corporation, announces a new partnership with Nexteer Automotive, an automotive parts supplier, that may change the future of assisted driving systems. While Continental provides breaks, acceleration, deceleration, cruise control, and accident avoidance systems, they cannot steer the car. Cue Nexteer. Top engineers at Nexteer will be integrating advanced steering systems, many of which have been tested in the aerospace program, to complete Continental’s autonomous cars. Gain some insight on this partnership and the dynamic innovations awaiting the self-driving cars.

[01:07:54] Car Buffs, Dan Sandberg and Ludwig Willisch, Talk BMW

Engineered to the highest standard, BMW works hard to be the leaders in innovation, design, and technology. With three 5 Series being shown at NAIAS, Ludwig Willisch, President of BMW North America and Dan Sandberg, President of Brembo North America, discuss being car enthusiasts and their unbridled love for BMW. BMW’s are meticulously tested by the engineers, allowing them to hone in on the best possible driving experience for uncompromising handling. BMW also makes it a point to go above and beyond with customer service, checking in after a few weeks to answer any questions new car owners may have. If you’re ready to fall in love with BMW, listen now.

[01:18:06] Ford Surges Ahead of Competition with New Raptor

Ford celebrates 40 years as the number one best-selling truck! Putting the customer’s needs first plays a large part in their success. Gordon Platto, Chief Designer for Ford Motor Company, explains for Ford manages to stay ahead of the game by choosing to delighting customers with small design details, exceptional fuel economy, notable horsepower, and ever-changing innovations. They are always offering a wide variety of options to appeal to any type of consumer. Hear about the latest Raptor truck made with military grade aluminum, new engine, and more.


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Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Jason Masters
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Jason Masters
  • Copy Editor: Jess Baumgardner
  • Graphic Design: Becky Vaughn

Our Sponsors & Supported Charities:


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