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Green Winners & Losers of the Philadelphia Auto Show

Green Winners & Losers of the Philadelphia Auto Show

Philadelphia-Auto-Show-2012I was pretty psyched to see the Philadelphia Auto Show… not because I wanted to see the rich, expensive cars I could never dream of affording… but because I’ve received many updates from corporate car brands to test-drive the latest and greatest green models.

So how did everything pan out?  With the Grammys on Sunday and Oscars fast approaching, I wanted to share my winners for green themes at the 2012 Philadelphia Auto Show:

Biggest Green Surprise

SubaruAlthough they downplayed their list of accomplishments on a cardboard, their main zero-waste factory campaign was hidden behind the Subaru reps.  I was fascinated that literally NO WASTE comes out from their factory, which simultaneously is a wildlife reserve in the middle of Indiana. Go Subarau!

Best Hype:

Nissan’s LEAF is their new electric car.  Philly’s even preparing for the Leaf’s arrival with Charging Stations in Center City locations!

Most Improved:

Volkwagen really stepped up their diesel game with an “almost” zero-emissions vehicle! Since I worked in VW in high school (and still have nightmares of the service customers…), I’ve heard of 0 eco-gestures from Ze Germans. I was pleasantly surprised by their nice corporate reps who explained their “Think Blue” campaign.  The TDI diesel engines remove apprx 95% of emissions

Biggest Losers:

 Luxury brands. If people can afford a $100,000 car, why isn’t there more of a ‘go green’ push? Porche did showcase this hybrid with bike on top, but besides that – I didn’t notice much.  Most of the hybrid/electric marketing campaigns are tailored to “Middle America”.

Best Campaign Looping Around the Car Show “Rules”

Kia.  Kia pulled a fast one by having the ability to test-drive a Hybrid around the corner on Arch St, right outside the Convention Center.  My nice little run around the block was perfect for test-driving the above KIA Optima Hybrid. (Note: the pic inside the car was wayyy too close for GPB readers. Believe me, I wanted to keep a few of you.)

And the winner is (in the “Best Green Marketing Efforts” category)…

Toyota Prius.  The pretty blue Prius was on a raised spinning platform with a “nature-y” forest background.  Toyota also had an ‘explore Monopoly’ where you could test “ride” a Prius, which did draw a crowd & 15-minute-wait line. (No participants could test drive.)  A Toyota rep took participants through a Monopoly-themed course, explaining how the hybrid technology works and showcasing the various Prius features. Just look how cool the dashboard of this is:

Overall, I was disappointed with the lack of eco-friendly emphasis at the Auto Show.  Unfortunately, we live in a country that’s 3000 miles coast-to-coast, where a car is necessary in some areas.  Automobiles are one of the potential areas people can get EXCITED about green technology.  Why not have more than 8 green technology cars featured?

Props to our winners from the 2012 Philadelphia Auto Show. Unfortunately, I have no golden statues or globes to hand out.  Nor Green Awards. That would be such a waste of materials, anyway.


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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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