WAPA News: Chevrolet Luncheon and Alcantara Breakfast Recap

Chevy Marketing Chief Tim Mahoney Speaks About Chevrolet as a Global Brand

On April 14th about 35 WAPA members were treated to a presentation by Chevrolet’s Marketing Chief Tim Mahoney at a ride-and-drive event in Crystal City. Mr Mahoney gave a very engaging talk about Chevy’s global marketing efforts, manufacturing and selling 70 nameplates in the majority of the world’s countries.

“In many countries the Cruze would be considered a full sized sedan,” said Mr. Mahoney, pointing out that the Chevy brand is celebrating 104 years in business with total sales exceeding 240 million vehicles during that time.

Mahoney stressed Chevy’s new slogan, “Find New Roads,” that embraces the spirit of ingenuity that will continue to guide every aspect of business moving forward. “Find New Roads” will be used in the brand’s global advertising.

Mr. Mahoney spoke of the complex decision-making processes that take place in the design of vehicles targeted toward specific cultures and societies worldwide, along with the myriad environmental issues that must be addressed. This led to showcasing the small fleet of Spark EV’s parked outside and a lively Q&A session.

The rainy day didn’t dampen the spirits of those who took advantage of the opportunity to take a drive in one of the Spark EV’s and the presence of a number of smiles showed that most were quite pleased.

WAPA thanks Steve Martin and Kim Carpenter for their efforts in putting on the event.

Alcantara CEO Andrea Boragno Discusses Growth of Brand

On April 15th a number of journalists were invited to the Italian Embassy for a breakfast and round table presentation by Alcantara. The presentation was in the form of a one-on-one interview between WAPA President Les Jackson and Alcantara CEO Andrea Boragno.

The discussion started with an explanation of Alcantara itself, which is basically a high quality microfiber material that can be processed into a huge variety of forms and finishes, all of which are extremely robust, long lived and completely washable. A display of pillows brought by Alcantara staff showcased materials that looked and felt like suede, cotton, wool, silk and a number of other fabrics as well as colors.

The Alcantara discussion further centered on its automotive applications which are at present found in luxury and exotic vehicles but will be phased into more and more brands in a few years. It is also used in the consumer electronics industry (Bose earphones, Ipad covers, cell phone covers, etc.) and the fashion and furniture industries, with a price level matching that of fine leathers. The company’s growth has exceeded 20% per year and there are no signs of slowing down in the near future.

Of particular interest to Mr. Boragno is environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality. Alcantara was here in DC to take part in the Earth Day activities and partner with the World Bank in its efforts to affect change.

WAPA appreciates the opportunity provided by Alcantara and is grateful to the Ambassador of Italy.

Les Jackson
President, Washington Automotive Press Association

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