Best Cars of the 2019 New York Auto Show

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Hyundai’s upscale sibling Genesis grabbed the most oohs and ahs of the New York auto show with the rollout of a gorgeous urban EV concept car, the Genesis Mint. It set the tone for the Big Apple’s emphasis on smaller cars, mainstream, and premium, some with alternative powerplants. The metro New York Region comprising New York State, Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey is the biggest market for premium cars because of Wall Street, tech, pharma, the part of the media that is not the failing media, and safe-haven internationals who call NYC home part of the year.

The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) is the last major car show, domestic or international, before the season goes on a long summer break until the Frankfurt show in September. Here are our top 10 cars from the show, including a Kia concept with a world-class name.

As is the norm for many auto shows, NYIAS opens midweek with two press days. Then there’s a dealers/charity/heavy-hitters day, and then it’s turned over to from the automakers to the dealers as show hosts. It runs for about 10 days covering two weekends. This year that means open-to-the-public days are Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 28, 2019.

Javits Center and the New York auto show are now at the center of Hudson Yards project. The Vessel is an interlocking group of 154 staircases.

The auto show and its Javits Center site on Manhattan’s West Side near the Hudson River looks more bustling with the opening of the first phase of Hudson Yards, a $ 25 billion development with (eventually) 20,000 housing units, 2 million square feet of retail space (roughly 20 Home Depots), 3 million square feet of hotel space (60 football fields), public spaces, and a climbing space (photo above) with 154 interconnected staircases called the Vessel. The project, built atop the Pennsylvania Station rail yard, is a tribute to private enterprise aided by about $ 5 billion in government expenditures, roughly twice what Amazon would have gotten if it had actually moved to New York City. Hudson Yards is the largest private development in the US, stretching 10 city blocks north to south, three east to west.

NYIAS 2019 NY Auto Show / Javits Center interior glass palace. Yes, sometimes it leaks.

The Javits Center now is centered in NYC’s hottest spot to work, live, or party. Many of the media events held at midweek were centered in or near Hudson Yards. The Javits is sprucing itself up, too, and adding space: It currently has 1.8 million square feet, of which 840,000 square feet is exhibition space. A $ 1.5 billion expansion will add 1.2 million square feet including 90,000 square feet of exhibition space.

This is of import because auto shows are in flux: Los Angeles may well be the world’s center for car culture, but the LA Convention Center is smallish (720,000 square feet of exhibition space). Detroit is moving from January to June (starting 2020) and its Cobo Hall is also compact (723,000 square feet of exhibition space). And Chicago has an excellent facility in McCormick Place (2.6 million space feet of exhibit space) but there are few significant car introductions. So New York feels pressure to keep growing its place.

Automaker employees and media love the Big Apple because it’s a great place to dine, drink, and lodge on somebody else’s dime. The Javits is a great facility when the roof doesn’t leak (the mega atrium is glass). And Javits execs tout the building’s workers aren’t as hard to deal with as in the past when the place was declared to be under control of organized crime. So there’s that.

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