TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Inexpensive, distinctive bling proliferates on new car models

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
 

DETROIT — Headlights, grilles and other doodads are stepping up and popping out on cars.

Car bling is proliferating, from daytime running lights that go up the hood of the new Cadillac ATS, to a wide, bold grille on the Ford Fusion, to engraving within the lamps of the new Corvette and Ford Transit.

It is inexpensive but distinctive, providing automotive eye candy that can even boost gas mileage or improve safety. Bling isn't new, but advancements in technology and design are allowing automakers to do more of it and move it from luxury cars into the mainstream.

“You've got form and function with the beauty,” says IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland.

The adornments are on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens to the public Jan. 19:

Mom never advised looking into lights, but peering into the lamps of certain vehicles offers some aesthetic rewards: Tiny engravings are appearing inside, like figures inside a snow globe.

Headlights in the splashy new Corvette feature the brand's crossed-flag logo, and the utilitarian Ford Transit offers Ford's Blue Oval logo contained in a seven-sided shape.

Likewise, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee features a vintage miniature Jeep silhouette and the phrase, “Since 1941,” referring to the year Jeeps began rolling out.

IHS Automotive's Lindland says it's intriguing that designers are “laying this kind of jewelry in just that small spot” — in the process attracting buyers and providing recognition on the road.

Distinctive lights abound, but a prime example graces the front of the new Cadillac ATS, a sport sedan.

The car's daytime running lights go up the top of the fender along the hood line. They help contribute to an overall design that is angular and edgy.

Those lights are helping Cadillac set itself apart from competitors, says Consumer Reports lead car tester Jake Fisher.

Osram Automotive supplies lighting components for the ATS and other Cadillacs. David Hulick, the company's global marketing director of solid state lighting, says the ATS benefits from hidden LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, which offer an “intense, white appearance” that can't be duplicated with traditional bulbs.

Hulick says getting more out of illumination was the impetus behind the first automotive use of LEDs in exterior lighting: a mid-1990s Ford Thunderbird. He says that model used “super-red LEDs with a neon look” — something that also “couldn't be achieved with traditional technology.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Travelers find direct Web route to Priory’s spirited past in North Side
  2. Pa. improves performance among competitive electric markets
  3. PPG puts brand 1st in strategy to reach commercial paint market
  4. U.S. Steel posts quarterly loss, declares dividend
  5. EPA ordered to ease limits on cross-border air pollution that involves Pennsylvania
  6. Ambridge’s PittMoss takes off with help from TV show, Mt. Lebanon native Cuban
  7. Consol Energy, Range Resources report 2Q losses, plan deeper cuts
  8. Muni bond funds stressed
  9. Stocks end 5-day slide on strong Ford, UPS earnings
  10. Plummeting natural gas prices slash revenue of Marcellus shale producers
  11. Bayer sets sights beyond aspirin