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Inside Line Contest Winner Eric Tingwall is Ready for the Frankfurt Auto Show

Date: Sept 6, 2007

Source: Edmunds Inside Line

Author: Eric Tingwall

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Inside Line Contest Winner Eric Tingwall Is Ready for the Frankfurt Auto Show

The Frankfurt auto show is a big deal. Sure, Frankfurt has a great list of production and concept unveils set for next week, but that's not what sets it apart. The auto show organizers over in Deutschland are so confident that their show is top-notch, they pull it off only once every two years yet it still remains relevant up against premier annual auto shows like Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and Geneva. Maybe they're on to something.

I'm the winner of the Inside Line Win a Trip to Frankfurt Auto Show Contest. As an automotive junkie this trip is a dream. As a mechanical engineering and journalism student, and someone who wouldn't mind being paid to write about cars, it's the opportunity of a lifetime.

The highlight of the excursion revolves around Saturn. After the auto show I'll spend time behind the wheel of a Saturn Astra, a car sold in Europe as the Opel Astra. This time, no one's complaining about the General's badge engineering. The Astra is 100 percent new to the United States, but it's Europe's best-selling car, and is sure to be more appealing than the Saturn Ion, which it's replacing in the company's lineup. We'll see if the new hatch has what it takes to topple the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic from their compact-car thrones.

In Frankfurt, I'll also meet with Saturn's general manager, Jill Lajdziak and tour GM's Tech Center. During Tuesday's press conferences, I'll keep an eye on some of the Astra's small-car counterparts like the BMW 1 Series, Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Verve and Mini Cooper S Clubman. Each will have an influence on the growing U.S. compact and subcompact markets.

For the dreamers, I'll be tracking the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Porsche's GT2. When Aston announces the price for its DBS, I won't even remind you that you can't afford a month's insurance, let alone the actual car payment. That's what the auto shows are all about dreaming, no matter how irrational. From stupidly ugly concepts to grossly powerful engines to cars based on technologies that won't exist for another decade, Frankfurt is poised to deliver all of the car-filled fantasies and absurdities you can handle.

So gear up for Inside Line's 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show coverage. I'll be blogging about my unique experience: the chaos of the show, meeting auto execs and, of course, cars. You'll also get Edmunds' in-depth and immediate coverage of all the Frankfurt unveils and it only happens once every two years. It's kind of like the Olympics, except it's actually entertaining. Eric Tingwall, Contest Winner and Citizen Journalist

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