Woodward 2009: NextCruise coming back for another go!

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It seems like only last week that we were covering the Woodward Dream Cruise (wait, it was last week!) and now we've already got news about next year. One of the many side events of this year's cruise was the first annual NextCruise. The NextCruise was put on by former proprietor of The Car Connection, Paul Eisenstien and was designed to highlight alternative fuel vehicles. Nine manufacturers brought out 30 different vehicles, many of which were available to people for ride and drives. Apparently, those who strolled through the NextCruise area were suitably impressed by what was on offer so the organizers have already decided to do it again in 2009. The event will be happening in Pleasant Ridge, MI next August 14-15 in a park just off Woodward Ave. Our pal Jeremy drew the NextCruise straw this year and you can check out his post on it here.

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[Source: NextCruise]

Inaugural NextCruise(TM) a Huge Success; Environmentally Themed Event Will Reprise in 2009

Hundreds of public drives of dozens of manufacturer-supplied Green Machines yield interesting survey data

PLEASANT RIDGE, Mich., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizers of NextCruise(TM) announced that the inaugural event held in association with the Woodward Dream Cruise on August 15-16 in the City of Pleasant Ridge had been such a success that the event will reprise in 2009 (August 14-15).

The public got unprecedented opportunities to check out -- and drive -- the latest in environmentally friendly vehicles (including hybrids, clean diesels and those with other, new super-high-mileage and ultra-low-emission technologies) at the innovative event. More than 30 of the latest "Green Machines" were provided by nine major auto manufacturers, as well as rides in a street-legal two-seat IndyCar and displays from two "Green" race series.

"Our objective was to establish this as a venue at which auto manufacturers could display and the public learn about and drive the latest Green Machines," said Paul Eisenstein, NextCruise(TM) Chairman. "We successfully demonstrated that these current and future environmentally friendly vehicles are remarkable fun to drive -- in keeping with the spirit of the Woodward Dream Cruise -- Lean, Mean ... And Green."

A small survey of more than 100 ride and drive participants produced interesting data. "A high 85.3 percent of respondents said they were delighted or very delighted with the power of the Green Machines they experienced, clearly indicating that fun and green can go together," Eisenstein stated.

"Moreover, nearly 87 percent of respondents said they would consider purchasing a green vehicle and of those nearly half (44.8 percent) said they would do so within two years," said Eisenstein. "Almost as many (40.2 percent) said they weren't sure when -- some indication of the opportunity existing for auto manufacturers to capitalize on this green car interest."

NextCruise(TM) marked a number of important firsts. It was the first-ever public event that brought together such a large array of leading automakers, specifically to display environmental vehicles and technologies; the

first-ever event where the public had the chance to drive such a wide assortment of clean, high-economy cars, trucks and crossovers; and it was the first-ever official Woodward Dream Cruise event to be specifically


Major auto manufacturers supporting NextCruise(TM) included General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volkswagen. NextCruise(TM) also included a look at the next generation of "green" motorsports, with a display from the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix including the ethanol-fueled IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Other sponsors and exhibitors included Bridgestone, PR Newswire, G-2 Communications and ESI. For information go to www.nextcruise2008.com or email nextcruise2008@aol.com.

Pleasant Ridge is known for its historic homes, tree-lined streets and active citizens who dedicate their time for the betterment of the community. A long tradition of community pride is reflected in the City's beautiful parks along Woodward Avenue, its pristine neighborhoods and its houses, many of which are part of a nationally-recognized historic district. Go to www.cityofpleasantridge.org .

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