Harvest Time!

Here at WAI we know that great wines take time, they grow throughout winter, spring, and come into full maturity during the summer months.  Fall is harvest time!  And like an eager winemaker, we are now seeing the fruits of our labors from the "2014 project vintage".  So over the next few weeks keep a look-out for postings that showcase the best of our projects that completed this year.  But for now, we are extremely excited to offer you a future sample of the 2015 vintage currently in construction.  Here is the foundation pour that occurred just this week for  Downtown Los Angeles, Mercedes-Benz

Way to go Kunzik and Sara Construction, Inc.!

This is impressive, and considered to be the 2nd largest pour in Los Angeles history!  It's a high profile project, located just down the street from LA Live.  Below are a few concept design graphics that demonstrate the scope and scale of the building: 

You can also link here for a glimpse of the finished productas designed by WAI Architect Rich Garcia, AIA. 

Green California . . . It's Happening Now!

Building Codes, PEV Market Updates, and more at the Green California Summit and Exposition

Last week WAI attended the Green California Summit and Exposition in Sacramento, California. The Summit exemplified the continued effort in California, by both the public and private sectors, to advance a marketplace focused on conserving energy, water and other resources. WAI staff learned more about emerging trends in topics like building energy management strategies, CALGreen code updates, and Funding Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure.

In fact electric vehicles and support products dominated the Exposition floor, like an alternative Los Angeles Auto Show geared towards eco-sensitive car shoppers!  

In addition, speaker panels made the argument for practical resources and innovative strategies to leverage Proposition 39 funding, focused on smart finance for tackling energy efficiency in greening our existing school facilities. 

BMW Future Retail and IBrand Launch

WAI designs the future of automotive retail. 

By now most car enthusiasts are well aware of BMW's IBrand vehicle campaign. For those not tracking the expanding EV market, BMW took the opportunity to launch the IBrand formally during the Sochi Olympics. While the world watched Olympians compete for gold, BMW flashed the face-paced, sleek, urban set commercial (below) for prime time viewers. 

Even deeper "behind the scenes", over the last 8 months BMW USA has relied upon its facility design partners (a.k.a. "WAI") to survey existing dealerships and prep the market for the arrival of the new vehicle fleet. So, we sent our designers and architects to evaluate dealerships across the Nation, to gather facts and provide design guidance on how to create dealerships to house the vehicles of the "future". The results of our work (above) speak for themselves. The latest dealership paradigm combines natural materials with an open and transparent floor plan. Simplicity is key, and form follows function with the latest design to create an environment that is sophisticated and sincere. Add to that, dealers are preparing to receive the IBrand vehicle fleet, which will be displayed on the signature IBrand platform. Now is a great time to experience how  BMW dealership facilities are expressing and shaping the future of automobile retail. 

Global Growth for Jaguar Land Rover

Demand is such that I think the momentum is likely to continue for some more time . . .
— Chandrasekaran Ramakrishnan, Tata Motors CFO

Robust sales of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles reported for the third quarter boosted share price of India based automaker Tata Motors this week.  Share prices topped out at a 5.55% gain during intra-day trade monday on the New York Stock Exchange.  Growth was driven by and large by strong sales in China, where 2013 year-over-year sales reached 24.8% (up from 21.1%).  Sales in North America were also strong, rising 19.1% during the same period.  

Jaguar San Diego

Pent-up demand, available credit, and luxury segment spending are spurring vehicle sales globally, and Jaguar Land Rover dealers are taking notice. Hoping to capture sales in the near term and position themselves for service volume capacity in the long term, dealers are making capital investments in dealership upgrades.  For example, construction recently completed on Jaguar San Diego, a project we designed in 2013. Currently, we are also in various stages of design for Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in other key California markets. Dealers are anxious to make facility improvements to showcase new vehicle models, and provide standard vehicle maintenance and service.  

Recently upgraded Jaguar San Diego showcases the new F-Type fleet. 

Recently upgraded Jaguar San Diego showcases the new F-Type fleet. 

Tata Motors is Ltd. is the biggest beneficiary from global sales of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.  Beating many analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, Tata (India's largest automaker) nearly tripled its net income from a year ago, and brought in $771 million (48.1 billion rupees) for 2013. Sales of the Jaguar F-Type convertible in particular bolstered sales at Jaguar Land Rover, which remains Tata's main profit contributor.

To learn more about Jaguar Land Rover visit http://www.jaguarlandrover.com/gl/en/

Citations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26120593; http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/02/10/jaguar-land-rover-push-tata-motors-to-new-heights/; http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-10/news/47200664_1_net-profit-sales-volumes-standalone-basis

The Revolution comes to Orange County

Tesla Motors officially opened at The Shops at Mission Viejo on December 20, 2013.  The premium electric vehicle manufacturer will showcase automobiles from the 3,000 s.f. retail space which is strategically located in the mall's "tech corridor", directly opposite the Microsoft Store, and within a glancing view of the Apple Store. In fact, the vibe inside the Tesla store is an "electric" elixir that combines the innovative aura from the early Apple store days, with the frenzied tech showcase spirit of the L.A. Auto Show, all set to fresh remixes of house, trance, and dance music. 

Readers of this blog will notice the base interior design concept is strikingly similar to our work on 24 Productions - sleek clean lines, exposed black ceiling with a built-in hard lid feature, visible structure, and element focused hues of paint. Unfortunately we can't take credit for the design of this auto-showroom, its the work of recently retired George Blankenship (former executive of The Gap, Apple, and Tesla).  

"Roll-Out", Los Angeles Auto Show

With the Los Angeles Auto Show officially over we'd like to wrap-up our coverage with a few choice photos.  But before we do here are a couple of our last impressions from this year's show:

  • Brands to watch: Audi, Cadillac, Chrysler, Subaru
  • Fleets to track: Subaru, Hyundai, Toyota, Chevrolet, Buick
  • Luxury to look for: BMW, Cadillac, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Audi
  • Welcome back: U.S. Automakers! 

Audi: All Clear for Take-off

Live from the Los Angeles Auto Show

We couldn't let our coverage of the Los Angeles Auto Show come to an end without mentioning Audi.  Sure, for the industry in general, 2013 should be the pivotal year in which auto-makers' financial statements turned from "red" to "black".  But while the rest of the industry basks in financial recovery (albeit protracted), Audi recently achieved its 34th consecutive monthly sales record in October, with year-to-date sales up 13.4 percent.  Audi has reinvigorated their brand, both domestically and abroad, with investments in vehicle fleet design and diversification, increased vehicle performance, and redesign of retail outlets, requiring dealerships to comply with the new aeronautic "Terminal" facility design.  The numbers speak for themselves, and here are just a few of them:

  • October 2013 sales increased by 11 percent, compared to the same month 2012.
  • Overall sales year-to-date through October 2013 increased 13.4 percent.
  • Sales of Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi A8, Audi Q7 (the premium category vehicles) increased 17 percent year-to-date.
  • Certified pre-owned vehicles increased 30.9 percent for the month of October 2013, when compared to October 2012.
  • October 2013 sales of Audi TT increased 62 percent compared to October 2012.
  • Sales of Audi all-road models in October 2013 were 437, bringing year-to-date sales to 4,558 of the sport wagon, a 103.2% increase compared to previous period.

Keep a lookout for our next post where we will wrap up our last impressions from the LA Auto Show.

To learn more about Audi visit: www.audiusanews.com.

Flash-Post, Irvine MINI: Let the Party Begin!

We just want to drop a quick post on the recent grand opening party for Irvine MINI. The Mardi Gras inspired celebration came with rich food, free-flowing drinks, and live music! It also gave the WAI design team an afternoon to indulge themselves in the backdrop of their hard work. So enjoy the pictures, they are off-the-cuff and raw (but hey, so is Mardi Gras)!

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