Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Monkey

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Happy Monday! Today is February 8, 2016, which is Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Monkey.

In the new year of the Monkey, MoVernie and his crew would like to wish everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year a very prosperous, healthy and joyful year ahead! Best wishes to all and hope your wishes come true!

Cheers!

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NBA All-Star Weekend – Setting Up

 

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Today is on Monday, I had decided to make a walk after work, just to see if there’s any happening at the Air Canada Centre (ACC). As predicted, while the Toronto Raptors were playing against the Pistons in Detroit, the hardworking ACC staffs was already busy setting up the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, to be played this weekend in Toronto. This is the first time that the NBA Festivity is held outside of the United States.

I walked around Gate 2 and saw an artwork on the ground. It’s a beautiful piece resembling the official NBA All-Star Game logo. I also walked into the Real Sports Apparel, just to see what type of merchandize was in there. Wow! Almost the entire store was full of NBA All-Star merchandize, but be prepare to bring your fat wallet because everything isn’t cheap. A snapback was around $31.99 + tax.

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As I walked around outside of the ACC, near the Gate 5, where the giant jumbotron was located, I saw the staffs was starting to put the images of the NBA All-Star players who will be participating in the game. In particular, I got a bit emotional when our very own Toronto Raptors, DeMar DeRozan’s image was slowing putting up the window wall. To me, it was a defying moment for me to stand from afar and saw his image on the window wall. We have a winning team who is currently 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. We got a player in Kyle Lowry who was voted in as the starting PG for the Eastern Conference. In total, we have 2 Toronto Raptors representing Toronto, actually, the entire Canada and will be participating in the NBA All-Star game on home soil.

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I am super excited right now. I have never had these much Goosebumps before, not interviewing celebrities or game 7 of a playoff game. But this once-in-a-lifetime experience will be unforgettable in my memory!

Go Raptors! Go NBA All-Star Weekend! Go Toronto! Go Canada!

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) as I will be posting awesome photos and videos throughout the entire NBA All-Star Weekend. Stay tuned!

And MoVernie is outta here!

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Kia Sorento – AJAC Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 – $60,000)

The 2016 Kia Sorento has won the “Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 – $60,000)” category at the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). And every winner of each category (9 categories in total) will be competing for the “Car of the Year” and “Truck of the Year” awards. So, the Kia Sorento will be competing for the “Truck of the Year 2016” award.

I would like to use this opportunity to wish Kia Canada and Kia Motors best of luck with its Kia Sorento. I will be attending the media day this Thursday to witness the announcements for both awards.

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I first saw the 2016 Kia Sorento last year when I was on the Kia Gear-Up event where there was a nice Sorento in the beautiful white body finish. I got to admit, the all-new Sorento really caught my eye. It had a beautiful front, side and rear design. It has good ground clearance, good height and a good size. I have not seen such a beautiful all-around good looking SUV for a long time.

So, when I came back to Toronto, I had requested Kia Canada to provide me with the Kia Sorento for a week long experience. The Sorento that I got was in an unique body paint called the “Dark Cherry”. But to my own naked eyes, it looked more like a nice burgundy brown. Nevertheless, it looked very good on the Sorento and there wasn’t anything like it on the road. The trim level was a Sorento EX V6 AWD with 7 seats.

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I recalled how powerful the engine was in the Sorento. The powerplant was a 290-horsepower 3.3L V6 GDI and I was told that this beast have a 5,000lb towing capacity, which is impressive.

Once I hopped inside the SUV, you could feel the rich material throughout the entire cabin.  The seats were comfy and supportive. All the high-tech features could be found in this vehicle. Although I ain’t 6 feet and I ain’ t a big guy, entering and exiting the Sorento was at ease. It didn’t give me any trouble at all. I recalled when my manager, MoKenny sat inside the passenger seat for the first time, he was observing and looking around, touching the dashboard. He nodded his head and said “the interior looks very luxurious and rich material. I am impressed from a company such as Kia. This car company really come along way, building something that customers want and really can compete with the leaders of this segment”.

The steering wheel in the Sorento had a good feel on the road. It was not too heavy and not too light, which had a good-balance of the turning radius and the road conditions. I honestly didn’t feel like I was driving a massive truck. Instead, the Sorento drove and felt like as if I was driving a luxury mid-size sedan.

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The engine was powerful and adequate in moving such a large mass of vehicle from a dead stop. I am very impressed with the overall design and the engineering of the Kia Sorento. It really changed my perception to this brand and when it was announced that Sorento beat out other competitiors and won the Best New SUV / CUV ($35,000 – $60,000) at AJAC 2016. I am very happy for Kia Canada and Kia Motors.

I wish them all the best come this Thursday at the media day at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) when AJAC announces the winner of the “Truck of the Year”. Who is going to be? We will find out.

Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) as I will be posting awesome photos and videos at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS). Stay tuned!

And MoVernie is outta here!

Follow @KiaCanada on its latest tweets.

Also check out the latest Kia Canada vehicles lineup here.

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MoVernie Contest: Snoop Dogg & 2 Chainz Charity Game Tix

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Who wants a chance to win a pair of tix to see entertainment icon Snoop Dogg & 2 Chainz charity basketball game to be held on Saturday, February 13?

The organizer has kindly partnered with MoVernie to give a lucky winner a pair of tix to watch this game.  This basketball game is in conjunction with “I Can! We Can” founder and motivator Peter Tolias.

The “I CAN, WE CAN! TRU SNOOP HOOP,” celebrity basketball game will take place during NBA All-Star weekend from 2PM to 6PM EST at Hershey Center in Mississauga, Ontario. All proceeds raised from the game will be donated equally between three non-profit organizations including the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL), T.R.U. Foundation, and United Way of Peel Region.

In addition to Snoop Dogg & 2 Chainx, there will be a long list of celebrities (subject to change) who will participate in this celebrity game.

They are as follows:

Wale, ASAP Ferg, Joe Carter, NFL player Marshawn Lynch, Jose Bautista, K Camp, Trinidad James, Freddie Gibbs, former NFL player Josh Johnson and former NBA players Baron Davis, Morris Peterson, Jerome Williams and Alvin Williams.

Here are the steps you have to follow for your chance to win this pair of tix to see Snoop Dogg and 2 Chainx.

  1. Follow Peter Tolias (founder and motivator) on Twitter – click here.
  2. Follow MoVernie on Twitter – click here.
  3. Post a positive message tweet to 2 of your twitter friends (make sure you tag them in the positive tweet) and include both hashtags, #ICANWECAN & #MoVernieContest.

Sample Tweet: “Hey @MoPete & @BaronDavis! It’s great both of you are participating the Charity Game 4 a good cause #ICANWECAN & #MoVernieContest

A lucky winner will be announced on Friday, February 12 at 3:00 pm. Good luck!

If you are interested in purchasing tickets to show your support to this charity event, click here.

 

2016 Acura ILX – First Drive

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Today is Monday, February 8th, which is also the first day of Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Monkey. I would like to use this opportunity to wish everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year a very prosperous, happy and healthy year!

As for MoVernie on the MOVE, my team and I will continue to be on the MOVE to bring you the latest happenings around our beautiful city of Toronto as well as hot events/parties around the world.

What a great way to start off the Year of the Monkey, Acura Canada has just handed me with the keys to the brand new 2016 Acura ILX. This will be a super busy week for the MoVernie crew as there will be lots of events happening throughout the week. There will be Chinese New Year celebrations, NBA All-Star Toronto, Canadian International Auto Show, my mom’s birthday, Valentines Day and Family Day.

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It’s going to be a crazy week but I am glad the Acura ILX will be on the MOVE with me throughout the adventurous journey.

From the first glance, this Acura ILX is a nice compact size car that looks luxurious, sporty and modern. In particular, I really like the Acura signature jewel headlights. I was told that the predecssor comes with the 2.0L 150hp engine. But for this new 2016 mid-facelift, they have made a heart transplant and provide this ride a 2.4L 201 hp engine. That’s about 50 more hp. For a compact car like this , I am sure it will be super quick! I can’t wait to give this ride an acceleration test.

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Follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) as I will be posting awesome photos and videos of this 2016 Acura ILX throughout the entire week at events such as the NBA All-Star Week and Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS). Stay tuned!

And MoVernie is outta here!

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NAIAS 2016 – Top 12 Must-See Cars at North American International Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is happening right now and will be opened to public until January 24, 2016. So, you definitely still have time to go check out the show this weekend.

Ford Canada invited me to its annual Ford NAIAS Digital Influencers Summit in Detroit and so I was able to check out what the Ford & Lincoln brands have to offer to the consumers. At the same time, I was also able to check out what other car manufacturers’ offer to get a good feel of the latest auto trends and technologies at the auto show.

Below are my MoVernie Top 12 Must-See Cars at NAIAS 2016. Trust me, you sure don’t want to miss these hot rides when you are there!

Top #1 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: BMW M2

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Top #2 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Ford GT

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Top #3 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Acura Precision Concept

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Top #4 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: VLF Automotive Force 1 V10

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Top #5 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Lincoln Continental

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Top #6 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept

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Top #7 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Kia TellURide

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Top #8 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Buick Avista

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Top #9 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Chevrolet Camaro

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Top #10 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

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Top #11 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Nissan IDS Concept

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Top #12 MoVernie Must-See at NAIAS 2016: Porsche 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S

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Ford Blue Oval HQ: Must-See at NAIAS

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Ford Motors has the biggest floor space at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Inside the Blue Oval HQ (as it’s often referred as), consists of many interactive activities for you and your friends and family to do. It has 2 floors showcasing its Ford latest products and technologies.

I highly recommend you to walk through the entire Blue Oval. Below are some of the interactive activities that you shouldn’t miss when you are the Ford Blue Oval HQ.

Custom-made Buttons:

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You can choose any template designs at the station. You can add in any drawings or words along with the design. Best yet, they provide colourful markers and you just fill in the design whichever you like. It’s fast and it’s easy. The friendly Ford staff are there to help you make your personalized button.

iPad and charging Station:

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Ford has a number of presentations or seminars that you can navigate their presentation slides in the iPad that is right in front of you at the iPad and charging station. The best part? Your iPhone or iPad or laptop is low in batteries? They have charging station for you to charge your equipment. Super thoughtful by Ford.

Ford Explorer Interactive Station:

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Imagine sitting inside the spacious Ford Explorer, being lifted up and watching an interactive video? As if you are travelling through a journey? It’s super entertaining.

Ford Fusion NASCAR:

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During my Ford NAIAS Media Trip, Ford unveiled its latest Ford Fusion NASCAR. It looks amazing to me. Can’t wait to see it zooming on the race track.

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Imagine hopping into the “2015 North American Truck of the Year” F-150 Truck, being lifted up in the air. Your job is to try out Ford’s latest technology in assisting its drivers’ how to better navigate easily backing up its truck to unload a boat or a big trailer. Apparently, Ford received feedbacks from pickup truck users and this was a feature that many of them wish it would became a reality. Ford listened and made it happen! Amazing!

Basketball Machine:

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You can show case your basketball shooting skills with the hoops machine at the Ford Blue Oval. In particular in Toronto, Ford is a proud sponsor of Toronto Raptors, we often see these type of hoops machines being available for fans to shoot some hoops.

Lego Station:

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Ford and Lego have partnered up to release two Lego play sets showcasing the iconic Ford Mustang Lego as well as a hotrod and Ford Raptor Pickup. You can be a child again, applying your imagination with the Lego blocks.

Video Game Driving Experience:

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Impairment Simulator Suit:

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2016 #FORDNAIAS Exclusive Media Trip – Day 3 (Itinerary) – MoVernie

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For the second consecutive year, I was invited by Ford Canada to attend the 2016 Ford North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Digital Summit. It’s an Exclusive VIP Event organized by Ford Motors, flying in the selected Digital Influencers from around the world to meet together and cover one of the largest North American Auto Shows in the world that is happening from January 11-24, 2016. I was one of the lucky exclusive Canadian Digital Influencers representing Canada.

It’s a 3-day Media Trip Event. First of all, let me start off with a summary of my Ford NAIAS Day-1 Itinerary so that you have a bigger picture of how my media event went.

Day 3 – Ford NAIAS Media Trip

1) Woke up early at around 7:00 am to walk into the atrium to grab breakfast and meet with other Influencers.

2) There was a breakfast buffet stations with goodies such as scrambled eggs, bacon, fruits, yogurt, etc. There was also a omelette station where a chef can cook it on the spot. I luv my eggs dearly so I ordered two sunny-side up eggs.

3) Went back to my hotel room, changed my clothes and grabbed my equipment and hopped onto the coach bus. We were heading back to the Cobo Center for the 2nd consecutive day to cover the North American International Auto Show. Also, Lincoln was having its presentation in the morning, unveiling its latest product.

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4) Lincoln announced that the flagship name plate “Continental” that played an important role back in the days is BACK! The luxurious and gorgeous 2017 Lincoln Continental was unveiled at NAIAS.

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5) Walked around the auto show further to capture more video footage and photos to share to my followers.

6) Went to Ford Blue Oval HQ to grab lunch and beverages.

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7) Also went and grab coffee and snacks from other car brands throughout the auto show. At this event, I learned one thing. We will never encounter any shortage of food or beverages, coz almost every car brands have its own coffee and food stations. They surely treat the media very nicely.

8) Went back to the Ford Blue Oval HQ to check out the Ford products.

9) Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford greeted the Digital Influencers, thanked everyone for coming to Detroit and attended the auto show. He also answered many of our questions during the chat. What I like about the chat was that it was very informal and casual. Everyone gathered around in circles and asked Mark questions. It was very calm, relax and enjoyable.

10) Took a photo with Mark Fields, Toronto represents!

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(Photo: Davindra Ramnarine)

 

11) Hopped on the coach bus and returned back to the Westin Hotel.

12) Went to my room to pack up my belongings.

13) Went downstairs to the restaurant to grab dinner before I headed back to Toronto a few hours later.

14) It was so convenient walking from the Westin Hotel to the airport. Went to Duty Free to grab something and also bought some Power Ball Tickets.

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15) Landed back to Toronto Pearson Airport. Home Sweet Home!

16) Took the UP Express Train from Terminal 1 Pearson Airport and went to Union Station.

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I would like to use this opportunity to thank you Ford Motors and Ford Canada for inviting me the second consecutive time to attend this wonderful FordNAIAS Media Trip. Every time, the itinerary is different and I enjoyed every part of the experience!

In particular, I would like to thank Craig Silva and Anson Dixon, the Ford Canada Social Media Team for the wonderful hospitality and assistance during this Ford NAIAS Media Trip.

As always, I am very grateful and thankful of every opportunity that comes to me.

End of Day 3 of my MoVernie Ford NAIAS Media Trip.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) as I will be posting awesome photos and videos at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

And MoVernie is outta here!

Follow @FordCanada and @Ford on Twitter!

Also Follow #FordNAIAS for updates!

For NAIAS business hours or admission prices, click the site here.

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2016 #FORDNAIAS Exclusive Media Trip – Day 2 (Itinerary) – MoVernie

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For the second consecutive year, I was invited by Ford Canada to attend the 2016 Ford North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Digital Summit. It’s an Exclusive VIP Event organized by Ford Motors, flying in the selected Digital Influencers from around the world to meet together and cover one of the largest North American Auto Shows in the world that is happening from January 11-24, 2016. I was one of the lucky exclusive Canadian Digital Influencers representing Canada.

It’s a 3-day Media Trip Event. First of all, let me start off with a summary of my Ford NAIAS Day-1 Itinerary so that you have a bigger picture of how my media event went.

Day 2 – Ford NAIAS Media Trip

1) Woke up early at around 7:00 am to walk into the atrium to grab breakfast and meet with other Influencers.

2) There was a breakfast buffet stations with goodies such as scrambled eggs, bacon, fruits, yogurt, etc. There was also a omelette station where a chef can cook it on the spot. I luv my eggs dearly so I ordered two sunny-side up eggs (MoVernie Question: How do you like your eggs?).

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3) Went back to my hotel room, changed my clothes and grabbed my equipment and hopped onto the coach bus. We were heading to the Cobo Center, where the North American International Auto Show took place.

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4) Grabbed our NAIAS wrist band and walked into the auto show. First stop we made was to check out the Ford Blue Oval Headquarter. Man! This place is gigantic, it had 2 floors. FYI – Ford had the biggest floor space at the NAIAS. In the middle of the Ford Blue Oval HQ, there was a big central screens, it displayed the tweets posted by Influencers who used the hashtag #FordNAIAS. That’s just show you how forward thinking and how much Ford believes in Social Media and being thoughtful to know how to communicate with the new generations.

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5) At the Ford Blue Oval HQ, there were tons of interactive display and activities for the media and public to do. On both ends of the floor space, you could see a beautiful white Ford Explorer being lifted up high in the air after it picked up some show-goers to let them check out the innovation and technologies Ford had developed over the years.

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6) On the other end of the floor space, the award-winning 2015 North American International Truck of the Year, F-150 Truck was lifted up as well with passengers, showcasing the attendees its state-of-the-art automatic system that would help ease you to backup your trailer or unload your boat when you are backing up. In the past, it’s a pain to backing up your truck when you have limited visibility in backing up your truck with tons of equipment behind you. Ford Motors listened to what its customers needs and its engineers developed a system that will make its customers’ lives better and easier.

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7) On the second floor, there sits the gorgeous show-stopper 2016 Ford GT Super Car. Last year, this vehicle shocked the automotive world with its debut in the signature blue colour. This year, it’s shown with the white body paint. Trust me, every angle, every colour, this ride looks great!

8) After chilling for a bit at the Ford Blue Oval HQ, we were headed to the Joe Louis Arena to check out the Ford Presentation.

9) Joe Louis Arena is home to the NHL Detroit Red Wings, its an iconic building full of history. All of the brands at the auto show, Ford is the ONLY brand that conducted its presentation at the Joe Louis Arena. Meanwhile, other brands conducted its presentation at their respective show space. Ford really is a BIG player at the Detroit Auto Show & it really takes its product presentation seriously.

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10) CEO Mark Fields and Executive Chairman Bill Ford took the stage, they thanked and greeted the media for attending the Ford presentations.

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11) The best part of the Ford presentation? Famous Host of the American Idol, Ryan Seacrest was the host for this Ford presentation. Totally didn’t know he would be here, especially he was at the Golden Globes the night before. It’s so cool to see him at the auto show. Apparently, Ryan is a big supporter of Ford products for many many years and Ford has been a proud sponsor of the American Idol show for a long time, so it was a great connection there.

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12) Ford showcased its 2017 Ford Raptor.

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13) Ford also showcased its 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

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14) Ford also showcased its development on its “Autonomous” self-driving vehicles. They are the first car company to conduct testing of its autonomous vehicles under snow and ice conditions.

15) To make its consumer’s lives better by understanding what its customers needs. Ford introduced a concept called “Ford Pass”.  What is “FordPass”? FordPass is part of Ford Smart Mobility – which is a strategy that combines connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience, data and analytics to better serve its customers.

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16) After the Ford Presentation, we walked by to the Ford Blue Oval HQ, Ryan Seacrest was busy doing a Q&A session with university students about life and career choices.

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17) Grabbed some lunch and beverages at the Ford Blue Oval HQ.

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18) Decided to walk around the rest of the auto show to see what other car brands have to offer and also attended some of their presentations, unveiling some of its products to the world for the first time.

19) Mark Fields, CEO of Ford held a session with the students, answering their questions. Mark also shared his insights, his own experiences and his own career paths and shared with the students. The session was inspiring and really provided some motivational messages to encourage the students to find their own paths and goals and continue to work hard to fulfill their respective dreams.

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20) Returned back to the Ford Blue Oval HQ. Davindra Ramnarine (@1goatroti), another FordNAIAS Digital Influencer and I interviewed President and CEO of Ford Canada, Dianne Craig at the Executive Ford Lounge.

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(Photo: Craig Silva)

20) After the interview, Ford unveiled its first Ford Fusion Nascar.

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21) We attended the Ford NAIAS Party in the evening, located right at the Ford Blue Oval HQ. Drinks and food were served. Live music pumping!

21) At the Ford NAIAS Party, Ford & Lego announced their partnerships in producing two lego play sets. One featuring the iconic Ford Mustang. The other play set consists of the historic Ford Model T and the 2017 Ford Raptor.

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20) Hopped back on the coach bus and headed back to the Westin Hotel.

21) Mingled with other Ford NAIAS Influencers at the lounge area.

22) Went back to my hotel room and did some social media work.

23) Went for a nice sleep, all tugged in the comfy bed sheets and bed.

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End of Day 2 of my MoVernie Ford NAIAS Media Trip.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram (@RealMoVernie) and Twitter (@MoVernie) as I will be posting awesome photos and videos at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

And MoVernie is outta here!

Follow @FordCanada and @Ford on Twitter!

Also Follow #FordNAIAS for updates!

For NAIAS business hours or admission prices, click the site here.