DETROIT, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The pre-game tailgate party has evolved through the years from a cooler of cold ones and a hibachi grill in the back of a pickup to feature more elaborate spreads and high-powered accessories. As tailgating takes off, the vehicle remains at the center of the party with its gate open to welcome all to the celebration.
According to Joe Cahn, tailgating.com's Commissioner of Tailgating and a man who puts more than 30,000 miles on his vehicle each year attending upwards of 50 parking lot parties, tailgating has doubled in the last 10 years and each season fans take it to a new level.
"It's amazing how much money is spent on things like grills, gas-powered blenders and folding chairs with fancy footrests and cup-holders," said Cahn. "Many sporting good stores now even have complete tailgating sections full of gear that the year-in, year-out tailgater can add to his or her arsenal over time."
Tailgating today is about more than burgers and beer, as the average tailgater spends three to four hours of preparation time and more than $500 a season updating their gear. To cater to this trend, vehicle manufacturers are creating light trucks and SUVs that offer specific features for fall football tailgating.
"GMC trucks are built in football country -- by football fans, for football fans -- so we have a deep understanding of what features will enhance a tailgate party," said Steve Rosenblum, GMC marketing director. "Professional grade tailgaters demand a truck that's been engineered to offer functionality and versatility in the parking lot and in their everyday driving."
The list of high-tech must haves for the 2004 tailgating season includes:
* GMC Envoy XUV (Retail cost $31,925) -- Billed as the sport utility with more utility, it hosts easy-to-use, innovative features like a power sliding rear roof for easy access and open-air tailgating, and an all-weather cargo area with a quickdrain system for ice and beverage storage.
* GMC Sierra Hybrid (Retail cost approximately $30,000) -- This gasoline/electric hybrid is approximately 10 to 12 percent more fuel efficient than the standard gasoline version. It features 120-volt AC power made available through four outlets. The Sierra Hybrid is the only truck that will give hardcore tailgaters the advantage of powering heaters, refrigerators and several big screen TVs on a built-in generating station.
* Yukon XL Denali (Retail cost $52,360) -- This full size SUV offers third row passengers 36 inches of leg room, complemented by 45.7 cu. ft. of cargo volume -- plenty of room for your tailgating gear. The name "Denali" is synonymous with refinement. The Bose sound system, OnStar feature, and impressively tight turning radius, all add up to a truly professional grade vehicle.
* KVH Antenna (Retail Cost $2,300) -- Downlinks satellite TV so die-hard fans can catch the pre-game show while they tailgate.
* 42" Panasonic Plasma HDTV TV (Retail cost $6,000) and Xbox Video Game System (Retail cost $250) -- Packs easily and plugs into vehicles' power source to provide pre-game entertainment.
* Jenn-Air Grill (Retail cost $549) -- Top of the line travel grill packs easily and cools fast for easy packing and unpacking.
* Gas Powered Blender (Retail cost $259) -- Makes high-octane drinks in a hurry.
GMC is a division of General Motors Corporation. The division markets the Sierra, Yukon, Envoy, Envoy XUV, Canyon, Savana and Safari. GMC's lineup of professional grade trucks delivers outstanding capabilities that exceed customers' expectations with unique features and design elements. GMC sold nearly 580,000 vehicles in 2003, setting a division sales record for the 10th time in 11 years.
About General Motors
General Motors (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide, and has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM employs about 325,000 people around the world. More information on GM can be found at http://www.gm.com .
SOURCE General Motors Corporation
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