Went to the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit last night, and I’ve got to say I was completely underimpressed. We got there at about 7pm last night, and I was initially concerned we wouldn’t have enough time to completely explore the show. We ran the full circle around Cobo Hall in a little over an hour and a half and felt like we missed half of the show, but we had covered all the manufacturers including the Chinese company hidden in the basement.
If the crowd told any story, it mirrored my own feelings towards the American automakers; hello unimpressive mediocrity. The only vehicles remotely interesting were the concept cars – which we all know will never make it to production as they are just ridiculously flashy and gimmicky to catch the eye and make it appear that the company has great new ideas coming down the pipe. Looking out over the floor of Cobo, the highest concentration of people seemed to be at every car company other than Ford, GM, or Dodge. The only exception to this was the Hummer display, but thats only because it was filled with wanna-be-rappers & pretentious-mid-life-crisis-compensaters. None of the display areas really held my attention for more than a few minutes. What happened to the elaborate shows every hour on the hour; the pyrotechnics, the Cirque du Soleil ripoffs?
There were only 3 cars that even peaked my interest, and none of them were American. The Volvo C30, the VW Fahrenheit GTI, & the Scion tC were all pretty nifty, though only the Scion is remotely in my price range.
All in all I left the show very unimpressed & worried about American auto ingenuity. I would have been upset if I had paid to get in.