Blog: Chris WrightDetroit with a difference

Chris Wright | 11 January 2012

It was Detroit with a difference this year. Different largely because of the weather.

I’ve been covering this show for 20 years or so and the city has almost always been covered in snow and certainly freezing cold – minus 17C on one occasion.

Standing outside the Cobo Hall on the morning of the second press day, the sun was shining and it was unseasonably warm, +7C – almost unheard of. Exactly a year ago, my connecting flight through New York on the way home was cancelled because of snow storms.

The warmth this year spread through to the inside of the Cobo Hall. This was Detroit Show with a buzz about it even though there is small chance of the market returning the 16m plus of the mid-2000s. Now, the industry has shaken out and finds it can still make money in a market hovering around 13m.

No outrageous giant SUVs and pick-ups this year, the Ford Fusion and the Dodge Dart represented a softer, more environmentally-friendly approach to new modelsm though there were still cars to drool over. The new Porsche Carrera Cabriolet was one, while it was arguably outdone by the stunning Acura NSX.

Like most shows these days, most companies were talking green but there is still a heavy reliance on the internal combustion engine in the US. Petrol remains considerably cheaper than in Europe but reduced mpg and CO2 is very much at the forefront for all the carmakers with 40mpg seemingly the holy grail.


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