Blog: Irish stew? Just the ticket
Simon Warburton | 18 January 2013
Back to Cobo this afternoon for a meeting with BWI - light snow flurries are heralding the start of something even colder although I hear it's getting pretty chilly back home in the UK too.
It was industry day at the auto show and its halls were throbbing with those actually working in the business, meaning an awful lot of prodding and poking, lying under the bonnet and tape measures brandished across windscreens.
Picking the car back up from the valet service was chaotic as everybody seemed to arrive at once with some tempers appearing to fray as delegates decompressed after a week at the show.
I left them to it and retired to a diner for an egg sandwich - the bloke organising the cars looked pretty frayed too - when I picked up the car before he told me he was working to 11pm and would start at 5am the next morning - that's someone putting a shift in.
I'm waiting at the hotel now, whose key comes emblazoned with: 'If this card could talk - it would say welcome home.' Americans seem to love slogans - I passed through a suburb today which boldly described itself as: "The little town with a big heart.'
This evening Magna took me for for dinner in nearby Birmingham - where I had my American haircut at the weekend - while I have my last working day tomorrow before catching the big, white bird out of Detroit Wayne County airport back to London.
It's been an interesting week - I've met some really striking people - union leaders, supplier and OEM CEOs, PRs, state governors, other journos and barbers - while I've got to experience American drivers - and their roads.
Michigan governor, Rick Snyder, was earlier on 7 ABC and is talking about the state of the State's roads. With the weather this place gets, it's no wonder the roads take a beating, but they could really do with work to fill in the numerous pothole and patches - "enough to shake the fillings out of your teeth," says the TV station.
To fix all the roads, it's estimated each Michigan driver would have to fork out another $125 per year, so good luck, Governor, on trying to get that one through.
That dinner was at an Irish bar in Birmingham, whose stew was just what the doctor ordered, while back in Bailey's someone was being thrown high into the air, emitting a high yelp. "Cheerleader practice?" I asked. "No, rugby," she replied [proper football - ed].
Making cars where you sell them makes sense on a number of grounds. It can be a way to save on shipping costs, exploit lower manufacturing costs, avoid import tariffs and reduce exchange rate risks....
The Paris Show seems a long time ago now, but I have been sent a link to a BBC news item in which just-auto's editor makes a brief appearance....
It was interesting to speak with UK prime minister David Cameron yesterday. I didn't have much time, so I went for the European question....
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