Detroit show dominated the news this week

Detroit show dominated the news this week

The Detroit show - press days of - dominated the news this week and, as usual, we have grouped our coverage into one handy take-home pack.

I noticed most commenters managed to work in the word 'bankrupt' when referring to the city while a certain blogger of our acquaintance worked out rather quickly, when he saw his hotel bill, how certain recent civic enhancements are being paid for: "With Detroit bankrupt and now in the hands of government administrators what would you expect? Tax, of course. I now know how they have managed to pay for the rather grand upgrade at the Cobo Exhibition Centre - they got me and other poor mugs staying in town to stump up the cash. There it is on the final hotel bill "Cobo expansion tax" A total of $70!!!! Then you have to add in $20 for "Stadium tax" whatever that is, then there's an "Assessment tax" of a further $40. This, of course, all on top of the published room rate which you thought you were going to pay which is pretty exhorbitant because there's a show in town. And if you want to eat in the hotel the prices are equally stupid, then you have to pay the staff."

Ford's switch to all-oom-in-um for large chunks of its redesigned F-150 pickup truck (top selling single model in the US for the umpteenth year in a row in 2013) seemed to prompt wide debate including the not unreasonable concern as to what happens should you ding one miles from a body shop with the skills and tools to fix aluminium vehicles. I liked the TV news comment from a farmer contemplating replacing a 2002 F-series - he was going to get a steel 2014 rather than an aluminium 2015 because he didn't think the alloy vehicle would be 'Ford tough' like the older models.

Among many launches at the show, came details of the first Mexican built Honda, the Fit, known in English as the Jazz, which is getting a drawn out global release - Japan has got it, the US is getting it in spring, Asia mid-year (ish) and us in Europe, if we're lucky, by the end of the year.

VW, too, is gearing up to source more models from Mexico - this time it's the Golf hatchback which, in contrast to Europe, is outsold in the US by the Jetta sedan.

BMW claimed yet another record sales year and, not to be outdone, our very own, home grown Jaguar Land Rover did, too. These automakers both have lots of new products to show and tell and they're apparently flying out the showroom doors, world wide.

Having had about three gos at getting traction in Europe, Cadillac made pretty clear this week where its priorities lie - US and China. Certainly, it doesn't appear to be in much hurry to cater for a couple of essentials for success this side of the pond - right hand drive, for those annoying markets like us that insist on driving on the left, is only in development and the diesel engine essential for success continent-wide could be up to three years away.

Finally you might be interested in a look at some of the new models we expect from automakers worldwide this year, our interview with the top man at Rolls-Royce and my 'umble opinion of Nissan's new 'English' Qashqai.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,