Blog: Simon WarburtonDetroit - first impressions

Simon Warburton | 11 January 2011

Well, that's the first day of my first Detroit show and as I write this, I have the slightly surreal experience of looking out of the hotel window across the river to what is Canada.

There's still snow on the ground and the river is partly frozen, so it's fair to say it's a little chilly in these parts - minus 9 celsius or whatever that is in the farenheit the Americans resolutely insist on using. 

Queuing on the 70th floor of the massive Renaissance Centre last night - right next to GM's citadel -  that is 'seventy' as the English football tickertape information used to make clear as teams beat each other 'seven,' nil, I found myself just in front of new GM CEO Dan Akerson.

I said to the GM boss it was my maiden trip to the event and he said it was his first Detroit show too in his new capacity. I later saw him today at the Chevrolet stand surrounded by a scrum of photographers and cameraman as he toured the show with a local congressman.

Interestingly, to continue the football theme, there's been a rash of managerial comings and goings in the English Premier League as our American friends refer to it in the last few weeks, with Liverpool appointing club legend Kenny Dalglish as caretaker manager.

Akerson - probably completely unfamilar with the intricacies of the Premier League - gamely joined in with the lingo later, inisting: "I hope I don't project I'm a caretaker manager" - an unlikely scenario given GM's turnaround of late.

And a propos of nothing, I'm not sure I've seen a major city with fewer cars on the road - which for place nicknamed 'motown' certainly struck me as bizarre. Off to 'Good Nite Gracie' tonight - is it a retirement home? - where Opel boss Nick Reilly is due to make an appearance.


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