Detroit Auto Show – some quick points

Press Day #1 has come and gone at the Detroit Auto Show, which means it’s basically over.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, go and visit Kevin Miller’s wrap of the Saab/Hirsch press conference at AutoSavant.

Kevin also sent through some images that I featured here yesterday.

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The best wrap I’ve seen of the show so far comes from Pete DeLorenzo – as is usually the case. Pete’s a Detroit diehard with a big GM history but more than that, he’s a car guy, so it’s always interesting to get his take on the show.

A few quotes:

Hyundai:

By the end of [Hyundai’s] press conference I really didn’t care whether the Veloster UAV (Urban Whatever Vehicle) was a hit or not – because I just wanted (Hyundai US boss) Krafcik to sit down over in the corner and shut up.

The Acura stand:

…..you could have shot-off a paint can filled with bottle rockets and not hit a soul

Toyota:

We’ve lost our mojo and there isn’t a search engine in the world powerful enough to find it….Toyota gets a giant “F” in Detroit, for Forgettable.

Volkswagen:

I had no idea that the new Passat would be worse than the Jetta because I couldn’t imagine any car company willingly designing and building such a soporific piece of crap in this day and age. Yet here we are.

BMW 1 Series M:

Slick, seductive and very, very well executed, it’s easy to predict that the new “M” will be the best BMW – at least for serious driving enthusiasts – in years.

Ford:

Ford continued to impress with its scope and reach, with its array of smartly designed and executed vehicles and with a clearly focused management team that shows no signs of slacking off not even for a minute.

GM:

GM showed well at Cobo Hall with the very appealing new Buick Verano (I’d beg to differ – SW), the new Sonic (formerly known as the Aveo), the CTS-V Coupe race car, the ubiquitous Chevy Volt, and enough enthusiasm and smiles to light up the whole show.

Audi:

….with the intro of the new A6, it has yet another impressive entry destined to become BMW and Mercedes-Benz’s worst nightmare.

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I was hoping that Peter might have ventured out into the cold to see the hardy Swedes with their Hirsched up offerings. I think he would have admired their courage. Alas, not to be.

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Speaking of which, here are two different photographic takes on the Saab stand outside Cobo, at the base of the Hotel Ponchartrain.

Look for the arrow….

Full story about that photo at AutoEvolution.

The angle on that shot isn’t entirely fair, though. Here’s a slightly better one, featured at Car Advice.

crill
Guest
crill
5 years 8 months ago

The first shot really shows how small Saab is compared to german automakers ..

Kirk
Guest
Kirk
5 years 8 months ago

I think the new Passat is a pretty nice car. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

charlie
Guest
charlie
5 years 8 months ago

The Veloster is probably what SAAB might have wanted for the 9-2 concept. It looks very teardroppy.

And the hate for the Buick Vernao? Stupid name, but it looks excellent.

It is a tough market out there.

Dippen
Guest
Dippen
5 years 8 months ago

So next thing to look forward to is Brussel show, maybe an press announcement is on its way becasue the Spyker stock has gone up alot

Red J
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Dippen the press is full about the European presentation of the 9-4x in Brussels.
Press Conference from JAj and VM on January 14th at 10:30 am CET

74stingray
Guest
74stingray
5 years 8 months ago

To be honest, I really like the “smallness” of the Saab display. It seems to fit the unique nature of most Saab drivers. We like to be different, buck the system of conforming with the masses. We know quality can be found outside the German and Japanese showrooms. We want to be noticed but not willing to shout “hey, look at me”. This is all my opinion and may not fit all Saabers.

The Mercedes overkill banner is just ridiculous, just like most of my local Mercedes drivers.

JL
Guest
JL
5 years 8 months ago
Another angle on the “smallness” of SAAB: I read in the newspaper today that the total US 2011 forecast for cars sold is 13 000 000. This is up from 2009 (10.3´´) and 2010 (11.5´´) and much less than the sales from 10 years ago (16´´). Say that SAAB were to sell ALL of their 80 000 cars in 2011 in the US – that would then correspond to a market share of 0.6%. SAAB´s actual 2011 US forecast is probably more like 20 000 vehicles or 0.15% MS? That does not seem impossible! SAAB really is a niche player… Read more »
Niklas G
Guest
Niklas G
5 years 8 months ago

Well, that move from Mercedes apparently DID give Saab some extra attention in the media, didn’t it? =)

aaron c
Guest
aaron c
5 years 8 months ago

Saab had the right idea but Mercedes kinda overshadowed them. And while the Swedes may be OK with a snowstorm, I’m not sure everyone else wants to look at cars in the freezing cold. But hey, it’s Detroit. Oh, and a positive note from Victor Muller, who says an ad blitz next month will target customers unaware of Saab’s survival. Promising.

RMinNJ
Guest
RMinNJ
5 years 8 months ago

I wonder if Ford announced if it would have any of the Focus or Fiesta RS models available in the USA..
I never understood it. It’s like Saab building a Hirch model or a Viggen and then not offering it for sale in Sweden.

zippy
Guest
zippy
5 years 8 months ago

That oversized Jetta aka Passat makes the Buick look positively interesting. VWs are no more that European Toyotas – without the reliability. A6, interesting? In a VW sort of way I guess.

eggsngrits
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Audi. Those guys are on a ROLL.

Hyundai – no different. Not a huge fan of Korean styling. However, they pack huge technical punch into those cars. 6-speed dual-clutch automatic in the Velo-whatever. Hard to argue.

Chris Carrier
Guest
Chris Carrier
5 years 8 months ago

Korean “styling” is apparently knocking off other carmakers’ outgoing models.

Tedjs
Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Should be heading up this weekend to check things out in Motor City, and watch the boys from Ford dissect the new Eco-Boost engine. Another company on an unstoppable roll, I predict the new Focus will be a huge hit with buyers.

A great read overall, and an excellent assessment of Acrura as well as VW. What is going on with those “car guys?” That new Passat is positively boring.

Chris Carrier
Guest
Chris Carrier
5 years 8 months ago

I could have sworn I was behind a 1 series BMW M today. It looked just like the photos I’ve been seeing and yet it doesn’t seem possible if it was just announced. Weird. I did manage to get in front of it…

Ken H
Guest
Ken H
5 years 8 months ago

BMW 1-series M….what a hype. A butt ugly 2 door small and heavy car (1,5 tons) with a big engine and big price tag… Oh, yeah. The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades….

Michael
Guest
Michael
5 years 8 months ago

+1…..different pills for different thrills

Jörgen Trued
Guest
Jörgen Trued
5 years 8 months ago

New iduA A6 has an exterior look that is not in anyway better than Saab 9-5. In my eyes Saab has the advantage here unique design while the A6 looks very averege.

saabluster
Guest
saabluster
5 years 8 months ago

I just did a comparo of frontal shots taken of both the 9-5 in saab app and the A6 on their own site and seeing them both back to back it is amazing how garish the A6 looks next to the Saab. It’s like they were just going for something that stands out without consideration for the beauty of the lines and making them blend harmoniously. The 9-5 really is exceptionally beautiful.

Kevin Miller
Guest
5 years 8 months ago
Peter DeLorenzo needs to be taken with a grain of salt, though I do agree with a lot of what he says. That being the case… John Krafcik is incredibly dynamic, and I think the Veloster is a pretty cool little car. In person it looks substantial and has a dynamic design. Hyundai has great momentum right now, thanks to great looking products and Krafcik’s energy. The Acura stand, right in the middle of the show, was always deserted. Strange to see… their cars just have no energy (or visual appeal right now). Volvo did have a presser on Tues,… Read more »
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