“So you’re a journalist?” The question snaps me out of my hung-over trance. The landscape around Detroit Metro Airport isn’t terribly fascinating, but even the bleakest horizon is a welcome anchor for my primary senses while the parking shuttle trundles along as only domestic passenger vans are want to do.
I didn’t catch his name; my inquisitive chauffeur offered me a lift across DTW to the North terminal after passing me half a dozen times as I waited for the terminal-to-terminal shuttle—a brotherly gesture punctuating an otherwise inhospitable morning.
I don’t answer immediately. I prefer not to introduce myself as such, but I put the brakes on that particular train of thought before it blows a whistle that will further stoke the three-alarm Jack-and-Captain number that is still beating my nerve endings like bongo drums. Too deep. Too early.
“Nah, I’m a blogger,” I finally deliver in my most refined turn-that-freaking-sun-off-so-we-can-all-go-back-to-bed grunt. “I write for a Web site.”
“A blogger?” he responds as he pulls the shuttle into its stall and hops out to retrieve my bag. “What’s the difference?”
I hand him a fiver I’d plucked from my back pocket on my way to meet him behind the van.
“Journalists don’t tip. Thanks for the lift; I appreciate it.”
We’re back from the 2010 North American International Auto Show and have our photo galleries setup for you. While the show is entirely too big to photograph EVERY vehicle there, we captured all the new product that the manufacturers showed off. We hope you enjoy the photos!
Story by Jack Baruth and Carl Modesette, Photos by Zerin Dube and Carl Modesette
Full Gallery links are coming!
“Imagine a world,” the soft-spoken, rather anonymous man from Toyota said, “where you wake up to find that every car has disappeared.” His meandering, rather confused speech, which touched on everything from fuel cells to “Super Mario 3”, was simply a roundabout way to introduce a junior Prius. Nevertheless, the concept of a world without cars was clearly on everyone’s mind this week.
The twin spectres of an energized Brussels and a pressure-sensitive Obama administration made NAIAS 2010 the least product-oriented Detroit show in recent memory. It’s worth noting that, although the auto industry was suffering near-unprecedented turmoil last year, there was enough product in the pipeline to keep things interesting. What we are seeing now is the aftershock of the financial earthquake. The three performance-oriented introductions — CTS-V Coupe, Mustang 5.0, and Regal GS — were permitted to sink beneath the waves of endless battery-powered concepts and we-swear-this-hybrid-badge-is-legit pretenders like the Volkswagen NCC. The companies which are receiving government aid clearly feel compelled to pander to the panjandrums’ demand for alternative powerplants, while the ones which aren’t are afraid to display even a smidgen of exuberance. Ford went so far as to schedule an enthusiast-media intro for the fabulous new five-liter ‘Stang weeks before the actual show, presumably to avoid having to reveal a four-hundred-and-twelve-horse car before the oh-so-judgmental eyes of the mainstream press.
Take the GMC Granite — please. Is anybody asking for a pint-sized GMC? Are consumers interested in a vehicle which stretches GMC’s already ill-defined brand-image that far? If there are any such consumers, they are likely sitting behind a desk in Washington, D.C. Perhaps the men at the Renaissance Center are afraid that GMC will not be permitted to operate freely unless the requisite three thousand pounds of compact flesh are publicly sacrificed. Across the aisle, the impressive Cadillac XTS Platinum was self-consciously described as a plug-in. Does anyone seriously believe that the next full-sized Cadillac will be delivered as a plug-in? This is Soviet-era thinking, dressing up the unacceptably luxurious in state-approved low-power togs and hoping for the best.