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Nissan a No-Show for Detroit, Chicago Auto Shows


creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolestjohn/2945220253/

creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicolestjohn/2945220253/

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Wonder if Joe Serra, co-chair of Detroit's North American International Auto Show, is still feeling so upbeat about this year's show now that Nissan Motor Co. has decided it won't be bringing its lineup of cars, models, spokespeople, and hundreds of armor all bottles to Cobo Hall. Yup, that's right: Earlier this evening, Automotive News announced the sobering fact that Nissan North America--the highest-volume automaker to pull out of Detroit thus far--will not be participating in this year's show. That makes it the latest automaker to bail on Detroit, joining Rolls-Royce, Land Rover, Ferrari, Suzuki, Porsche, and Mitsubishi. They also say that Nissan will not have a presence at the Chicago Auto Show in '09.

Mr. Serra was not overly concerned at relatively small-potato Mitsubishi's decision to stage a no-show at this year's event, but when huge automakers like Nissan start aborting plans to have a presence at arguably the most important auto show in North America, you know that times are tough. It makes one think about the economy in Detroit, Michigan; not only are the Big Three facing record losses, but the industries built around automaking (auto shows, car dealerships, suppliers, probably even car PR types) are also treading water with increasing desperation. Tough times, indeed.

So, who's next to bail on Detroit? Surely the Big Three, come hell or high water, will have a strong presence on their home turf. From all reports, Ford stands poised for the quickest recovery and most promising near-term future, so we expect a bevy of fresh-faced models, 10-gallon displays over at the Truck of Texas F-150 stand, lots of 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid hype, and a healthy smattering of 2011 Fiesta frenzy--not to mention the newest Shelby-fied version of the 2010 Ford Mustang and the 2010 Lincoln MKT. Heck, maybe even Nelly will show up with his pimped Ford Flex.

But what is GM to do with its bright orange Hummer H3T lingering from SEMA? Leave that one in the barn and put a few extra blazing 2010 Camaros on display, that's what, including the awesome quartet of Camaro concepts displayed at SEMA. Plus the ferocious, Viper-beating new ZR1. Add anything from Cadillac's impressive stable (OK, maybe not the Escalade unless it's the hybrid) like the 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe. Leave the Pontiac G3 at home in the medicine cabinet, to be taken for CAFE purposes only. And add another healthy round of publicity for the highly anticipated 2011 Chevrolet Volt E-REV electric. And toss in the 2010 Buick LaCrosse, too.

And of Chrysler? Well, they can roll out their trio of electric vehicles announced, oh, a day or so after Chevy announced the Volt. But more exciting will be the Dodge Challenger in its six-, eight-, and maybe even ten-cylindervarieties, and the impressive new Dodge Ram with its segment-leading coil-sprung rear suspension. We all know--yawn--about the minivans, and we all wish we didn't know about the Sebring/Avenger and Compass/Patriot/Caliber triplets.

Heck, maybe auto-show downsizing ain't such a bad thing. Leave the snoozers and losers at home, and just bring out the models that will save your hide and win prizes. It could be like a talent show--judges, juries, costume, hair, and makeup. Something along the lines of, you know, Dancing with the Cars. "Contestant #1: Gained 300 pounds since your last generation? No fancy footwork for you--take a hike." "Contestant #2: More performance at the cost of greater consumption? Wipe that sweat off your brow on the way out." "Contestant #3: Did you think we wouldn't notice those harsh lines and that aging bone structure under all the layers of makeup and glitter? You're history."--Colin Mathews
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creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plaubelmakina/364126736/

creative commons - flickr.com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plaubelmakina/364126736/

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Comments (9)
  1. This is big. Nissan is too large a player to miss this show but at the same time, it may make sense, given that EVERYONE is hurting (from GM to Toyota) to just cancel the show altogether (a bit like all the post 911 cancelations). This is a really bad time to show all the glitz...
     
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  2. Yes, I fully agree, this is really big and rather amazing. I could understand if it wasn't worth for the Exotics to be here, and even for Mitsu, not being a big Seller in the US, but NISSAN?
    Who will care to drive in snow and ice to go to the show in Jan 2009? Esp. with most exotics gone?
     
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  3. Are they pulling out because of money or is it because of the big 3 relation to Detroit. Does Detroit resonate failure? Nissan surprises me, who will be next? Cobo will be half empty if this continues.
     
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  4. I'd guess most, if not all of them, pull out because of $ considerations, or, better, a cost-benefit ratio so high, that is not worth doing.
    I can understand that with the Exotics, Ferrari, even Porsche, I doubt they sell as many in the Midwest as they do in NY and esp. CA, but why Nissan?
     
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  5. As far as I am concerned, I would not change my plans to attend NAIAS if Nissan did not show up, despite their new and interesting 370Z where they shed about 225 lbs over the old 350Z. I would care even less if Mitsu did not show up.
    But when ROlls, Ferrari, and Porsche do not show up, that's big, and it WOULD make me not go.
     
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  6. So should the big 3 put on one hell of a show? GM will show the Camaro, should the show the CTS coupe, wagon even thow they pulled the plug on those. How about Buick and Pontiac? Chrysler could show the public the new Phoenix engine and the duel clutch auto that they build oversees. Also Jeep could shocase the diesel Wrangler and some small diesels. Ford will show up with the new Mustang and a whole slew of new Fiestsas. Chrysler could show there electric cars and show they mean busniess (but we all know the truth). What I mean is should the big 3 take advantage of other automakers pulling out and make this a big "look what we are capeable of" show or is the NAIAS dead or dieing
     
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  7. I never understood why NAIAS has to happen in the middle of a cruel MI winter every year. Weren't those that put it together not familiar with weathe rconditions in the Detropit area? Why not have it in April, or, even better, during the Fall Colors, which usually coincides with the new model year? I bet they would almost double their old audiences.
     
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  8. Hey that's great news! Maybe if Honda and Toyota pull out it would be just what the doctor ordered. Just for that let Nissan be told, I'm not going to the Tokyo show next year, I'll be too busy driving my Chrysler. Guess what, Let's kick 'em all out and maybe the press will pay attention to domestic iron for a change. I stil don"t get their love affair with imports.
     
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  9. "Just for that let Nissan be told, I’m not going to the Tokyo show next year"
    The diff is that Nissan sells MILLIONS of its cars in the USA every year, while we at best sell a HANDFUL in Japan, and all attempts I remember to sell poorly made domestics (Saturns and Caddilacs) there had bombed, also because we did not care to spend the $ to MODIFY the cars to fit well with Japanese roads, while they DO spend the time and $ to make their cars different and appropriate for our roads.
    We should be at the SHANGHAI show, where GM sells millions of cars in China, and not at the TOkyo show, in the first place, regardless of what Nissan does or does not do.
     
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