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2010 Detroit Auto Show: From The Outside Looking In Page 2

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2011 Ford Mustang GT

2011 Ford Mustang GT

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2. Stronger American offerings

Yesterday, Marty announced that two Ford vehicles -- the Fusion Hybrid and the Transit Connect -- had been named the 2010 North American Car of the Year and Truck of the Year. That's not surprising, given the great work that Ford has been doing over the past year, and with several new models in the pipeline, including the widely anticipated 2011 Ford Fiesta and the 2011 Ford Mustang GT (at left), we expect the good times will continue to roll in -- and out of -- Dearborn.

General Motors is pulling its weight, too. Not only has it produced the darling of Detroit, the Chevy Volt, but it's also showing some other solid contenders, like the Cadillac XTS Platinum concept. The XTS may not be the wackiest thing on the floor, but it's solid, and it's a very smart hybrid. For a company in transition -- one that's missing some key staff -- that's not too shabby.

Chrysler doesn't seem to be holding itself together quite as well as GM, but in many ways, it's had a tougher time of things. Chrysler had to manage not only a bankruptcy, but also a de facto merger -- and in the process, the company's product development ground to a halt. However, credit goes where credit is due, and you can't say Chrysler isn't trying. Frankly, I like the Chrysler Delta (née the Lancia Delta), and if I wasn't so bummed at the thought of trying to parallel park it every day, I might even consider buying one down the line. The Fiat 500 BEV, though, is definitely on my short list -- far above other small models like the Honda CR-Z.


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Comments (13)
  1. This is really a great summary! Its always helpful to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about but is not influenced by the glitz and glamor of the show.
     
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  2. EVs are indeed real, but the numbers will be small for several years. Just as not every American ended up driving a huge pickup or SUV even when there wasn't a single car intro at Detroit, not every buyer will go for a hybrid or an electric. Behavior changes pretty slowly but cars go through fads. This year, the predominant flavor is electric. And, as you note, hurray for no hydrogen hoopla. Finally. At last. Phew.
     
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  3. Great summary. Does feel that EVs have arrived (finally). Am a bit in the wait and see mode re the "synch" and what it means in reality (real use case) after the wow/gadget cool aura passes.
     
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  4. No apocalypse, Richard? Seriously? Haven't you seen FOX lately, man? Terrorists, Communists, and Democrats (meaning the same group of people) are taking over :-)
    I purposely didn't list "socialists" because I don't know what it really means or even how to spell it. I just know that it's bad and that's why Jesus driving the CR-Z is coming soon...
     
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  5. "Your car is now an iPhone with Corinthian leather seats" -- amazing line!
     
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  6. "what's done is done, politicians stink, now what's for dinner?"
    - Richard Reed
    This quote is going to be my new email signature for 2010
     
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  7. awesome article, I agree on many levels!
    JoJo--might want to get his name right if you're going to immortalize him. Not Reed, R-e-a-d. But good idea. I might have to grab "I'm wary of getting too caught up in the giddiness of it all." Works in so many situations. :D
     
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  8. Are you all delusional? Hardly anyone will buy an EV. Several reasons: 1. They cost too much. 2. They hardly get you down the road 50 miles. 3. What do you do with a worn out battery? 4. Detroit and Washington are trying to sell something that won't sell!
     
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  9. That's right. It's time to move on. But with the way things were last year, I would have expected even more change by now. This year's show sounds like the second day after a big bender. That hangover's gone, so you convince yourself that just a little bit is okay...
     
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  10. RLJ: I think you're looking at the wrong cars. Also, I think the technology is improving pretty quickly, and the ways in which automakers are using it and bending it to their needs is remarkable. The Chevy Volt alone is an example of that -- a car that runs on electricity, although it depends on a gas-powered generator once the 40-mile range is passed.
    _
    Seriously: electric vehicles of some sort or another are inevitable. They're the future. There is no going back. It may take a while to move forward, but Things Have Changed.
     
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  11. Volt is very nice and efficient for short commutes. But without gov't rebates it will still be am expensive novelty 2 years after its release (whenever it happens.) Honestly, it's impractical (4 seats) and to save the Earth and ourselves, anyone commuting 40 miles both ways should be taking a bus. I truly hope this tech will keep improving and getting cheaper and I want us to stay ahead of the curve (meaning ahead of the Chinese) though whatever we invent they will copy and steal.
     
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  12. @JKD: Well said. IMHO, the Volt will be the first iteration of a mass-produced, largely electric vehicle. Someone else will probably come along shortly and do it better -- not unlike how Toyota stole Honda's thunder by building a better hybrid than the Insight.
     
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  13. the cars are still trying to outdo each other with glitz...no solid styling. Car buyers need a reason to fall in love with the cars they drive. As it is, if you parked all of the offerings together, it would be hard to tell which ones they were. Go back to some modified art deco so the cars stand out. Buyers have a reason to love them...they may be technically great, but they dont do much for a love affair. Im tired to looking at Jelly Beans. Lets go back to looks and love affairs....whatever it takes...look at cars of the '50's and 60's....they spoke to buyers.
     
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