Detroit Auto Show – Kudos and Kicks

The Detroit Auto Show is over, my opinions are now fully formed and here’s the recap:

Best Concept:

Chevrolet Volt – I don’t know how anyone can say the best concept car was anything but the Volt from General Motors. Stunning and audacious.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X – Could be Mitsubishi’s comeback vehicle in the U.S.

Ford Interceptor – Mustang attitude with extra doors

Lincoln MKR – Ford should listen to the great feedback on this car and actually build it.

Toyota FT-HS Coupe – Great design, which doesn’t happen too often with Toyota, so hopefully it will show up in this form as a production car.

Best Production Car:

Cadillac CTS – Very successful and luxurious updating of Cadillac’s bread-and-butter sedan.

Smart Fortwo – Retains the funky charm of the original in a larger package and I predict that Smart and United Auto Group will exceed their U.S. sales projections.

Honda Accord Coupe – Will be much better than the tepid Camry restyle, and that’s what’s important, no matter the brickbats some auto journalists threw at it.

Chevrolet Malibu – Make no mistake, this is one of the most important cars to Chevrolet that General Motors has rolled out recently. I like the twin-cockpit treatment which gives the car a certain amount of verve for the price segment.

“Nap Time” Production Cars:

Ford Five Hundred – I liked the old look better, but at least it got the mechanical and horsepower upgrades it so desperately needed.

Ford Focus – Tough to be satisfied with this warmed-over old Focus when the absolutely brilliant new Focus and its equally wonderful platform mates frolic in Europe to deserved acclaim.

BMW M6 Convertible – The quintessence of what is wrong with BMW design, and although incredibly fast, it’s not that interesting to drive, either.

Pontiac Torrent GXP – Yeah, it’s just not working for me in any way whatsoever.

Nissan Altima Coupe – An amorphous blob that does not excite the senses.

That covers the iron, and from an overall perspective I’d have to say that GM was the star of the show, mighty Toyota, for whatever reason, laid low, Ford had an opportunity to go big and impress those who have already written them off and instead made a weak showing, Honda demonstrated it’s not going to take the increase in Camry sales lightly, Nissan kind of did their own thing quietly, Chrysler’s show effort was workman-like, but muted, and of course, the Chinese vehicles there produced some speculation among the other manufacturers and various auto dealers.

If you ever get a chance to go to the Detroit show, go – you’ll have a blast.

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at

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