AutoBlog: Detroit Auto Show Hype = End of U.S. Recession

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Scanning the autoblogosphere, I did a figurative double-take on Autoblog’s headline: 2010 Detroit Auto Show main floor is full, recession officially OVER. Since when does Autoblog do irony? Since never, apparently. Here’s the genesis . . . After a disastrous 2009, where major manufacturers pulled out of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) like a recently divorced billionaire riding bareback, the event’s organizers are fighting for their employer’s survival. Like any marketeer steeped in the ways of Motown, they’re going on all-out with their primary weapon: lies. I mean, baseless hype. Kool-Aid anyone? First to drink: the Detroit Free Press. “‘Every space on the main floor is full,’ a marked departure from the gaps that dotted Cobo’s display space this year because of the disappearance of brands including Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi and Suzuki, show chairman Doug Fox said in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show. Fox declined to name any brands that could return because negotiations are ongoing. One leading possibility might be Porsche. The German sports car specialist abandoned the NAIAS for the Los Angeles auto show a few years ago but has been disappointed that its events in L.A. generate less global news media coverage than it received from Detroit.” That doesn’t sound smell like victory in the morning to me. A full main floor—at what price? How many carmakers? In fact, I smell something else. Not Autoblog though.

Detroit show organizers aren’t yet ready to tip their hand as to which automakers will be attending the show, but among those likely to return are Nissan and Infiniti, as Japan’s number three automaker is just too big to stay out of the North American International Auto Show two years in a row.

Too big to not let the Detroit Auto Show fail? That’s a new one. Chances are NAIAS can’t give it away. But but but—there are newcomers!

While Detroit looks bring back some automakers that were lost last year, North America’s biggest auto show could also bring in some newcomers. Fiat’s partnership/ownership of Chrysler could mean that Fiat and Alfa Romeo models wind up parked near the Chrysler booth. India’s Mahindra group, which is looking to sell trucks and SUVs here in the States, could be another option, as could China’s BYD.

In fact, this spooky: volume over profitability. Instead of retreating to a smaller venue and trying to add value, the show’s doing the same thing it always has and—you gotta believe—cutting margins to nada. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for signs that the recession is over, or that Autoblog is in the spade calling business, this ain’t it.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • CamaroKid CamaroKid on Sep 22, 2009

    HolyDonut: What constitutes the creditability that you seek? Does it need to be in scripture? Does Kanye West have to interrupt Monday Night Football and tell you? I really don’t know what you’re looking for… because it seems like you’re setting unreasonable expectations and condemning all sources. A Great Post and observation... The truth is that no one wants to admit that counter cyclical spending works!... It worked for Eisenhower, It worked for Reagan and it is working now... You CAN (and should) prop up an economy with Government Stimulus. We are seeing signs of recovery everywhere. Even my broker is dancing in the streets this days as the market approaches 10,000 again... wow that was fast. The truth is that smart people got us into this mess, but even smarter people profited from it... my Broker was telling everyone who would listen to "Short the Banks" we made a killing in the "crash" Now the advice is to get back into the game... The Recession is over... The first people to figure this out are the ones who make all of the money.

  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Sep 23, 2009

    For the love of Pete, Camarokid - the economy is intensely worse now than it was prior to the epic fall of September 2007. But then again, Wall Street thrives when the sheeple pile in to market tops. That's how money changes hands in significant sums...from the average investors account to the hedgies and other front running firms.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.