By on January 17, 2019

One of the repeating refrains I heard in Detroit this year went something like, “It’s the last winter show, and yet it’s not even that cold!”

Cold, of course, can be relative – Southern Californians tend to define it differently than Midwesterners. Still, Sunday and Monday were tolerable for life-long Northerners like myself, but Tuesday did offer a chill that reminded us that it was still January.

The weather is always a major topic of discussion at Detroit – whether there’s piles of snow downtown or mild temps in the 50s (I’ve experienced both). The Sun Belt folks whine while the Rust Belt residents whine about the whining and so it goes. I don’t know exactly how much the weather plays into the decision to move the show to the summer, starting next year. Only the Detroit Auto Dealers Association employees are privy to those discussions. Obviously it’s a factor, but how much of one compared to other factors is unclear. (Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

NAIAS 2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept

Embracing the marque’s Japanese heritage, Infiniti today revealed the QX Inspiration concept SUV. The concept, a midsize crossover, looks towards an electrified future for the brand. Further, it introduces a new styling language that’s sure to influence future vehicles.

Sadly, the 11:40 a.m. press conference and reveal came and went without the concept rolling across the stage in front of a horde of journalists. It seems the QX Inspiration was shy and didn’t want to start. Thus, here is photo of the stricken concept in the lobby.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

The #savethemanuals crowd may weep, but the Ford fanboys will still rejoice. The 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 is here. It’s loud, it’s powerful, it looks cool, and it has no clutch pedal.

That’s right. The more than 700 horsepower expected from the 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 will funnel through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from Tremec. Drivers will take back manual control via paddles.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

Cadillac XT6

I wasn’t sure if I’d see the Cadillac XT6 in person, even though I assigned myself the story when us editor types divvied up our coverage of this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

You see, I asked to be added to the media list a little late, and was told the event would be at capacity. But a journalist doesn’t let little things like “fire codes” stand in the way of his story. So I showed up a little late and used my Midwestern charm to get in the door. In a very polite way, I crashed the party.

Which is what Cadillac is doing, in a way.

(Read More…)

By on January 13, 2019

Jerry Dias, Unifor President, Image: OFL Communications Department (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Things are starting to get truly ugly between Canada’s Unifor and General Motors. On Friday, the union held a rally in Windsor, Ontario, with that automaker’s headquarters just a river away. During the event, Unifor President Jerry Dias expressed his annoyance with the automaker’s restructuring plan and promised to bring the noise to GM’s front door during the North American International Auto Show this week.

Friday’s gathering, which Unifor and the Windsor and District Labour Council claimed drew around 2,000 people despite its brevity, focused primarily on the company’s decision to shift more of its North American production to Mexico and the shuttering of Oshawa Assembly and the end of this year. Dias said he wants the union to work with the automaker to keep Canadian jobs and avoid a potential boycott. Though that might be just around the corner, as the UAW has already issued a boycott of its own within the United States. (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2018

2016 NAIAS Ford Stand

The North American International Auto Show, held in mid-January since there were starting handles on the front of cars, may be jumping halfway across the calendar to the month of June.

Facing a declining level of participation, the show has been looking for ways to reinvent itself in a bid to remain relevant and continue grabbing headlines during a time of year when digital ink is easily slurped up by news from other events.

(Read More…)

By on June 29, 2018

GAC NAIAS 2018

News broke late yesterday that the organizers behind the North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show, are making an announcement late this month regarding moving the 2020 show to either June or October from January. Either way, the show is definitely moving dates – it’s just not sure whether it will be to the summer or the fall.

The reasoning for the move that I keep seeing in news reports is that an exodus of foreign manufacturers is making the Detroit Area Dealers Association – the group that organizes the show – re-think the show’s timing. In addition, the thinking is that perhaps a larger festival can be arranged around the show, and a summer show makes outdoor test drives and events (which have been offered in Detroit and are also offered at the Chicago Auto Show in February) more appealing.

A move also gets NAIAS away from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. CES takes place around the same time as NAIAS most years, causing headaches for media and industry analysts who are expected to attend both.

(Read More…)

By on June 29, 2018

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Front, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

There’s only one more North American International Auto Show to go before America’s premier automotive event trades its bitter winter winds for temperate climes.

After months of rumor and speculation, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association — the organization behind the show — declared Thursday that it will no longer hold the event in January. After the 2019 show, journalists will no longer be able to watch icebergs form on the Detroit River. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2018

audi a8 2019

The 2019 North American International Auto Show will be decidedly less Germanic than in years past. On Thursday, Audi announced plans to ditch the upcoming Detroit show, joining its two premium German rivals in steering clear of the wintry venue.

It’s the latest blow for a marquee auto show currently in the process of reinventing itself amid declining relevance and automaker interest. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2018

Nissan Vmotion 2.0

Hoping to restore some of the event’s lost relevance, the organizers behind the North American International Auto Show will soon decide whether to move the Detroit carfest to a more palatable month.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association began looking at ways to boost interest earlier this year, following Mercedes-Benz’s announcement that it would not attend the 2019 show. Not long after that, BMW said it also planned to take a pass. Bleeding automakers and facing a growing threat from digital media, the event’s increasingly grim situation called for desperate measures.

It’s now looking like next year’s show will indeed be the last one staged in January. However, General Motors has its own idea for how to spruce up the show — one that involves the entire city. (Read More…)

By on March 24, 2018

2018 BMW X3 M40i - Image: BMW

The ratio of Detroit iron to imports stands to rise at the next North American International Auto Show, following BMW’s decision to withdraw from the event. On Friday, the German automaker announced it will join a growing list of automakers — including rival Mercedes-Benz — that don’t have time for the Detroit show.

It’s the latest blow for an event struggling to maintain its relevance in an age of off-site reveals, tech-focused consumer shows, and global online audiences. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2018

Anyone living north of, let’s be generous, the Mason-Dixon line or Ohio River, knows that January is probably the worst month in which to enjoy anything related to automobiles. Driving them, repairing them, and even travelling long distances to look at them.

Now, let’s say there was a car-filled extravaganza that occurred every winter in a northern city located next to a number of very large lakes and along a well-defined storm track. Surely, this could not only impede the enjoyment (and perhaps forward momentum) of said cars, but it could make getting to said northern city a challenge.

Suffice it to say, Detroit in January isn’t the most pleasant of environs, and the North American International Auto Show’s organizers know it. As concerns about the show’s waning appeal grow, sources claim the event is prepared to set up shop in a warmer month. (Read More…)

By on January 18, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

When I left the media center at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, I turned to Steph to say I might write a roundup piece this week, but I wasn’t sure what angle to take. It’s true this year’s show was truck-focused, and I wanted to go beyond the obvious theme (which Jack eventually took on here) and see if there was more to the show that was getting lost in the truck madness.

“Maybe I will find inspiration on the open road,” I joked.

Instead, the “open road” greeted me with snarled traffic near Detroit and whiteout conditions a couple hours later in Southwest Michigan/Northwest Indiana. So, as I tried to keep a Camry pointed forward and not sideways while surrounded by insane open-road truckers whose response to the weather was to drive even faster, I realized I wasn’t going to come up with some grand, sweeping theme for this year’s show.

(Read More…)

By on January 13, 2018

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

There’s something about truck marketing.

Any time an automaker has a redesigned, refreshed, or updated truck to sell, out come the shots at the competition.

Tonight it was Chevy’s turn — the automaker wouldn’t divulge specs related to the 3.0-liter diesel inline-six that will be available in its all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but GM product boss Mark Reuss made sure to imply that the diesel would make more power than that of the diesel Ford just unveiled for the F-150.

(Read More…)

By on January 10, 2018

Ford 2018 NAIAS

Ford has teased that it will be giving something the ST treatment next week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

It hasn’t said what, at least not publicly, as of yet. We may or may not know, but embargoes are something we abide by here at TTAC, so we’re not spilling any beans. That is, if we know, which we might, but might not.

(Read More…)

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