JASON STEIN

Spirits are high in the Big Apple, too

Automotive News | April 4, 2012 - 2:19 pm EST

NEW YORK -- There’s no question that the size and scope of the New York show exceeded most expectations. There are global bosses here. There are important debuts. And there is a must-see atmosphere about a show that, in previous years, felt more regional in nature.

Daimler, for example, flew in journalists from Europe for less than 24 hours -- just for the Wednesday’s media day. There is a larger U.S. contingent here. And, unlike last year, no overlap with the Shanghai show.

Why the big deal about New York again?

Many executives here said it’s all about a U.S. market in turnaround mode.

Timing is everything.

“There is a ton of optimism about where this year is going -- for the economy and the industry,” BMW marketing chief Dan Creed told me Tuesday night. “You’ve got to be here to show off the products you’ve got for that resurgence.”

How big of a resurgence will it be?

Mercedes-Benz U.S. boss Steve Cannon said his forecasters are talking about 16 million units next year.

“Everyone in this building is revising their forecasts,” Cannon said Wednesday. “As the market expands more rapidly, it’s obvious no one wants to be left out.”

Jason Stein is editor of Automotive News.Jason Stein is editor of Automotive News.

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