DETROIT -- It's that time again -- the time when journalists covering the North American International Auto Show bring out clichéd phrases such as "it's that time again" and "the cars are the stars."
For the next two days, allow me to be your eyes, ears and -- when visiting Nissan's fragrant display -- nose on the 20-acre show floor. I also intend to eat large quantities of free food, all on your behalf, of course.
This is my ninth consecutive year covering the Detroit show, which has gone from grandiose to gloomy and back again. By now, I have a good idea of what to expect:
- Every automaker will announce plans to gain market share this year.
- Roughly 3 percent of the 6,000 credentialed journalists in attendance will be actual journalists.
- The other 97 percent will complain how cold and miserable Detroit is while constantly getting in the way of the actual journalists.
- At least one reveal will be horribly botched, to the great amusement of actual and pretend journalists alike.
- Chrysler will do something wacky.
- Ford will get jealous of all the attention Chrysler is getting.
- Toyota will say the word "Prius" as many times as possible during its reveal despite not having a new Prius to reveal.
- General Motors will talk about how its upcoming models will attract young consumers, to the great amusement of actual and pretend journalists alike.
- Executives from the German automakers will spend as little time in Detroit as possible.
- Despite knowing most of what's going to happen, it will still be an exciting, frenzied two days at Detroit's Cobo Center, where the cars are the stars.