The car is alive and well
Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.
There have been a few years recently that have been pretty bleak for those of us in the automobile business.
Thankfully, 2012 was a great year in North America for suppliers, manufacturers and automobile dealers. Sure, not everyone was happy, but executives at most companies were grinning ear to ear. Nearly every factory kept supply fairly close to demand.
And then along came the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which had media preview days last week and is open to the public this week.
There were 59 vehicle introductions.
It was a hectic week with lots of speeches and previews. Auto executives from all over the world made sales projections that could throw everything into a cocked hat if they all crank up their plants and start building to capacity.
In recent years, there have been a few skeptics who doubted the strength and vitality of this industry, but there were no doubters after last week.
The number of introductions was daunting, and good design was front and center. Automotive designers had to be happy because everyone was stunned by the number of really fine design executions.
There may have been more introductions at one of the European shows, but it would be hard to imagine.
The most intriguing aspect was the wide range of models. There were plug-ins, hybrids and pure electrics.
Nearby were models with more than 500 hp.
On display and heading for production were vehicles with just about every sort of powerplant shy of windmills. It was a bit of heaven for anyone who may have worried that the industry was falling into the doldrums permanently.
The auto business in North America is back loud and strong.
Many superstar automotive executives attended the show, but it was obvious that the car was king.
In recent years some executives had to explain their red ink and modest presence at the show. This year the business was back stronger than ever.
It was a nice show.
You can reach Keith Crain at email@example.com.