Notes from the Detroit auto show

Blue is the new gray

Posted 1:04 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 17
Blue is the new gray
 
We weren't the only ones to notice the wave of blue that swept over the 2014 Detroit Auto Show this week. "What's up with the Smurf cars?," USA Today quipped. "Certainly, it's time for the industry to move on with some new colors. But blue seemed a choice from left field." All decked out in blue sheet metal this week for the Big Show were the Porsche 911 Targa, Honda Fit, Subaru WRX STI, Cadillac ATS coupe, Lexus RC F, BMW M3, VW Passat BlueMotion concept, Chrysler 200 and half the Audi display, including the e-tron hybrid, introduced by Ulrich Hackenberg, a member of the Audi board of management for technical development. Even Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., was spotted wearing a somewhat-electric blue suit for the unveiling of the redesigned Ford F-150 on Monday.





Big Kid in a candy shop

Posted 12:25 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 16
Big Kid in a candy shop
(GM)
 
General Motors CEO Mary Barra, left, gave Vice President Joe Biden a personal tour of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 at the GM display on Thursday. "I'm so glad you have the opportunity to come," Barra told the Veep. Biden owns a classic Corvette that he keeps at his home in Delaware, though the Secret Service reportedly prohibits him from driving it. He sat behind the wheel of a yellow Z06 and a red Corvette Stingray, with Barra sharing, at length, all of the technology enhancements in the new Corvette. "Technology matters," Biden yelled out to the press corps following him. At one point during the show visit, which topped 30 minutes, Biden lamented he couldn't stay in Detroit longer. "I'm like a kid in a candy shop," Biden said, joking he planned to take a couple of new vehicles home.

A big thanks from the Veep

Posted 12:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 16
A big thanks from the Veep
 
In a visit to the Detroit auto show on Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden told Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.: "Thank you for saving our ass," apparently referring to the 2008-2009 auto crisis, when the company didn't seek a bailout from the federal government. "What a difference five years makes," Biden told several hundred people at the auto show. "Everything from the mood here at this auto show in 2009 to what you faced back then -- literally the likely collapse of the automobile industry."
 

Top-notch fit and finish from a winner

Posted 1:59 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 15
Top-notch fit and finish from a winner
(GM)
 
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, left, received a close look at the 2014 North American Car of the Year -- Chevrolet's Corvette Stingray -- on Wednesday. Her expert guide: Tim Lee, GM's executive vice president in charge of global manufacturing.

Engineers invade Cobo

Posted 3:01 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 15
Engineers invade Cobo
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Industry Preview days are underway at the auto show. It's the first chance engineers and product planners, many of them employed at auto parts suppliers, have to comb over the newest sheetmetal with their slide rulers, note pads, calipers and pocket cameras. It's all in a day of work, analysis and competitive assessment for manufacturing engineers, metrologists and material specialists.

Blanket media coverage

Posted 1:01 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 15
Blanket media coverage
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Detroit auto show organizers said Wednesday 5,169 journalists were credentialed for the 2014 edition of the show, exceeding projections of 5,000. Some 30 percent of the reporters, editors, photographers, videographers and bloggers who covered the show during press previews Monday and Tuesday are based overseas. In all, journalists traveled from 39 U.S. states and 60 countries to attend the show, organizers said.
 

'Like' Scion, get a gift

Posted 9:30 am U.S. ET, Jan. 15
'Like' Scion, get a gift
(DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
Check out the Scion Swag Machine, what Scion is billing as the world's first Instagram-powered, near field communication–enabled vending machine. Not sure what all that means but we hope it dispenses some cool stuff. Scion calls the machine, developed for the 2014 auto show season, a fun, engaging way that show guests can leverage their smart phones and other mobile devices and social media networks for instant gifts and rewards.

Acura shifts up the racing ladder

Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Acura shifts up the racing ladder
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Mike Accavitti, senior vice president for American Honda Motor Co., helped pulled the wraps off the 2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car as part of plans to move the luxury sport brand up to the GT class of the growing and highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge Championship. The new TLX GT will move Acura into the top racing circuit of the Pirelli World Challenge, where it will face track rivals that include the Audi R8 LMS, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes SLS, Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 and Ferrari 458.

At Cadillac, a nip and tuck

Posted 6:19 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
At Cadillac, a nip and tuck
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Andrew Smith, executive design director of Cadillac, helped explain the evolution of the luxury brand's famous crest during the introduction of the Cadillac ATS coupe. Starting with 2015 models this summer, the wreath will join merlettes in going missing from the face of Cadillac.

Yea, baby!

Posted 5:54 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Yea, baby!
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti Americas, had this to say about the company's newest, high-performance concept during its unveiling on Tuesday: The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge was inspired by the high-speed corner on the Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 racing circuit in Belgium that requires "red-blooded bravery" in Formula One racing's top drivers. Infiniti engineers aspire to put at least 500 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque under the hood. And we wonder if superstar driver Sebastian Vettel of Formula One's Red Bull Racing team will yell out "Eau baby, baby!" if he ever gets behind the wheel of one.

 

The big 5-0 looms for a classic

Posted 5:08 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
The big 5-0 looms for a classic
(BLOOMBERG)
 
The silhouette of an attendee is seen walking past a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible on display at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. The original pony car celebrates a big birthday -- 50 -- in April.

Swedish smiles

Posted 3:48 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Swedish smiles
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Alain Visser, left, senior vice president of marketing for Volvo Cars, Thomas Ingenlath, second from left, vice president of design at Volvo Cars, Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars, second from right, and Tony Nicolosi, right, the new CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, are all smiles as the XC Coupe concept is introduced at the show. 

GM sizes up rivals

Posted 2:20 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
GM sizes up rivals
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Dan Akerson, left, chairman and CEO of General Motors, Alicia Boler-Davis, middle, vice president of global quality for GM, and Mary Barra, head of global product development for GM, assess the competition on a tour of the auto show Tuesday. Barra becomes GM's CEO, succeeding Akerson, on Wednesday.

Subaru goes full throttle

Posted 1:04 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Subaru goes full throttle
(BLOOMBERG)
 
The high-performance 2015 Subaru WRX STI had its world debut today. Under the hood: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates 305 horsepower and 290-pound-feet of torque.
 


CEO summit under the blue oval

Posted 11:19 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
CEO summit under the blue oval
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Mary Barra, left, who becomes CEO of General Motors on Wednesday, enjoys some coffee while visiting with Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, on Tuesday morning at the Ford stand. GM's senior management team, led by chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, toured the show floor early today.

Engines, engines and more engines

Posted 11:49 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Engines, engines and more engines
(JAMES B. TREECE)
 
Is it my imagination, or does the 2014 Detroit show have an unusually high number of engines and engine cutaways on display? These three grace the Chevrolet Canyon pickup display.

Another official visit

Posted 11:18 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Another official visit
 
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, left, and Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne chat at the Chrysler display.

GM directors on tour

Posted 11:32 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
GM directors on tour
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Tim Solso, center, incoming chairman of GM, and other GM board members are spotted touring the show on Tuesday. Looks like they are at the Ford display here.

A touch of C-class

Posted 11:25 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
A touch of C-class
(DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
Mercedes has left nothing uncovered in its blanket unveiling of the redesigned 2015 C class -- its top-selling model worldwide. It has covered one of the trains on the People Mover in downtown Detroit, a popular mode of transport to and from Cobo Center, in C class "black" for the Detroit auto show. And this morning, Mercedes' London Moore of Detroit was serving up complimentary 'C it first' coffee to passengers on the train. Passengers get to keep the "C" koozie, too.

A show of hands at Acura

Posted 11:36 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
A show of hands at Acura
(DAVE VERSICAL)
 
Hand raising redefined: Awaiting the curtain to lift on the Acura TLX prototype.

VIA's attention grab

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
VIA's attention grab
(JAMES B. TREECE)
 
For a change, Bob Lutz wasn't the attention-grabber at VIA Motors. This aerialist was. Lutz arrived at the stand -- he's on VIA's board -- after she finished.

Entourage, VW style

Posted 9:36 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Entourage, VW style
(RICHARD JOHNSON)
 
Volkswagen has always led the industry in entourages. I remember counting 19 hangers-on following Ferdinand Piech around the Paris show one year. But that record may have been eclipsed yesterday by the Conga line that followed VW CEO Martin Winterkorn around Cobo. Twenty-one! Okay, I couldn't be sure who was a real hanger-on and who was a wannabe, but either way it was a real convoy. As usual the chief pointer-out-of-interesting-details-on competitors' cars: VW Group r&d boss Ulrich Hackenberg.

Smudge patrol

Posted 9:58 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Smudge patrol
(RICHARD JOHNSON)
 
Ford North America boss Joe Hinrichs is caught shining up the front of the redesigned Ford F150. Was it just for effect? "I was doing it for real," said Hinrichs. "There was a bad smudge on the grille."

From the chief, with love

Posted 10:46 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
From the chief, with love
(JENNIFER VUONG)
 
Ford CEO Alan Mulally signed this coat check sign by the new Cobo atrium.

Bob Lutz time

Posted 10:52 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
Bob Lutz time
(DAVE GUILFORD)
 
Another launch at the show: Bob Lutz's personal brand of watches at the VL Automotive display. Prices: $2,000 and $2,900. Must be Bob's Swiss heritage coming out.

A visit from Michigan's gov

Posted 10:41 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
A visit from Michigan's gov
(JENNIFER VUONG)
 
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder checks out the Cadillac ATS coupe.

CEO, chairman summit

Posted 9:15 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
CEO, chairman summit
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A., left, and his boss, John Elkann, chairman of Fiat S.p.A., wait for the start of a Chrysler press conference, where the company formally introduced the redesigned and re-engineered Chrysler 200 mid-sized sedan.

A peak inside Nissan's IDx concept generator

Posted 6:30 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
A peak inside Nissan's IDx concept generator
(BLOOMBERG)
 
An unidentified gentleman uses virtual reality goggles to view and create Nissan IDx concept vehicles while visiting the company's auto show display on Monday.

With lots of moving parts, the Fit debuts

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
With lots of moving parts, the Fit debuts
(BLOOMBERG)
 
It's been a slow, slow rollout of the latest Fit, from last year's concept to this year's production model. Still, Honda managed to whip up one of the more elaborate introductions at the auto show with the debut of the Fit subcompact. It was "a fanciful drive to nowhere," as USA Today put it. For the most part, the background moved, but for the most part, the Fits didn't. It took two moving belts, three days of rehearsals and five actors to make it all happen, USA Today said.

Applause for Kia chief

Posted 4:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Applause for Kia chief
(BLOOMBERG)
 
H.K. Lee, president of Kia Motors Corp., acknowledges those attending the company's Monday unveiling of the Kia GT4 Stinger Concept. The concept is a strong hint that Kia plans to fill a major void in its U.S. product lineup: a sports coupe.


If only you knew the power of the dark side

Posted 7:09 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
If only you knew the power of the dark side
(JAMES B. TREECE)
 
Has GMC gone over to the dark side? Flanked by brightly lit Buick and Chevrolet stands, GMC's stand in black and dark grey looks almost cavernous.

Supplier-side economics

Posted 7:11 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Supplier-side economics
(JAMES B. TREECE)
 
Denso and Aisin's side-by-side stands showcase two of Japan's premiere suppliers. Amazingly, Aisin's flooring is as padded and easy on the feet as Denso's carpet.

Alphabet soup

Posted 5:27 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Alphabet soup
(ACURA)
 
Much has been made over the years of Acura's decision to move away from product names to alphanumerics in the 1990s. John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales, shares some of the frustration of Acura shoppers who might not know a RLX from a RDX, or an ILX from a TLX. In a group interview, Mendel said, "Most alphanumerics -- A-B-C or 2-3-5 -- are already taken. Then you're down to the dregs of what you are able to do. A lot of those are really carved out. There's not a lot of room to maneuver."

Graft for sale

Posted 4:59 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Graft for sale
 
Auto show giveaways are usually trinkets handed out by automakers to journalists purely for novelty value. But Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. gave away copies of red-hot video game Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3, pre-loaded with driving specifications for the Toyota FT-1 concept car. Some journalists obviously had neglected to bone up on their Code of Ethics -- yes there is such a thing -- as copies of the video game appeared on eBay within minutes of the press conference. The going rate late Monday: $44.

Like a jack-in-a-box

Posted 4:46 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
 Like a jack-in-a-box
(KRISHNAN M. ANANTHARAMAN)
 
Don't linger behind your 2015 Hyundai Genesis for too long. The trunk opens automatically after three seconds if you have the key with you.

Reunion of the marketing minds

Posted 3:57 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Reunion of the marketing minds
(DAVE VERSICAL)
 
Dean Evans, left, Subaru of America's chief marketing officer, reconnects with former Subaru colleague Tim Mahoney, now Chevy's chief marketing officer, at the Subaru stand.

The sound of something new

Posted 3:40 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
The sound of something new
(KRISHNAN M. ANANTHARAMAN)
 
A novel idea from Kia: The GT4 has no audio system. Tunes will come from under the hood, says chief designer Tom Kearns.

Danger zone

Posted 3:17 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Danger zone
(OMARI GARDNER)
 
It's not uncommon to see some vehicles locked off to curious show-goers, but this is the first time in this show-goer's memory seeing a car locked for our protection -- as is the case for this Ford Mustang GT. Whew, that was a close one!

The Michigan delegation meets at the blue oval

Posted 3:06 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
The Michigan delegation meets at the blue oval
(RYAN BEENE)
 
Politicians are always a familiar sight at the Detroit auto show and around 10 am this morning, the fringes of the Ford display proved to be something of a nexus for the Michigan delegation. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., shared a few words when they ran into one another. -- Ryan Beene

Labor protest against Nissan

Posted 11:58 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Labor protest against Nissan
(DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
Oten Wyatt, left, and Frank Gates pass out flyers on behalf of the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness, a group advocating the organization of Nissan's plant in Canton. The flyer says, "Nissan is denying Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, their fundamental rights to organize." The flyer also has a "Do Better Nissan List": 1. Lead Up Not Into Temp-Nation. 2. Put Worker Safety First. 3. Workers Need a Voice. Nissan disputed the allegations in the past. Last year, a company spokesman said the automaker "has never violated U.S. labor standards and would never tolerate threats or intimidation of our employees. Nissan will continue to abide by U.S. labor laws and support the rights of employees to decide whether they wish to be represented by a union."

Riding high

Posted 2:11 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Riding high
(BLOOMBERG)
 
BMW's latest performance cars -- the M3 sedan, M235i and M4 coupe -- received a formal introduction Monday from Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing at BMW. No doubt Robertson is counting on the sporty sedan and coupes to help pad the luxury brand's global sales, which rose 8 percent to 1.65 million units in 2013, over archrivals Mercedes and Audi.

Technically, it's not after Labor Day yet

Posted 1:56 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Technically, it's not after Labor Day yet
(DAVE VERSICAL)
 
Any color, as long as it is white: The Lexus display.

Scoping out the Dune Beetle

Posted 1:36 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Scoping out the Dune Beetle
(DAVE VERSICAL)
 
Former Ford design chief Jack Telnack, right, who still does occasional consulting, at the VW display following the introduction of the Beetle Dune Concept.

'It's Ford's show'

Posted 1:26 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
'It's Ford's show'
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan quipped, "It's Ford's show. Everybody else is just looking for a parking space."

By any means

Posted 11:38 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
By any means
(DAVE VERSICAL)
 
One way to stand out in a crowd -- and actually see the BMW presentation.

A next-generation Corvette fan?

Posted 12:37 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
A next-generation Corvette fan?
(GABE NELSON)
 
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was given a toy replica of the Chevrolet Corvette. "This will be on my son's desk by tonight," he said. "I guarantee you."

Safety check from Washington

Posted 12:24 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Safety check from Washington
(GABE NELSON)
 
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx got a primer on General Motors' latest auto safety technology before taking a seat in the Chevrolet Corvette, newly crowned as the North American Car of the Year.

The early bird...

Posted 11:13 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
The early bird...
(NICK BUNKLEY)
 
As Ford was building up suspense for its reveal of the 2015 F-150 this morning, anyone who happened to wander by the Ford stand on the show floor got an early look, with no waiting or crowds. Ford didn't bother to cover up the trucks it parked there ahead of its 8:10 a.m. press conference, the first one of the day. So those who crammed into Joe Louis Arena didn't get to see the truck until about 10 minutes after close-up photos began appearing on Twitter and other Web sites.

Mustang spectacle rolls on

Posted 10:55 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Mustang spectacle rolls on
(BLOOMBERG)
 
The redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang made its debut at a major auto show today with the assistance of Ford COO Mark Fields.  

Barra chats with CNBC

Posted 8:52 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Barra chats with CNBC
(MIKE COLIAS)
 
Mary Barra, who takes over as GM's new CEO this week, does an interview with CNBC at the Cadillac stand. It was a respite from the swarms of reporters and cameras that have been engulfing Barra in her first public appearances since being named the industry's first female CEO.

Blast from the past

Posted 9:53 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Blast from the past
(SHIRAZ AHMED)
 
To get noticed at the Detroit auto show, you've got to go big. But if you can't go big, go weird. The connected-car technology company Covisint is raffling off four Back to the Future model Deloreans -- "with working lights!" -- each day for three days. The booth on the first floor is committed to the futuristic theme, hiring a model to dress up like a character from The Jetsons and don Google's new Glass technology.

VW 'at home in America'

Posted 6:33 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
VW 'at home in America'
(GABE NELSON)
 
Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn struck an upbeat note Sunday night during the automaker's pre-show reception at Fishbones, announcing that VW will launch a seven-seat SUV in the United States in 2016. "Volkswagen feels at home in America, and we want many more Americans to feel at home with us," he told the assembled crowd, before tucking into a cheeseburger with an assembly of German journalists.

A night for the exotics

Posted 12:38 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
A night for the exotics
(BLOOMBERG)
 
An Aston Martin Vanquish is displayed during The Gallery event at the MGM Grand Detroit on Sunday ahead of the 2014 North American International Auto Show. The exclusive, invitation-only event -- started in 2007 -- was limited to 500 people at $500 each and showcased 28 uber-luxury vehicles, a strolling pre-glow dinner and a fashion show.

Making a splash in the snake pit

Posted 10:41 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Making a splash in the snake pit
(SHIRAZ AHMED)
 
The North American International Auto Show means the debut of another bold exterior color on the Viper SRT. Chrysler Group said Sunday "Stryker Green" -- enhanced green and yellow pigments blended with "liquid mercury" -- will be available on the 2014 Viper SRT in February.

Class warfare

Posted 8:55 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Class warfare
(DAVE VERSICAL)
 
Mercedes-Benz is ready to show off its redesigned 2015 C-class sedan to the world. The company is moving the C class further upmarket and making it lighter, bigger and better equipped than its predecessor to compete in the competitive luxury compact sedan segment.

Mercedes' destiny

Posted 9:31 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Mercedes' destiny
(BLOOMBERG)
 
Singer Kelly Rowland performed during Mercedes-Benz' unveiling of the new C-Class on Sunday ahead of press previews for the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Respect for a rival

Posted 9:27 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Respect for a rival
 
Kim McCullough, head of the Land Rover brand in North America, gave some perspective on how hot the Land Rover brand is these days at a press briefing Sunday night ... with a tribute to an equally hot competitor: "If you're a dealer, you want to be selling Range Rover, Range Rover Sport -- and the new Stingray."

A night at the Urban Wheel Awards

Posted 8:23 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
A night at the Urban Wheel Awards
(ARLENA SAWYERS)
 
Randi Payton, Decisive Media CEO, with Dave Zuchowski, new Hyundai Motor America CEO, are seen at the Urban Wheel Awards. The awards honor companies, executives and suppliers for embracing diversity.

Getting to know Mary Barra

Posted 4:27 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Getting to know Mary Barra
 
Incoming General Motors CEO Mary Barra finishes up an interview with ABC News in the lobby of GM's Renaissance Center headquarters on Sunday afternoon, on the eve of the auto show, shortly before heading to the reveal of the GMC Canyon.

Mercedes' youth movement is working

Posted 8:08 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Mercedes' youth movement is working
 
According to Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon, the luxury automaker's plan to lure younger buyers with the new CLA is working. The average owner of the sedan, which starts at $29,900 (not including shipping), is 10 years younger than owners of the C-Class.

Battle of the big message I

Posted 6:30 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Battle of the big message I
The Hyundai Genesis. (DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
The outside of Cobo Center is always a battlefield between automakers making pitches the old-fashioned way -- even in an era of rampant social media. The major combatants at the 2014 North American International Auto Show this year are Kia, Hyundai and VW.

Battle of the big message II

Posted 7:04 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Battle of the big message II
VW's sign. (DAVID PHILLIPS)
 

Battle of the big message III

Posted 7:07 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Battle of the big message III
Kia's pitch for the K900 luxury sports sedan.
 

The night before ...

Posted 5:29 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
The night before ...
(DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
... the snow and ice melt is almost complete outside Cobo Center in downtown Detroit on the eve of press previews for the 2014 North American International Auto Show

Red, white or something new?

Posted 7:15 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Red, white or something new?
(BLOOMBERG)
 
What color will dominate the sedans, coupes, convertibles and crossovers at the Audi stand this year? We will find out Monday.

Just a small difference

Posted 6:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
During a Detroit morning TV news program on Sunday, an anchor with the NBC affiliate made an unfortunate slip of the tongue when speaking about the auto show. She said that the event would generate nearly $400 for the Detroit area's struggling economy. She meant to say $400 million.

The 'sporty, sinister' Dodge Dart Blacktop

Posted 1:44 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
The 'sporty, sinister' Dodge Dart Blacktop
(DODGE)
 
The 2014 Dart will get what Dodge calls a "sporty, sinister look" when the Blacktop edition debuts at the Detroit auto show on Monday. The $295 package -- currently offered with the Charger, Challenger, Avenger, Journey and Grand Caravan -- includes 18-inch Gloss Black wheels, Gloss Black side mirrors, select exterior paint colors, darkened headlamp bezels and a sport interior. "With the addition of the Blacktop package for the Dodge Dart," said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, "we're adding to our line-up of vehicles that offer the more aggressive look that has become so popular with our customers." The Dart Blacktop will arrive at dealerships in the first quarter of this year.

Ready to go racing

Posted 3:21 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
Ready to go racing
(GM)
 
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sits covered Saturday at Cobo Center in preparation for its world debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit while Mike Rezich works on the stage floor. The Z06 will be unveiled during media preview days on Monday.

Bentley's next target

Posted 9:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 11
Bentley's next target
(DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
A worker preps the Bentley stand in advance of what is expected to be the unveiling of a more powerful version of the British luxury brand's most aristocratic car -- the Continental GT V8 S. We'll find out more on Monday afternoon what the renowned carmaker plans for Detroit.

Another rosy forecast

Posted 9:44 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
Another rosy forecast
GM vehicles wait to be uncovered at the 2014 Detroit auto show. (DAVID PHILLIPS)
 
As the 2014 Detroit auto show nears, the National Automobile Dealers Association on Friday joined other forecasters in projecting more gains in the U.S. light-vehicle market. NADA predicts 16.4 million new cars and light trucks will be purchased or leased in the U.S. this year, a 5.1 percent increase from 2013. "Consumers will be far better off in 2014 than last year," NADA's chief economist, Steven Szakaly, said Friday. "Employment is improving. Debt has been reduced, and home prices across all regions of the country will remain stable or will rise, yielding a positive wealth effect." Despite Friday's weak jobs report from the federal government, NADA said employment, particularly in the construction and services industries, will continue to improve this year, and a continued moderation in gasoline prices and improvements in the housing market will help to offset stagnation in wages and income in 2014. "Growth would have been stronger in 2013 without a series of contentious fiscal crises in Washington and a federal government shutdown last fall," Szakaly said.

A bigger crowd this year

Posted 6:50 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
A bigger crowd this year
 
It looks like attendance for this year's Detroit auto show is trending upward. Media credentials were tracking 10 percent above 2013 on Friday. Show organizers expect attendance to top the 5,212 journalists who came to the show last year.
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