The Detroit auto show attracted throngs of appreciative fans last week, but Ralph Nader wasn't among them. The consumer advocate, presidential candidate and perennial industry critic told Automotive News he was appalled by the stunts that car companies pulled to launch their vehicles at the show.
Nader was especially annoyed by a 2007 Jeep Wrangler that crashed through a plate-glass window at the show hall, crossed a downtown street, drove up the steps of a hotel and scaled an ersatz mountain -- with Chrysler group CEO Tom LaSorda aboard.
"It's high-level juvenile delinquency," said the author of Unsafe at Any Speed, "a grotesque caricature of what the auto industry is doing these days."
Instead of celebrating horsepower, muscle, glitz and trivia, Nader said, U.S. automakers should be showcasing safety and fuel economy.
Nader was in Detroit last week to address the annual Automotive News World Congress. He said he had no plans to take in the auto show.