DETROIT -- In January 1989 Nissan used the Detroit auto show to launch its premium brand, Infiniti.
Neither Nissan nor Infiniti is here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that big event. Aggressive cost cutting forced the Japanese automaker to withdraw both brands shortly before the show -- even though Nissan already had paid for the space.
Seeing first hand how Nissan and Infinitis empty space was filled provides a sign of what we most likely will see at future auto shows during these difficult times: more space for the little guys.
Lotus and Aston Martin took over Nissan-Infinitis massive location, but the British sports car makers filled less than half the space.
One reason for this is because neither brand had enough time to create an elaborate display. Even they had the time, it is unlikely Lotus and Aston Martin would have invested the money or the resources to create a massive stand. That means the pricey Lotus and Aston Martin models are simply parked on a carpet.
Is this pragmatic? Yes.
Is it impressive? No.