When they ask you in 10 years, "What was the look and feel of new cars back in 2023?" don't be a downer. Don't tell them that the Detroit auto show was so lacking in inspiration that most automakers couldn't muster the enthusiasm to participate in the biggest show in America.
They won't understand.
Tell them this: The cool waning days of summer in Detroit provided a brilliant mirror of what consumers were thinking. That after three exhausting years of pandemic disruption, deprivation and anxiety, the auto market was suddenly awash in brighter colors. Blues were inexplicably deep and electric. Reds were an unearthly ruby, and splashes of green, gray and orange were being lathered onto bodies like thick lacquers of olden days.