North American International Auto Show 2014

I went to Detroit with a co-worker to see the auto show last week. I will report my findings after this short public service announcement to the fine people of Detroit:

I know the people of Detroit are having a tough time right now, unemployment, under employment, people abandoning in droves, etc.. Those who have stayed are trying to soldier on.  You people are GEM’S! Polite, welcoming and you laughed at our Canadian jokes.

Now on to the show:

I had departed to Detroit expecting to see a couple of cars that I would highlight and that would be it but I was wrong and pleasantly surprised. My co-worker and I attended the show and almost every manufacturer had something at that show that really made us stop and look, discuss and critically analyze.

This is fantastic news. The great product was not limited to one manufacturer, genre or country. All manufactures had something that was amazing. This shows that the auto industry is starting to pick up momentum and really start to drive the economy (no pun intended). Everyone is excited about Detroit and cars again. The proof is in the numbers: This year saw the highest attendance for the show since 2003. The numbers for the show are increasing, even as Detroit’s population fell. I suspect a large part of this is due to the surge in new/ revamped models available and less to do with the prices of Irish beer we enjoyed while at the show.

Some quick highlights from the show and things you need to know:

1-      The new Mercedes-Benz C class is STUNNING both inside in out. It grew a bit and wears the added length/width well, the interior is phenomenal

2-      The new Mustang is somewhat of a bust in my opinion. The front end looks too much like the Fusion. Is a great design but I thought the Mustang would be a bit different from the rest of the corporate styling. The back of the car looks a little saggy… this is a shame because it is the Mustangs 50th anniversary.

3-      Chrysler: you did great with the 200 interior; I will no longer make fun of these cars as being “disposable”. Good quality components, great fit and finish as well. Would it have been so hard to engineer some more interior space in the new Jeep Cherokee?! My cat would not fit in the trunk!

4-      Infiniti: kudos to you and the 25th anniversary Q50. Easily the best paint at the show.

5-      Porsche brought the 911 Targa to the show for the world primer. This was the first time anyone saw it. I peed my pants just a little bit when I first saw it. Seriously, my hangover was instantly gone the second I laid eyes on it. This car represents a stunning blend of machinery and style.

6-      Jaguar brought the F-type coupe but should call it “sex on wheels”. Best body in the business. The exhaust note also makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, raw, visceral, perfect.

7-      New GMC Yukon/ Chevy Tahoe/ Cadillac Escalade looks great and the interior fit and finish is much better. More ergonomic too!

So just to re-cap: Detroit has really friendly people, the beer is really cheap and the cars are amazing.