Friday, January 9, 2009

2009 Detroit Auto Show - NAIAS

It's that time of year once more. The Detroit Auto Show begins this weekend with the press having the floor all to themselves. The show runs for two weeks and there is great speculation as to what, if any, surprises we will see.

During these crushingly depressed times, how can the automakers show their optimism and enthusiasm? All auto sales are down between 30 and 40 percent and GM and Chrysler are still on the brink of bankruptcy. Will they show us anything that could possible increase their sales and cause the public to get excited? Even with massive rebates and incentives, sales were way down in December, so what will it take to get customers buying again? It still looks like business as usual to me.

Toyota will have their new Prius which is basically the same as the old Prius, only slightly larger and slightly more powerful. Toyota refuses to add a plug.

Honda will have their Insight, which might be the best car announced yet. It gets comprable fuel economy as the Prius but is supposed to sell for $18,000 MSRP. I would be tempted to buy one, but still, there is no plug.

GM has the Volt, but it will still not be ready for two more years. A ridiculously long wait.

Ford and Mercury have a new hybrid that also gets mileages similar to the Prius. This could be another vehicle worthy of purchase, however, still no plug.

Chrysler has three or four EV's, but they are not due for two years as well.

In case you couldn't tell, my mantra as of late is, "No plug, no deal!"

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