This week, the center of the media universe isn't in Washington, D.C., despite all the buzz about Iraq strategy and the Democrat's first 100 hours in power. No, the real news is coming out of Detroit, where the media is getting a sneak peek at the North American International Auto Show. This really is a global show, and top executives are giving interviews every day, trying to but their best spin on the state of their companies. But the real stars aren't the CEOs. They're interesting, but usually pretty guarded. I'm much more excited about seeing, and reading about, all the new concept cars at the show. Our sister paper Automotive News has an interesting case history today about one of the featured cars, the Jeep Trailhawk. Make sure to check out the photo gallery! For those of you who aren't subscribers to Automotive News, here's a link to the Trailhawk on Jeep's Web site. The International Herald Tribune also has some Auto Show stories on its Web site today. One talks about how the auto industry is changing, highlighting how Chinese automakers are getting more attention this year. Chanfeng Motor, for example, has an exhibit this year, and the story quotes Jeremy Anwyl, president of Edmunds.com, predicting that "Chinese manufacturers would move more quickly into the American market than their Japanese or Korean counterparts did, once they find dealers to carry their cars. 'This is an indicator of what's to come,' he said." Rhoda Miel, Plastics News' reporter in Detroit, is busy collecting all the plastics-relevant news at the show, and she had a slightly different take on the topic:
I attended the Changfeng event. (So dull that I saw a reporter who fell asleep.) No big news for us at this point. And the mainstream automakers don't need to worry about the Chinese concept cars at this point. The concept car Changfeng showed had bamboo and fake fur in the interior.Sounds like the Yugo might be a step up in quality!