Since selling Opel and Vauxhall, GM is more American than ever. And because we’re such GM fanatics, it would only make sense that we would also be huge supporters of American auto shows such as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Unfortunately, the 2009 NAIAS was somewhat of a letdown, as the difficult and uncertain economy resulted in a few major auto makers dropping out of the showcase. Among the no-shows at the 2009 event were Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, and Porsche – and their absence was greatly felt in the Cobo Center. A ton of empty space left by those big players didn’t instill confidence in the auto industry, let alone a return of the economy. Today we have some good news, as the future of the Detroit Auto Show is looking brighter day by day.
First off, the Cobo is getting a much-needed overhaul, with a $300 million expansion plan having been put in motion by Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm. The plan calls for a 166,000 square foot addition and has begun October 1, 2009.
Second, some automakers that were absent during the 2009 show may be returning to the NAIAS come January 2010. NAIAS organizers have not yet revealed which manufacturers are returning to the show floor, but among those likely to come back are Nissan and Infiniti – Japan’s third-largest auto maker is simply too big to stay out of the show two years running. The Detroit Free Press reports that Porsche is dissatisfied with the media coverage at L.A. Auto Show and so the company could be returning to Detroit to gets its deserved fill of media coverage. (Will Porsche be sharing hall space with its new parent, Volkswagen?)
Detroit could also see new manufacturers in the form of the Mahindra Group – an Indian maker of trucks and SUVs that’s looking to gain a foothold in the US market. China’s BYD may also make its way stateside come early 2010.
On top of that, Fiat’s partnership (ownership?) of Chrysler could bring Fiat and Alfa Romeo products to the same booth as Chrysler models.
While it’s still too early to tell, GM may have the following vehicles on tap:
- next-gen Chevy Aveo
- production version Chevy Spark
- next-gen Chevy Malibu
- Buick Regal (Opel Insignia twin)
- Cadillac ATS and XTS luxury sedans that were shown at the technology preview
Is there anything you’re looking forward to at the 2010 NAIAS? Talk to us in the comments![Sources: Autoblog and Wikipedia]