The 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit starts Sunday, January 11, and is already generating all kinds of buzz.
In past years this show created early excitement about upcoming vehicle unveilings, special presentations and lavish parties. This year is different, as the biggest news coming out of Detroit is which automakers will NOT be attending. Most notably is Nissan/Infiniti, who pulled out of the show and even asked its dealers not to make a showing.
That’s kind of like a Super Bowl team deciding not to show up on game day.
Nissan isn’t the only one skipping the party; Mitsubishi, Porsche, Suzuki, Land Rover, Ferrari and Rolls Royce all cite cuts in marketing budgets as reasons for not showing up.
In all the gloom, there are still some exciting unveilings to look forward to:
On the hybrid front, Honda will unveil their new Insight and Toyota will debut the newly redesigned Prius.
Is it power you’re more interested in? Wait till you see the latest version of Audi’s R8, a V10, Lamborghini-powered supercar. (Lambo fans can rest easy, because the R8’s engine was detuned to 525 horsepower, to keep it just slightly out of reach of the Gallardo).
If it’s SUVs that float your boat (or tow it), look for GM’s redesigned Cadillac SRX and Chevy Equinox. The ‘Nox gets new engines and a facelift, while the Caddy becomes sleeker and hopefully more fuel efficient as it loses the V8 option.
Ford, Volvo and Buick should all be showing off new sedans. Ford’s new Taurus could give the Chevy Malibu a new American challenger, while Volvo’s S60 promises a revamp based on the European Ford Mondeo. (Jaguar’s failed X-Type was also based on the Mondeo, so that will be a particularly interesting car to keep an eye on.)
Buick will show the world their all-new LaCrosse, which it hopes will redefine the brand as more competitive in the luxury market.
Then there’s Chrysler, who’s been pretty quiet about their plans for debuts at the show. They do say they plan a special surprise… we just hope it’s not a half-million-dollar sign thanking the government for bailing them out.
Are you excited for the 2009 Detroit Auto Show? Let us know which vehicle debuts you’re most interested in!