After a week on Planet Gore, the Detroit Auto Show returned to Planet Earth Saturday as the media cleared out and the public poured in.
For five strange days, automakers preened green for a politically correct press and Washington pols. Executives talked of saving the planet, Hollywood celebrity-turned-radical environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. endorsed Ford electric cars, and global-warming fighting subcompacts fronted exhibits even as the streets were paralyzed by snow outside.
But when the doors opened Saturday for the buying public, the big iron was back.
“Thousands of chrome, horsepower, style and luxury enthusiasts poured through the doors when the show opened at 9 AM,” reported the Detroit News’s Tom Greenwood as the people that really matter — consumers — made a beeline for pickups, big sedans, and gas-guzzling sports cars. Of course they did. In the last year, truck sales roared back to over 50 percent of the market, while hybrid car sales plummeted 17 percent.
“Greg Summers will be checking out the minivans,” reports Greenwood of one show customer. “‘But I’ll also be looking over the Audis, BMWs, Jeeps and Ford Explorers,’ he said.”
“If I had to choose my favorites, I’d say it’s the Jaguar for a foreign car; domestically, I’m really drawn to the Chrysler 300,” another visitor told Greenwood of two vehicles that get barely 20 mpg — a far cry from the 35 mpg Washington will improbably mandate in just four short years. “While many pay lip service to ‘going green,’ true lovers of ‘Detroit Iron’ get excited for torque, horsepower and muscle, muscle, muscle.”
“It’s all about cars like this, not hybrids and electrics,” an attendee in a yellow Corvette convertible (21 mpg) said. “That’s why you really come to the auto show.”
More at The Michigan View.com here.