Monday, January 21, 2008

The Big Show

Well, last week I got to attend the Detroit Auto Show (or NAIAS for those who like acronyms). Once again there were plenty of people declaring this year's show a disappointment, just like last year, but I long ago stopped paying attention to these comments. One of these days a truly disappointing show is gonna come along, and no one's gonna realize it because the comments will sound just like every other year. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on this year's extravaganza (I'll post more later):

The car that has stuck out in my mind as my favorite at this year's show since I laid eyes on it is full of irony. First of all, it's a Buick. Buick has probably been my least favorite car division since I don't know when. It represented everything I hated in cars, such as a lack of excitement (from the floaty ride to the anonymous styling), and old technology (like the still-used pushrod 3800 engine, which is charitably characterized by car magazines as "venerable"). Secondly, this breathtaking car was designed in China. It serves as a fantastic contrast against the photocopied designs from Geely and BYD you'll find downstairs at the show (more on that in a bit). GM's designers in Shanghai have created the Riviera concept, a stunningly beautiful coupe that, in my opinion, well exceeds the legacy of the Riviera name (like I said, Buicks have never really done it for me, even past Rivieras).

Buick design has experienced a revival, which started with the Velite concept and has continued with the Enclave. I've seen the next LaCrosse, and it too will be stunning, a big leap from the current car. As I told some GM people at my last meeting with them, my conception of Buick has been completely turned around. It's even to the point where I'm actually the bullish one on Buick, and my colleagues are more conservative in their perspectives. The point is, though, that GM's semi-premium division has sharpened its focus on a specific target, and Buick will not rest until it's considered the American Lexus.

(Cadillac, of course, is focused on becoming the American BMW, and Lexus, ironically, is now focused--with its revitalized RWD lineup--on beating Infiniti to the punch as the Japanese BMW. When you think about it, everyone's chasing everyone else, who's chasing BMW. But the point about Buick is, they want to replicate Lexus' FWD lineup--which is Lexus' cash cow anyway--but better.)

The Riviera proves, though, that GM is benefiting not only from a rebirth of its American design division, but is also learning how to leverage its global design footprint to make big splashes in this market. I truly hope the General brings this car to production in the US. My reversal on Buick would be complete.

Anyway, here is the Riviera concept in all its glory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

buy bactrim online buy bactrim without prescription buy bactrim f buy bactrim buy bactrim without a prescription overnight buy bactrim es online without prescription
[url=]buy bactrim [/url]
glucophage combination glucophage and estrogen side effects of glucophage articles on glucophage and weight loss 3 what is glucophage glucophage weight loss diabetes glucophage
[url=]how to take glucophage [/url]
generic 5mg proscar cheap proscar ejaculate canine proscar proscar vs adovart proscar spermatogenesis proscar proscar price
[url=]proscar and flomax taken together [/url]
generic levitra impotence levitra young people anti impotence impotence problem levitra actress pics levitra website
[url=]free levitra [/url]