It’sa good show this year….unless you like “far-out” concept cars
The mood at the North American International Auto Show is upbeat. Sure, Europe’s debt crisis and the battered Euro have auto executives concerned, but so far that crisis isn’t stopping the U.S. economy’s improvement, albeit at a very measured (slow) pace.
Governor Snyder announced that Hyundai will expand its Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in Superior Township, just south of Ann Arbor.
Speaking just after touring the Detroit Auto Show Tuesday, the Governor said the project is a “good model” for the state’s revamped economic development strategy.
The Korean automaker plans to put more than $15 million into expanding its technical center. The new “environmental chamber” will test vehicle emissions at extreme temperatures, helping it meet new fuel efficiency standards.
But do that, the company needed a bigger power supply than DTE Energy could reliably provide. So, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is chipping in $2.5 million to build a new power substation.
Snyder says that’s a departure from the tax incentive-based strategy the state has used in the past. “Our goal here is to be an enabler, in terms of letting companies in the private sector be successful, because that’s how you lead to true long term viable job creation,” Snyder said.
The idea is that Hyundai will eventually repay the state through tax revenues it pays to Superior Township. The state can then use that money to finance other economic development projects.
GM unveiled the Buick Encore, the latest all-new Buick, at the Detroit Auto Show Tuesday.
The Encore rounds out Buick’s revamped line-up, which also includes the Verano, LaCrosse, and Enclave.
GM is trying hard to ditch Buick’s “older” image and market the brand to younger customers.
GM Vice President for design Ed Wellburn said the Encore will increase Buick’s appeal to younger buyers—and women—because it’s part of a trend toward what he calls “premium small SUVs.”
“This is really on the leading edge of that trend,” Wellburn said. “We firmly believe there are great opportunities there, and it expands the Buick portfolio.”
The Encore will go on sale in early 2013. The car will be manufactured in South Korea—a nod to the fact that GM plans to market the car heavily in China—where Buick is a popular brand--as well as North America.
“We’re a global company with a global footprint,” said Roger McCormack, Buick’s product marketing director. “When you look at the picture in total, this was the right [manufacturing] decision for us.”
On Monday, Chrysler unveiled its 2013 Dodge Dart at the Detroit Auto Show.
Sarah Cwiek reports:
Reid Bigland, President of the Dodge brand says the Dart represents a true blend of Fiat and Chrysler’s traditional strengths. “Quite simply, it is groundbreaking. It has a world-class architecture, the DNA of an Alpha-Romeo, with the unmistakable presence of a Dodge,” said Bigland. He says the Dart will make its debut in showrooms this spring with a price tag of just under $16,000.
Auto companies use words such as "affordability", "reliability", "high performance", "style" and "fuel economy" to sell you a car.
Ford Motor Company thinks they’ve got it all. Of course, they do have some competition.
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports:
Ford Motor Company is unveiling its new Fusion, hoping to topple the traditional midsize sedan leaders, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Fusion will also come in hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, with the plug-in getting the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon.
Here's the splashy unveiling of the 2013 Ford Fusion at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.