No. 969
October 24, 2018

About The UjianNasional

Peter M. DeLorenzo has been immersed in all things automotive since childhood. Privileged to be an up-close-and-personal witness to the glory days of the U.S. auto industry, DeLorenzo combines that historical legacy with his own 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising to bring unmatched industry perspectives to the Internet with, which was founded on June 1, 1999. DeLorenzo is known for his incendiary commentaries and laser-accurate analysis of the automobile business, as well as racing and the business of motorsports. Author. Commentator. Influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the business today.

DeLorenzo's latest book is Witch Hunt (Octane Press  ). It is available on Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle formats, as well as on iBookstore. DeLorenzo is also the author of The United States of Toyota.

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by Peter M. De Lorenzo 

Rumors of Our Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. We Actually Did Get Out of Cobo Hall Alive!

(Colleen Egan for
Despite being lost in the crush of the media hordes, being broomed at one point from a "restricted" area by GM security handlers and having to suffer through the usual creative bullshit (literally, when it came to the "new" Chrysler) wafting from the executive speeches ("he did not just say that, did he?"), we still found plenty to be excited about at the 2008 North American International Automobile Show. But true to form, our big horsepower dreams were shattered by enough rampant abject stupidity to make our brains bounce like bobbleheads mounted on custom-made Dodge Ram rear coil springs.

Not to mention the fact that we had a massive technical failure with our server, and tales of our premature demise were swirling around the Internet to the point that we had emails piling up in our inbox inquiring about our health, mental state, "Hey, can I have the green car?" etc., etc. Of course, for some, it was an opportunity to heap derision and shout with joyful glee, reminding me of what the great Mark Twain once said: "I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it."

But hey, we're back (and with a new look, too, see "On the Table" - ed.), and we're ready to take you through the show.

Speaking of which, the 2008 NAIAS was a study in contrasts, obviously, with virtually every story written to date pegging the show as being a cultural war between Good (Green) vs. Evil (High-Performance). I'm not buying that angle, however, because it doesn't get at the real story. Yes, there was plenty of Green washing over the show with enough hybrids, 2 mode hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cells, bio fuels and every other environmental idea you could imagine floating over the proceedings like an Emerald Happy Mist, but that was just part of the story.

The real story is that for two years in a row now Toyota got shoved to the side and didn't generate the big news here, unless you read The Toyota Times (aka The New York Times), which is still happily functioning as Toyota's house organ (at least until the personnel change in their Detroit Bureau takes place and until further notice). No, the news came from GM, which continued its highly aggressive product offensive on all fronts, including everything from advanced alternative propulsion systems all the way up to 550HP Cadillacs and 650HP Corvettes. And from Ford, with their newly-energized focus bringing more than a glint of hope to their future product lineup - and to their future, period - where none existed before.

But, of course, it wouldn't be a Detroit auto show without a double helping of smoke and mirrors coming from the "new" Chrysler (ugh), per usual, and from new sources for empty-suited merriment like Henrik Fisker, who we wish would just go away never to be heard from again (talk about someone squandering a legacy - yikes).

Hell, for a mildly amusing diversion we even had a phalanx of Presidential candidates and their entourages parachute in to the show so they could ramble on vaguely about Michigan's "problems," as if we all suffered from a medical condition that needed to be addressed. That they confirmed that they knew little about this state and that they didn't have the first clue as to what they're talking about when it comes to the domestic automobile business (except for maybe Romney, who's an ex-homey) was not a surprise. It also wasn't surprising that their measurable impact on the proceedings was less than zero, either.

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