Retorter’s Notebook: 2016 Detroit Auto Show

20160112_101507The 2016 North American International Auto Show here in Detroit is now in the books for me and I’d like to offer some observations.

1-My company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has the best stand. I don’t say that to suck up, since a person of my age group has as much chance of advancing as a possum crossing the Jersey Turnpike, but I actually believe it. Check it out. I’ve made it easy by gratuitously posting the video I produced about the stand.

2-In order to park your car you must do one of the following:

  • Work for a company willing to waste its capital on buying up every space in every convenient parking lot, deck or garage. Thankfully I don’t. But I wished I knew someone who did and would slip me his/her pass in exchange for murky promises of free pints of mead.
  • Win the Powerball in order to pay extortion in exchange for parking at one of the lots actually opened that’s closer than Toledo. My expense report should be quite amusing.
  • Don’t drive at all…and call in sick.

3-It’s a lot of fun mooching free cappuccinos and other free stuff from competitors’ stands while acting indignant and pouting, “what? no shrimp?” I learned that from being a reporter.

4-Indicative of the auto industry’s boffo year in 2015 every company’s stand had lights.

5-It was nice to see everyone in great moods since things are going well and there are so many very cool new vehicles being introduced. During the horrible 2008-9 recession those smiles were attributed to Xanax.

6-Unlike the last election cycle no Presidential candidates toured the floor hoping for some coverage from the 6,000 journalists attending. Perhaps they accurately figured out the reporters were more interested in self-driving vehicles, and not autonomous pandering.

7-One reporter about to conduct an interview with one of our executives actually asked, “Uh, what’s FCA?” I could have had fun with that but took pity on the poor thing who, I’m sure, wonders why acronyms are all caps.

All in all, it was the best Detroit show in recent memory. We’re all feeling good about the business, the new cars and trucks in the pipeline and how great all the displays look. I would have posted this sooner, but I  had to find a place to  park.


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