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NAIAS 2008: What’s Under Your Hood?

by Sheila Franklin
calicutta@hotmail.com

 

 

DETROIT -- This is the second year for some of us at the NAIAS. Not quite the zoo it was last year, we cannot help but think the hoopla appears to have decreased in favor of the Presidential race, the loss of automotive jobs in Michigan, and the audacity of some of our local leaders to push for more opulence downtown rather
than the continuing homelessness and declining housing situation in our fair state. Nonetheless, we treated this year’s show with the anticipation of a trip to Disney World’s Epcot Center.

 

PHOTO BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

Getting into the show was almost too easy. We had our IDs and received bracelets from a guy that looked too young to be able to spot a terrorist if he saw one. One security man looked into our camera case, but didn’t really seem all that interested. He even volunteered to wave his scanner around, so everyone would know that a metal detector is available, just in case.

 

PHOTO BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

We wandered by some of the Chinese automobiles, where it seems everyone wanted to check under the hood, so we did, too. The rest of China’s wares were secluded from the rest of the show, but thats where the designer crackers and cheese selections were, if you had the munchies mid-show.

 

PHOTO BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

There weren’t so many of the special effects of last year’s show. One of the manufacturers had their vehicles on ice, while another featured a light show. This year the only thing close to that was the Saturn Hybrid Aura. Behind the video extolling the virtues of the car-to-come was an interesting light show on its side, promoting us to watch more of the show than care about the ordinary-looking vehicle.

 

PHOTO BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

We didn’t notice the token babes on cars last year, but they were spouting off ceaselessly with the lines they have been told to memorize. This is all very well, but don’t ask them a real question or they might realize they have a brain and are way overpaid just for smiling.

 

PHOTOS BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

The men who presided over the various vehicles seemed psyched to the max. We kept hearing strains of, “Big things are going on this year!,” but only to each other. Ask them a question and they will say, “I am just a rep.” What does that mean? Are they the same men that preside at new car showrooms and play let’s make a deal while promising you that you did even though you didn’t?


PHOTOS BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

We finally discovered the best way to find out what was going on at the show. The kind men and women who are hired to keep the cars shiny and bright have been there for several years, like Les. They not only know the differences in the models this year from last, they can tell you more about what’s under the hood than you probably want to know.

 

PHOTOS BY SHEILA FRANKLIN / ©AMERICAJR.com

The moral here? Save the creme de la creme for the Charity Event, the celebs to dance with the Governor, Barenaked Ladies to sing for the Not So Silent Minority of the very rich, but when we want to know what is really going on, we will just ask the little people who know that the gap widens between us all every year, but continue to persevere. We still await the meek inheriting the Earth.

AmericaJR.com's coverage of the 2008 NAIAS is sponsored by The Omni Detroit Hotel at River Place, The Dow Event Center in Saginaw and by RazorGator.com.

 

:: Return to Our Coverage of the 2008 NAIAS ::

 

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January 17 - 20, 2008

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This page was last updated on Thu, January 24, 2008 3:27 PM

 

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