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Old 01-15-2007, 02:43 PM   #1
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Backyard Brawl

Backyard Brawl
Detroit 3 lands solid shots at 100th Motor City show


AutoWeek | Published 01/12/07, 1:55 pm et

This might be the year Toyota takes the title as “World’s Biggest Automaker,” but if the home-turf 2007 North American International Auto Show was any indication, the Big Three, the Detroit 3 or whatever you call them, won’t cede ground without a fight.

By every measure, Detroit automakers cleaned up, hauling home most of the award hardware with winning designs, and topping the publicity battle with intriguing future powertrains and compelling future products.

General Motors emerged as a reinvigorated powerhouse, sweeping the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards with its Saturn Aura and Chevrolet Silverado. Chevy’s Volt concept generated a flood of news coverage, while the much-improved Cadillac CTS and Chevy Malibu quietly earned kudos.

Despite a spate of sour news, Ford surged forward, showing well-received extensions of the Mustang chassis in the Ford Interceptor and the Lincoln MKR sedan concepts. But the showstopper was the Jaguar C-XF concept, which grabbed the lion’s share of attention and our Best in Show award.

Though known for spectacular stunts (think Jeep crashing through glass and a blizzard of fake snow), Chrysler seemed almost subdued, cooking up improved minivans and drumming up support for the all-new Sebring-based Dodge Avenger, a revamped SRT8 Magnum, and an ever more powerful 2008 Viper.

It still was a true international display, however, as companies from Japan, Europe and even China grabbed some of the spotlight. Toyota rolled out its full-size Tundra pickup and traded blows with Honda on hot concepts. For reasons unclear in the dead of an admittedly warm Michigan winter, the German automakers brought convertibles (BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz concept Ocean Drive, Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe). Here’s one image to consider: Spied lying on their backs peering up at the underbelly of a Ford pickup were Volkswagen’s top dogs, Ferdinand Piech and new CEO Martin Winterkorn. Now that Bernd Pischetsrieder and Wolfgang Bernhard have been swept aside, is the so-called Piech truck back on the drawing board? Stay tuned.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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Now is the time to grab some of that Ford stock......while it is still cheap.
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