2022 Detroit Auto Show: Ford and Buick dazzle with plans for the future
For the first time since 2019, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) took place, and it was very different from previous years.
After three lengthy years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 NAIAS in Detroit finally opened its doors to the media, business professionals, and the general public this week.
The United States experienced good car sales metrics in 2021. The U.S. auto sales were close to 15 million, trailing China's 21.5 million. Having said that, this year has seen automakers face several difficulties.
The lack of semiconductors and rising prices for commodities and shipping have adversely impacted business operations and earnings. Meanwhile, new car sales have slowed as consumers struggle and worry about chronic inflation and a recession.
However, not everything in the automotive sector is terrible. In the first half of 2022, high-margin SUVs and luxury cars gained market share over cars, and second-quarter sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increased by 66 percent year over year.
However, this year's NAIAS lost some of its lusters compared to prior years' events.
There were no household names like Honda, Hyundai, Kia, or Nissan, nor were there any luxury automakers like Audi, Porsche, or Jaguar Land Rover. However, Subaru also had a solid showing, and Toyota had a sizable exhibit. Giant carmakers from Germany, BMW and Mercedes, were also represented, but just barely.
In addition to showing Ram, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep goods, Stellantis had a sizable booth at the event. However, most of the automaker's area was devoted to driving demonstrations, with Jeep 4xs scaling challenging artificial terrain and Ram 1500s towing objects.
General Motors was located at the other end of the corridor. A modest, depressing display for Cadillac was placed in front of plain concrete walls. Buick was just as insignificant. Chevy had the most footprint of all the GM brands, although even this was insignificant compared to pre-pandemic exhibitions.
The majority of the main floor was occupied by Ford, who had a special exhibit for the new 2024 Mustang.
The Mustang, which celebrated its debut in the center of the Motor City, was unquestionably the show's headliner.
Identical to its predecessors constructed between 1964 and 1970, the style is quite similar, and the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated Coyote V8 engines continue to be offered. There is no sign of the hybrid drivetrains or all-wheel drive gearbox alternatives that Ford was said to be developing.
The new Buick Wildcat EV concept is a fastback coupe created to lay the foundation for the brand's future design language. Strangely, Buick has no plans to produce the study or any coupe, so the future will only be filled with SUVs.
The concept's introduction follows Buick's declaration that by the end of the decade, its entire North American portfolio will be electric-only. By 2024, the company will launch its first electric vehicle (EV).
Visit by the POTUS
The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg attended the event on Wednesday, celebrating the economic policies that have led to a surge in EV manufacturing in the United States.
In addition, Biden disclosed that the federal government had authorized financing for 35 states, including Michigan, to start constructing electric charging stations beside major thoroughfares.
While traveling separately, Biden and Buttigieg got in and out of some of the most recent EVs from Chevrolet, Ford, and Jeep and spoke with CEOs of private companies and labor leaders.