Done in Detroit: Who’s crystal ball has it right?
In a reversal of traditional roles at this year’s Detroit auto show, it was the American brands that showed up with environmentally conscious green wheels, while the Europeans (i.e. Germans) showed up with all the muscle.
To anyone that was listening, GM, Chrysler and Ford were all about zero-emission electric this and zero-emission electric that.
Neither their Cadillac Converj, Dodge Circuit EV nor Lincoln C had more than four bangers under their hoods conceptual hoods.
Counter that with the Germans: who trotted out all sorts of the screw-the-planet, high horsepower rides.
Mercedes showed its $1 million-plus SLR Stirling Moss super car. BMW débuted its Z4 Roadster and 7 Series V8 luxobarge. While Audi unvieled its ten-cylinder R8 super car.
So who do you think has their long-term product planning right?
Some EV fans—even the most optimistic like Nissan/Renault’s Carlos Ghosn—think electric vehicle sales will never make up more than 15 per cent of the market.
On the other hand, it looks like the global economic downturn may keep fuel pump prices lower than anyone would dare imagine last summer. This may only lower the incentive to go green by minimizing the cost and social untowardness of driving sports performance cars.
Is the future of driving the Cadillac Converj, or the Audi R8 V10?