The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS, also familiarly known as the Detroit show) is underway with press week, when all the vehicle producers try to outdo each other in impressing the international press corps with new models and concept cars.
Perhaps the most extreme example of razzle-dazzle so far this week was the Jeep, which drove out of Cobo Convention Center, site of the show, through the building's glass window down a main street and climbing a structure to show its ability to go anywhere.
(See article in the International Herald Tribune.)
The vehicle manufacturers are placing a lot of emphasis on the safety and styling of their new offerings, and the impact of high fuel prices can be seen the new hybrid models available as well as reduced sizes of the vehicles compared to previous monster-size SUVs.
One item that may be of interest for our industry is the increased frequency of heated exterior mirrors as standard equipment. This feature has moved from the luxury level to mid-class.
Among some of the early introductions was the all-new Kia 2006.5 Optima, which
features solar glass as standard.
The company's Concept-CT ultra-compact hybrid has a large, wraparound panoramic windshield for excellent front visibility.
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