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NAIAS Daily


Impressions

 

Official NAIAS 2002 Site:


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 Day One   Day Two   Day Three
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DAY ONE : Sunday, January 6 - Part 1

 

North American Car & Truck of the Year Award

The first event that took place on the first press day of the Detroit auto show was the announcement of the North American Car & Truck of the year award. The winner is Nissan Altima as car of the year and the Chevy Trailblazer won the category as best truck of the year 2002. "Car" finalists are Cadillac CTS, Ford Thunderbird and the winner Nissan Altima. In the truck section the finalists are Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Jeep Liberty.

Left: Gary Cowger, GM, winner of the truck of the year award with the Chevy Trailblazer


General Motors

"Keep it simple, pure, and beautiful and it will be easy to love."

These were the basic inspirations set down by Bob Lutz, GM's chairman of North American Operations, in creating a "sketch-off" for the first concept vehicle commissioned by GM's new product chief. The call went out at the end of September and by mid-October, the Pontiac Solstice roadster was under development.

"The North American market is ripe for an affordable, pure roadster executed to top global standards on perceived quality, both inside and out," Lutz explained. "The Solstice is striking in its purity and simplicity. The exterior lines are strong, bold and clearly Pontiac - but not over-the-top. The interior is focused on the essential elements of driving - functional, precise and inviting, executed in a manner that exudes quality and tactile feel."

Beside the Solstice, the Chevrolet Bel Air and the Cadillac Cien were newly presented. As production cars, the Hummer H2, the Cadillac XLR and the Chevrolet SSR were displayed.


DaimlerChrysler

"The Chrysler Pacifica cannot be binned in any existing automotive category, it's an all-new segment that will follow the success of our minivan and PT Cruiser," said Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of the Chrysler Group. "Chrysler Pacifica is a sports tourer with the right formula of proportions, packaging, performance and appearance that will set it far apart from our competition. With its low step-in height, first class seating, three rows of seats, and car-like handling, there is nothing else like it in the marketplace."

Within an art-like performance DaimlerChrysler and its management focused all attention on the introduction of the Chrysler Pacifica. One of the best shows of the day!


Ford Motor Company

Itís bold. Itís strong. Itís a hint of whatís to come for the next generation Ford F-Series pickup Ė Americaís best-selling vehicle for 20 years running and best-selling truck for the past 25 years.

"Weíve had fun bringing to life a full-size pickup that reminds kids of all ages of the trucks they used to loved to punish in their sandboxes," says J Mays, vice president, Design, while introducing the Ford F350 Tonka concept.

Later the day, Ford Motor Company Chairman and CEO Bill Ford, Jr. revealed the Ford GT40 concept. 

"GT40 is the ultimate Living Legend," explains J Mays, Ford vice president of Design. "Itís a true supercar with appeal equal to that of the greatest sports cars in the world, but with the addition of a heritage no one can match. Essential elements of the original Ė including the stunning low profile and mid-mounted American V-8 Ė continue in this latest interpretation of the classic."

The new high-performance concept is inspired by the vehicle that roared into the hearts of car enthusiasts everywhere during the 1960s. The new GT40 joins Fordís "Living Legends" lineup of production and concept cars.


 .....continue


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