The year’s biggest auto show started this week in Detroit, with the mood underlining just how far the Big Three companies have come since 2009.
Ford, GM and Chrysler are each showcasing new and innovative models that have received extremely positive reviews from auto analysts. This comes as the companies each posted large annual sales increases of 8.8% (GM), 11.7% (Ford) and 9.3% (Chrysler), increasing market share over foreign companies.
Perhaps the most significant change apparent at this years show, is the willingness of the three companies to move away from their traditional designs and take risks on new product lines. Below is a brief overview of some of the most exciting new innovations:
Ford’s F150: The F series has been the best selling pick-up in the US for more than four decades- 763,402 were sold in 2013- and is now available with an aluminium body. If Ford’s model is a success this could change the auto landscape, dramatically decreasing car weight and fuel economy.
GM’s connected vehicle: the company has made the biggest push of any to create a ‘smart’ vehicle, capable of connecting with phone apps and other home devices. 2015 Chevys will come with an app store, as GM tries to foster a technology ecosystem around its cars. In the meantime the flagship Chevrolet (‘Chevy’) brand won American Auto Writers’ prize for both best car and best truck of 2014.
2015 Chrysler 200: next year’s production line will feature a new mid-sized sedan targeted at taking on Honda and Toyota. Chrysler’s strong recent performance would receive a further boost were it to successfully gain market share in this lucrative segment of the market.
The auto show is the most important public event for the local economy, and there are positive signs this week that 2014 will be a prosperous year for the region.