Like it or not, if you live in Detroit, you must have an opinion about cars. It's the "Motor City", after all. Since the days of Henry Ford, the city's lifeblood pumps to the sound of welded metal; the monotonous thunder of the assembly line bringing sweet affluence to the Midwest.
Detroiters generally disdain public transportation. And it's no wonder since the elevated downtown train, the "People Mover", goes in a circle to little more than four stops, and the public bus system, the "SMART bus", is not intelligent enough to keep a reliable schedule. Yes, to a local, there is no greater joy than cruising Detroit Rock City in your own set of wheels.
So it's no wonder that two of the biggest events in the city that draw visitors from other states (or countries) revolve around the automobile. January welcomes each year by marking the annual Detroit International Auto Show. Using the word "international" in Detroit is dubious at best as it could simply mean that some Canadians from Windsor drove across the bridge to participate for the day. Yet, the international auto show attracts the best and brightest steel machines from around the world.
A family weekend outing to the Auto Show is traditional practice since I was young enough to pride myself on knowing that SUV stood for Sport Utility Vehicle. And this year I dressed myself in metallic colors: silver and electric blue hoping to play chameleon among the shiny chrome of a new decade of automobiles.
And so we made the rounds to...
...a Ford demonstration of a car with an automatic parallel park feature. Practical to the average citizen who just couldn't master the art during driver's ed.
...a rather pathetic display of a new Chinese company to the market. Several cars of the same color with 10 year old designs attracted only a handful of people, I guessed of Chinese ethnicity wondering what kind of business their homeland was up to.
...the rotating concept vehicles. These cars are not currently on the market and will not be on the market for some time. Like a playboy pin-up, these cars along with accompanying sexy female models, are for oogling only. Dream on boys.
And the highlight of the show: the 2010 Ford Fiesta.
While checking out the sleek lines of the machine like the cute guy at the bar, my sister and I were asked to participate our opinions for Ford marketers. I admitted that the magenta color of the display model won me over. When have I seen one of my favorite colors on the exterior of a car? My sister and I agreed that the 40 miles per gallon of gasoline that the Fiesta boosts is especially attractive as no other car has the winning combination of a low price and high MPG. And our choice of automobile?
2010 Ford Fiesta it is. Party on.