First Impression of the New North American International Detroit Auto Show
A NEW BEGINNING AND THE END OF ERA
By Michael Bernstein
The Auto Channel
Day 1 of this year’s revamped NAIDAS belonged to Stellantis, the parent company of brands Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram with Chrysler who got things off to a fast start. This year marks the first show to combine events both inside and outside of Cobo Hall.
Last year’s trial run, dubbed “Motor Bella”, was staged at the M1 Concourse located about twenty miles north in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac and it was, from a media standpoint, a lemon. Not because of the venue which served a gracious host, but from the lack of OEM participation.
The M1 Concourse held up its end of the bargain by offering a perfect venue complete with what can’t be accomplished in downtown Detroit and that is a 1.5 mile track.
No need to look any further in the rear view mirror as the show’s future is straight ahead and unlike previous year’s show the weather WILL NOT be an issue this year. In fact, the chamber of commerce could not have delivered a better forecast. Warm and sunny for not only both the media and industry previews, but also into the weekend when the public will get their first look at the revamped show.
Deciding to go with an outdoor venue for the show’s kick off was a bit of a gamble but the folks in Auburn Hills made the bet pay off in spades as Chrysler unveiled the next and sadly last generation of its super popular 300 model.
The event was positioned next to Detroit’s “Spirit of Detroit”, the iconic Marshall Fredrick statue that has grown to symbolize the city’s resilience and commitment to the arts. It also was a fitting metaphor for Chrysler and the latest 300C model.
In addition to the media and corporate big wigs in attendance, past generations of this line made an appearance including the first generation 1955 300, the 1957 model that was the first to wear the 300C badge and the game changer, the 2005 model which catapulted the brand to uncharted heights of popularity.
This model reflects the past while embracing its short lived future, as Chrysler is only producing 2,200 of these beauties in the US. The location chosen also allowed the general public a glimpse behind the curtain and unlike the Wizard of Oz, what they saw was an impressive sedan that has both the looks and the power to please old and new customers alike.
The program began with a typical, but well produced hero video, then the formal presentation by Chrysler Brand CEO Chris Feuell and Chief of Design Ralph Gilles who both touted the car’s growth to legendary stature as well as its many impressive stats.
This baby has a 6.4L, V8 Hemi engine that produces 485HP with 475 FT/LBs of torque. They also are only offering it in three colors-red, black and white.
Unfortunately for car enthusiasts this will be the last model. So if you want one you don’t have to wait long because Chrysler will begin taking pre-orders TODAY, September 13, 2022, at their website Chrysler.com. The MSRP is $55,000 plus destination.
Tomorrow’s headliner will be the Blue Oval who will be conducting a Stampede to roll out its next gen Mustang. As this behind the scenes photo reveals this is a true rubber burning, gas guzzling model not to be confused with the EV version that shares the its name.
In fact, according to the company this will be the only car it will produce moving forward and it joins only a hand full of ICE products in its portfolio. Somewhere Henry Ford is rolling his eyes as the company and the industry move to an all electric future.
Stay tuned to the Auto Channel for the latest news out of Detroit and the world.