Six Top Stories from the 2016 North American International Auto Show

2017 Pacifica intro 2Day one at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is complete, and what have we learned? Here are some of the key stories that will shape the auto industry in 2016 and beyond. 



This year’s edition of the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit has been a busy one, with a slew of new product introductions and announcements. Here’s MCG’s take on the major developments so far with the focus, naturally, on the Motor City’s car makers for the most part. Here are some of the cars the industry will be watching this year, and possibly for years to come.


2017 Chevy BoltBattery electric vehicles take a solid step closer to the consumer mainstream with the Chevy Bolt. Its 60-kWh battery pack weighs just 960 lbs and provides a range of more than 200 miles, while the vehicle’s street price is in the $30,000 range (including federal energy credit). A GM-designed 150-kW/200 hp motor zaps the Bolt from 0-60 mph in less than seven seconds. “It’s hard to overstate the importance of this car to General Motors and to the market for electric driving in general,” says Wired magazine.


$ Raj-Nair-introduces-2017-Ford-Fusion-at-NAIASFord executive vice president for product development Raj Nair introduced a revamped Fusion lineup for 2017, including the V6 Sport, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi, and the luxury-tinged Platinum sedan. But the performance seekers in the crowd, we expect, will be lasered in on the V6 Sport, which boasts all-wheel-drive, an adaptive damper system, and a 2.7-liter, 325 hp EcoBoost V6 with 350 lb-ft of torque.


Honda Ridgeline 2017Honda abandoned the North American light truck market in 2014 with hardly a yawn from consumers, as barely 15,000 Ridgeline pickups were sold that final year. Now the Japanese manufacturer has returned to the category with a new 2017 Ridgeline with front-drive chassis, unitized cab and bed assembly, and an audio system hidden in the cargo box. The car-like pickup arrives in showrooms later this year to a more receptive audience, Honda is hoping.


0 2017 Lincoln ContinentalUnveiled in concept form at the New York Auto Show last April, the 2017 Lincoln Continental now takes a bow as a bona fide production car. A twin-turbo, 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 supplies 400 hp to the standard all-wheel-drive system, while the passenger-coddling luxury features include 30-way heated and cooled seats. Produced at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant, the Continental flagship should bring a much-needed buzz to Lincoln showrooms when it arrives in autumn of 2016.


2016 Buick Avista floorSeven years after GM’s historic bankruptcy and reorganization, the automaker’s four remaining North American brands are still evolving and defining themselves. Buick’s Avista concept, a close-coupled sports coupe with rear-wheel drive and a 400 hp, twin-turbo V6, may signal a more performance-oriented direction for GM’s near-luxury brand. However, Buick has yet to announce any production intent for the Avista. The new Envision crossover coming out this spring could speak more to the future of the Buick brand: It’s manufactured in China.


2017 Pacifica sliding doorThe rest of the automakers may have given up on the minivan, but Chrysler, the originator of the genre, has not yet thrown in the towel. The latest iteration of the Chrysler minivan sports gobs of family-friendly convenience features, crossover-like styling, and a recycled crossover name: Pacifica. And there’s a plug-in hybrid version, too—the only such example in the category. Will this be the minivan’s last stand? We’ll begin to see when the Pacifica goes on sale this spring.

North American International Auto Show January 11-24, 2016; 1 Washington Blvd, Cobo Center, Detroit, MI 48226; Public Show January 16-24; tickets and info here.

9 thoughts on “Six Top Stories from the 2016 North American International Auto Show

  1. Why anyone that needs to carry people and/or stuff would buy anything except the Chrysler or Dodges is baffling. They are the most useful, efficient, & flexible vehicle ever made for doing so. Contrary to media flacks, they are NOT on their last stand. You don’t need rug rats to appreciate the real utility for adults. They are supremely comfortable, you don’t sit on the floor, but hold more people or stuff. No one else has figured out a better solution for 2nd & 3rd row seating. They go in the floor, not in your garage! Performance is surprisingly good, able to keep up or better with all traffic yet 28mpg will be possible. If you are going to buy a tall station wagon, this shpould be your choice, not the Soccermom Utility Vehicle!

    • After buying an SUV to do a minivan’s job, I must admit that you’re probably right. Costly mistake!

    • I have to agree. A broken leg forced me into a ’98 Chrysler T&C. I started ashamed I was driving a “soccer mom car”. Learned to love it as the most practical vehicle I have yet owned in my lifetime. Can’t wait for the new Pacifica to give it a test drive.

  2. The slides should have been edited for color, brightness, & contrast first. Many were too dark to see much. The constant panning is terribly annoying & frustrating to watch. half of the presentation was the rooftop parking lot.
    Finally, I think that the Detroit Autorama Rod & custom show, has the honor of being the first event in Cobo Hall, ahead of the auto show. Surprisingly, the grass is very green & people aren’t wearing winter coats?

      • I have two pickups and they’re both unit construction. One of the most appealing aspects of their design is the unbroken side sheet metal. Possibly a hint that my taste in vehicles may be a bit outside of the mainstream.

  3. I lived in Grosse Pointe from 52-59 so it was great to see this. The slide showing the river behind COBO appears to have the “Bob-LO” boat tied up at the dock -this was the boat that took you to the Belle Isle Amusement Park. Great memories – thanks!

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