A Tale Of Two Detroit Auto Shows

We're car enthusiasts. Product planners and pessimists say we have no idea what most car buyers (the non-enthusiasts) want or need and just answer brown diesel manual wagon to every question. That's largely true. But how does that brown diesel manual wagon is a bad answer for most car buyers?

Patrick thinks automakers are hitting the mark based on what they showed at this year's Detroit Auto Show. Also today, I wrote a counter to a Yahoo! Autos piece about U.S. automakers being stuck in the past, based on the products they showed off this year. In short, I said the domestic automakers understand the need save fuel in mainstream cars, not with limited production EVs and fuel cells.

stoke made the necessary comparison:

Jalopnik editor walks floor of NAIAS, think: "Wow, there are lots of great cars here. Automakers must be listening to the needs of the market."

Yahoo Autos editor walks floor of NAIAS, thinks: "Wow, there are lots of terrible, gas-guzzling, retro-styled cars here. Automakers must not be listening to the needs of the market."

It's kind of scary how easily your attitude can shape your conclusions.

Yes, there are some pressing needs to address when we talk about cars of the future. But there's a common ground that enthusiasts, planners and regulators are all going to find sooner or later – and it was evident this year that it will be sooner. Lighter cars? Got 'em. Turbochargers? Oh, we're swimming in those. Smaller, more nimble SUVs? Ages ago. Diesels? Absolutely.

More wagons and manual transmissions? I didn't say our work was done.

Photos: Getty Images