As I walk around the Detroit Auto Show, the gloom and doom of last year has lifted. Replaced with cautious optimism.
All is not well in Motown, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
BMW North America President Jim O'Donnell told me, "Last year, it was a wake. And even that's an exaggeration, a wake is fun, at least in Ireland it's fun. It was terrible, but this year, just walking around the show, you see it looks a bit better, the sounds are better, the Americans are back."
Leading the way for the Americans is Ford.
The Fusion Hybrid won car of the year and the Transit Connect won truck of the year. CEO Alan Mulally is unveiling the new Focus, the first truly global car from Ford. Mulally believes Ford can sell the same car in the U.S., as well as in China, as well as in Europe. I've seen the Focus and I believe it will work. Will it be enough to crack Toyota's dominance in cars in the U.S.? I'm not sure. Still, it's a nice upgrade over the current Focus.