2009 Detroit Motor Show

The dark clouds loom ominous over Detroit as a struggling car industry prepares for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

This staple international auto show, established way back in 1907, has been ripped through by the winds of change. 

The 2008 show saw 58 vehicle debuts (44 international and 14 American). It also raised US$6 million for children's charities at the annual black-tie Charity Preview. Charity donations this year should perhaps go to the car companies themselves...

The Big Three, whose offices cast their own shadows over the exhibition centre, are hanging by a thread in the red. Big brands Nissan, Jaguar and Land Rover are spending their money elsewhere - the Chinese taking their stand space with multiple new models of disturbingly similar appearance. And V8 is a dirty word, swept out the door by electric mini-movers, fuel cells and Hybrid hype.

Dramatic enough for you? We certainly hope so. Never before has Detroit been wrenched with such tension and desperation as this year's show promises. In the wheelsmag camp, the tension is in our typing fingers as we bring you up to the minute news and info...

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