Saturday, February 07, 2009

Washington Auto Show denies the recession, auto bailouts: a $12 entertainment value?

The Washington Auto Show, (link) at the DC Convention Center on Mount Vernon Place, certainly was packed today. It runs through Sunday Feb. 8, 2009. Credit card kiosk sold tickets for $12. Senior tickets were supposed to be $10 cash.

In fact, the “Green” exhibit didn’t require a ticket, as it was in a side pavilion on the main level. Various plug-ins and all electric vehicles, some of them small and one shaped like the black stealth B1 plane, were shown, often with subtle paint colors. Plenty of technical information on mileage was available. On the main floor, Ford seemed to dominate the eye, and seemed to have more innovation to offer than anyone else. Maybe Ford really is in better shape among the three major auto manufacturers. There were plenty of engines and transmissions on display, especially for the Fusion.

There was a green theater SUV, with movies behind each seat, airlines style, PG-13 only. There was a stage act in the Mustang area. The guy said, “Life is short, so eat dessert first.”

But Mazda had an interesting exhibit with its available colors showed on rotating globes made to look like gas giants in other solar systems (the planets close to their stars would have a lot of vaporized metal in their atmospheres -- is that the Japanese auto maker's scientific "point"?).

In the main area, there was also an eight-foot “Rock-It Robot” performing, more or less looking like the supertall guy on the disco floor.

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