>> The final screws are in, the cars polished, batteries charged, display stages built.>> The all-new 2018 Traverse->> And the final rehearsals for the great reveals are done. The 2017 North American International Auto Show kicks off in Detroit. I'm Conway Gaines to this side of the exhibition hall.
And I have to be honest,there is definitely a dual vibe being felt here. On one hand, there is a lot of excitement, because the entry saw the biggest annual sales in terms of autos for the second year in a row. But on the other hand, there's a little bit of concern that can be felt, and this time it has nothing to do with demand.
The source of this anxiety is not a thing, but a who, says Reuters' Breakingviews columnist Antony Currie.>> We've got a new backseat driver-in-chief, and it's our very own President-elect Donald Trump. And what he's been doing over the past week or so, is basically attacking some of the car companies through Twitter.
First it was General Motors, then it's Toyota. All about why on earth are they importing cars from Mexico to the US rather than keeping jobs here.>> Hoping to lighten up the mood, Lighting McQueen. Disney and Pixar unvalleing a life-sized version of the star of the Cars movie franchise, as he prepares for his third turn on the big screen.
But it was the Germans who really tried to steal the early spotlight. Volkswagen taking the iconic VW Bus from 60s flower power to new-millenium electric power, hoping to reboot an image tarnished by a diesel emission scandal. Mercedes Benz taking a victory lap by showing off two new models, saying it has outpaced BMW to become the world's top-selling luxury brand.
It was Google, however, that tried to help Detroit shake the feeling that it's becoming the dull older sibling to the Consumer Electronics Show. The company's Waymo unit revealing an upgrade to its self-driving system, choosing a Chrysler minivan to tout a new array of sensors and cameras. Including what it says is better radar, and laser-based LIDAR technology, at a lower price.
Google upping the ante to make autonomous vehicles cheaper, something others are likely to claim during the rest of the show.