Thursday, January 8, 2009

Toy Town

Decided to a couple of hours off today and head off with a co-conspirator (say "hi", B!) to the San Jose Autoshow.

Given the Valley demographic you would hope that high-end cars would get pride of place, that geek-friendly, scantily-clad girls would be draped all over the good stuff, and the luxury manufacturers would pull out all the stops like an over-achieving organist on steroids.

Err, "no" on all accounts. Looking around, it was clear that this was more a collection of cars from local auto-dealers than a show sponsored by the major manufacturers. Try this as a way of setting the scene: take Steven's Creek Boulevard, compress it, and then add carpet and a roof. Oh, but along the way delete the Audi, Porsche and Mercedes dealers, leaving just the mass-market stuff (which, in this day and age, might usefully be renamed the "a few people out window shopping and allowing their kids to climb all over the huge stock piles of unsold cars market") that you can basically see every day of the week in your local multi-story car park. Starting to get the picture?

Still and all, if you are looking to compare the mainstream offerings from Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM and others then at least here you can do so all in one place, under cover and with very few actual sales "consultants" around to bug the living daylights out of you. And that's frankly worth something, to me at least, because I hate people hovering over me while I wander around pawing over expensive, shiny, metal things.

Highlights? Check out the Bugatti Veyron, albeit in a horrible two-tone colour scheme. Not often you see 1,000+ HP conveniently stuffed into one, very low-slung package, so go and dream. Worth a look too is the Rolls Royce with a paint-free alloy bonnet (hood). Actually, indoors it looks quite cool but I hate to think what it would be like driving that thing in California with what must be laser-like reflections from strong sunlight blinding you mile-after-mile. (Should have checked to see if it was called the "Buyer's Remorse Special Edition". "It looked great in the showroom, and $400k really isn't too bad to own something so exclusive now is it?")

Lowlights? Pretty much anything built down to a price, and yes, that means you, GM, along with all tinny econoboxes regardless of race, color or creed.

I think we agreed that the San Francisco show was better, but really it would take a trip to Paris or Frankfurt to really see the good stuff. So maybe next year ....

1 comment:

I said...

I sometime think the sales folks have to change the way they deal with their customers. Poor sales practices and low customer satisfaction is not helping in these downturns.

So did you put a deposit down on the Buggati? ;-)