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Re: CNN & the NA Auto Show

 # Anyone happen to catch CNN last night?  They did a lengthy program from
 # the North American Auto Show in Detroit.  Got to see all the new tyos as
 # well as some of the concept cars.
 # Did some interviews with automotive writers as well.  
 # Clearly the new Beetle seems to be the hit of the show.  One writer kind
 # of panned the 911 replacement saying that in order to appeal to more folks
 # Porsche took away some of the car's unique characteristics.  If I rememebr
 # correctly she even said that Porsche made it more Lexus-like.
 # As one might imagine, not a word was spoken about Audi.  But clearly as
 # they were doing their wrap up to the prgram they were standing in the Audi
 # display area.  On the left as you looked at the TV screen was a dark blue
 # metallic something or other (I couldn't tell if it was an A4 or A6) and a
 # light metallic green A6.
No, I didn't see the program on CNN, but I did read the AutoWeek article 
and get to see the car in the flesh last night at the San Jose show.  
They actually had a car off the pedestal so you can sit in it.  The car 
was certainly more than I had expected and I think it will be a big 
seller for VW.  I like it for the same reason I really liked the 
redesigned MB 500 SL of a few years ago, it harks back to the company's 
roots in a modern design.  I've gotta admit that I'm even slightly 
tempted to get one with the 1.8T when it is available ... but even the
1.9 TDI has its attractions ...

I have to say I was VERY disappointed at Audi's display there though.  
They had no sales literature (on the first day of the show!) and they 
didn't have enough people working the show to be able to talk to anyone.  
They did have the A4 Avant there which was very nice, a couple of other 
A4s, a new A6 and an A8.  When I got to the VW display it was a com-
pletely different story ... it was easy to get someone's ear and talk 
about the new Passat.  I've gotta say that I'm more likely to get one 
of these just based on the fact that Audi really doesn't seem to want 
to sell cars!  C'mon Passat Syncro!  

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)