2018 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) Highlights

By |2018-08-12T16:25:42+00:00January 21st, 2018|

By now we already know that every year we kick off with the Detroit motor show aka the NAIAS – North American International Auto Show. This motor show is one of the largest in the region. The show is all about SUV’s, pickups, tech and such but mainly the surprises. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s event:


Because of where our future is heading, let’s start with this one. We know well about self-driving cars and their abilities but it’s still always fascinating to see how the tech is incorporated into vehicles. And also, what these cars are capable off and how cars are being reshaped for the tech.

Mechanics of self-driving cars along with sensor technology and a virtual reality simulator were on all display at the NAIAS. It’s apparent that crowds young and old were really impressed by the new gadgets and tech.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

VW Presentation at Detroit motor show

Volkswagen revealed its all-new Passat GT, made in and especially for the American market. The 2019 VW Jetta also made a global debut. The Jetta was revealed with a price tag of US $18,545 which is less than its outgoing model.

In addition, Volkswagen commented on having the best performance in VW history for 2017 having delivered 6,230,000 vehicles – an increase of 4.2 percent.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet silverado


While not relevant to the SA market but never the less interesting to see, Chevrolet introduced the next-generation Silverado. This comes exactly 100 years after the brand delivered its first trucks to customers in January 1918. The all-new Silverado represents the next century of Chevrolet. In true American big-truck form, the Silverado took the stage and it was announced that Chevrolet has sold more trucks than any other company in America in the last four years. The Silverado offers best in class cargo volume, regardless of its bed length.

2019 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep cherokee


Jeep revealed the 2019 all-new mid-size Jeep Cherokee with an updated style, increased performance, new levels of fuel efficiency and capability, along with the latest technologies and amenities. It has a new better face inside and out and is a stylish, versatile, finely crafted package that is pure Jeep. It was said that it has been redesigned to “help loyal Jeep customers face and embrace the next extraordinary adventure.”



Mercedes-Benz had an incredible stage set up in Detroit. A new G-Class was revealed by the German automaker, while the new CLS 350, amongst other cars, were also displayed. The automaker also had a resin display whereby a 1979 G-Class was on show. This was to indicate how far along the G-Class has come. Aside from the expense and size of it, it weighed 44.4-tons – that’s 40,279 kilograms!! Talk about making a statement.


g-class resin display

G-Class resin display.
Photo: Timothy J. Seppala




BMW President of North America announced at Detroit they achieved their goal of selling 100,000 electric vehicles worldwide with the US being the biggest market. The i8 Roadster and Coupe were on display. In addition to the i8 Roadster, there was also mention of the upcoming 8 Series coupe and M8 that will be added to BMW’s luxury offering.


Ford Mach 1 Teaser

Ford was one of the first manufacturers to create a buzz this year. The American automaker resurrected the “Mach 1” name with a video teaser on social media. It was accompanied by the caption, “Inspired by icons. Developed by Ford Team Edison. Born in Detroit. A new all-electric performance SUV. Coming 2020.” We await details on this exciting electric vehicle.



Hyundai had the 2019 Veloster and Veloster Turbo on display in Detroit. However, no one knew that an N version would make an appearance. The turbocharged hot hatch will have a manual transmission only. It was certainly a pleasant surprise at the show.

Detroit Overall

Honda Insight


Detroit also displayed less odd-shaped cars. Manufacturers are realizing that you don’t need a weird looking car to promote electrification. For its Insight model, Hyundai is not making use of any “hybrid” or “e” badging. Honda said its goal is not to make a great hybrid car, but just a great car in general and if that happens to be a hybrid, so be it. Electrified powertrains with batteries are making its way in to several big name cars. Such as the new Audi A8’s and the new Mercedes-AMG 53 range – also not making use of any special hybrid badging.

Aside from the ‘79 G-Class in resin, other famous classics included the original Mustang from the 1968 film Bullitt, Chevrolet had the C10 to celebrate pickup trucks, and Lincoln brought some classics.

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