The Global View

Are car makers really committed to going green?

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With the Detroit motor show in full swing, you can bet stories about green cars will be ten a penny this week. Well, alright, I doubt you can bet – William Hill wouldn’t be stupid enough to take your money.

And god knows, if you can bet on stories about green cars appearing this week, then Greenbang’s off to lay some serious money with the bookies that she can guess her own middle name.

In the meantime, Newsweek sums it all up nicely:

Detroit is anxious to show the world that it finally gets green and is working hard to engineer cars that sip instead of guzzle. They’ll roll out hydrogen-powered concept cars with names like ecoVoyager and fuel-friendly engines like the EcoBoost (eco, apparently, is the new i). There’s just one problem with this eco echo chamber: The most important new model introductions at the Detroit show are actually two hulking pickup trucks, the redesigned Ford F-150 (with a grill inspired by steel girders) and the Dodge Ram (with what its creators call “get-out-of-the-way” styling). That sure throws a monkey wrench into this garden party. […]

This old-school display of metal and muscle might mark the end of an era at the Detroit Auto Show. With Tata’s Nano taking the emerging world by storm and Toyota’s Prius hybrid selling more than 1 million units, massive models like the Ram and F-150 are looking like dinosaurs. Oh, sure, as long as there is work to be done–on ranches and construction sites–there will be a healthy market for pickups. But their days as the star of the show are waning. All those mileage misers cropping up at this year’s show demonstrate that the only way for Detroit to find itself in clover again is to head down the garden path.