While in past years we might have handed out praise for the “Best Display” at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, a “Worst Display” nod seems only appropriate for the 2009 show.
And so, without further adieux, the AutoGuide “Worst Display” award goes to Mitsubishi. Why, you might ask? Well, there are several reasons. For starters, the enormous black wall behind the company’s display was barren of any mention of the company and created a somewhat bleak – if not downright ominous – feel to the booth.
Secondly, having had the opportunity to walk past the booth what must have been 100 times, we only noticed a staff member at the information table twice. The rest of the time the space was void of not only Mitsubishi representatives but also of any interested media.
Finally, the small information pillar located at the booth never had any pamphlets in it.
Apparently the display was not the doing of Mitsubishi Corporate, however, but created by a local dealership. With the limited resources of a dealership, it wasn’t bad, but hardly on par with the competition.
This year’s Detroit Auto Show saw several major manufacturers drop out and considering the lackluster appearance of the Mitsubishi stand, it would have been better if they had. Nissan was a no-show in Detroit and according to our sources when local Detroit dealerships requested permission from Nissan Corporate to create their own display (like the Mitsubishi dealership did) they were asked not to.
Runner’s up include Lotus, which really just had some carpet, velvet ropes and stanchions, and Jeep, which was actually just disappointing because in past year’s the display was so impressive. In Lotus’s defense, however, they are a tiny company and haven’t had a display at Detroit as long as we can remember.