I went to the press day for the Portland Auto Show yesterday — lunch courtesy of Ford, dinner courtesy of GM, and a talk in the middle from Chrysler’s rep and all-around good guy Scott Brown.
I didn’t learn anything at the Portland show that wasn’t said at the Detroit show less than a month ago, but I was surprised at what’s missing from the Portland floor. Toyota didn’t bring the latest Prius, Honda didn’t bring its resurrected Insight, Chrysler didn’t bring its ENVI cars or its GEM electric vehicles, and GM didn’t bring the Volt.
Some of these cars are at the big auto show in D.C. right now, putting on their best razzle-dazzle dance for the guys who hold the money, and several of those cars are one-of-a-kind concepts. But Prius and Honda aren’t getting any money from the U.S. government, and those two hybrid cars go on sale in a couple of months. Surely there’s more than one Prius and one Insight in existence. And surely they recognize the eco-minded auto market we have in the Pacific Northwest, right? Right?