DETROIT — What's old is new again at the 2016 North American International Auto Show as minivans, SUVs and reborn nameplates dominated the headlines during the first day of the annual automotive event at Cobo Center.
In a show where the cars are undoubtedly the stars, Chrysler hogged a good chuck of the automotive spotlight with the debut of its new minivan, ditching the iconic 'Town & Country' nameplate for an arguably less iconic, but still familiar 'Pacifica' instead.
“Minivans and SUVs are still making a big comeback," industry guru Nik Miles told FOX 17. “It’s about making memories, it’s about family time, it’s about practicality in your life.”
Miles said it's less about loud and flashy this year, as automakers instead take a more pragmatic approach.
“We think about we want power, we want style and muscle, but we have to live our lives," Mile said. "We’re not all going to win that $1.3 billion Powerball, so we got to be practical about it and I think automakers are getting that.”
Hearkening back to nameplates of yesteryear, Lincoln is also slated to debut its new Continental full-size luxury sedan on Tuesday.
Elsewhere on the show floor, Honda showed it intends to stay in the pickup game with the debut of a restyled Ridgeline with a more rugged exterior. Ford unveiled a refresh to its bread-and-butter Fusion sedan lineup with the addition of more premium trim levels and engine options. The Dearborn automaker also showed off its all-aluminum F-150 Raptor.
Touting it as part of a segment growing increasingly important again, Volkswagen rolled out an SUV concept with electric drive train capabilities based on its existing Tiguan.
Chevrolet jolted the crowd with its new all-electric Bolt. The company is aiming squarely at Tesla with an offering the promises to be more affordable to the masses. Chevy also showed the 2017 Cruze Hatchback, which goes on sale in the spring.
A few automakers still stepped out of the box. Buick, notably, wowed the crowd with its rear wheel drive Avista concept following up on its widely successful Avenir concept from the year prior. General Motors says the vehicle provides a hint at future design language for the brand. Meanwhile, Nissan offered up a bold concept of what its future pickup trucks could look like with the Titan Warrior.
The show began early Monday morning with the Honda Civic and Volvo XC-90 taking home North American Car and Truck of the Year honors, respectively. It's the first time since 2012 an American automaker didn't take home a nod. The Chevrolet Malibu was the only domestic finalist this year.