2008年洛杉磯車展(Los Angeles Auto Show)於11月21日揭開序幕。面對近來汽車業的混亂局面，展場上各家廠商的鬱悶心情可以想見。不過處境最糟的，莫過於通用汽車(General Motors)了。有別於以往，在今年的洛杉磯車展上，通用汽車不僅沒有召開記者會，也沒有讓自家的管理階層在展場上亮相。取而代之的，是前往位於華盛頓的美國國會山莊(Capitol Hill)，請求美國政府提供250億美元的紓困資金。
汽車網站艾德曼德斯(Edmunds.com)的卡爾‧布勞爾(Karl Brauer)為我們解釋了汽車製造業所面臨的窘境，他說：「如果通用汽車在車展上舉行記者會，那麼他們打算在華盛頓尋求救助資金一事將會受阻。反過來說，少了記者會的聚焦，通用汽車的產品將會曝光度不足。」(shows 11)
通用汽車在11月19日讓它最新款的電動車雪威‧沃特(Chevy Volt)亮相，並預計在2010年正式上市。率領研發電動車雪威‧沃特的鮑伯‧波尼菲斯說：「你可以發現到，在華盛頓聽證會期間，所有的討論都集中在國內汽車產業，應該隨著電池科技的進步，研發出相關應用車種。而這正好與電動車雪威‧沃特相契合。」(shows 16) 然而問題是，面臨急迫財政問題的全球最大汽車製造集團通用汽車，是否能夠挨到那時呢？
克萊斯勒(Chrysler)汽車追隨通用汽車的腳步，在洛杉磯車展上保持低調，而福特汽車則是忙於展示幾款新型的車種。卡爾‧布勞爾(Karl Brauer)對此表示：「實在太好了，福特汽車的新產品巧妙地平衡了洛杉磯車展。像是新型的野馬汽車(Mustang)，不僅表現亮眼，還承襲了經典系列的名稱，應該會受到消費者青睞。此外，福特汽車也展出多款混合動力汽車，其中的福軒(Fusion)與米蘭(Milan)兩種車款，則是首次亮相。」(shows 21)
※ The original article was taken from Reuters Website. ( 原文取自路透社網站 )
INTRO: Plight of Detroit's "Big 3" on display at auto show. Detroit still makes showing at annual auto show despite financial woes.
STORY: Amid the turmoil in the automobile industry, the mood at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show is understandably sombre. None more so than at the display for General Motors, where the auto giant made the decision against doing any press or sending executives to the show, who instead travelled to Washington where they spent their second straight day on Capitol Hill pleading for 25 billion dollars (USD) in government aid.
Karl Brauer, of the online auto site Edmunds.com, explained the automakers difficult position. "Well, it is kind of the lesser of multiple evils," Brauer told Reuters. "If GM was at the auto show doing a press conference they would be getting hammered about what is going on in Washington and whether they think they are going to get the bailout funds. But, by not being here they don't get the ability to focus the whole media on their products." (shows 11)
During the hearings in Washington, Detroit has come under criticism for its failure to produce energy efficient cars. Many argue that domestic automakers reliance on building gas-guzzling SUV's as the reason that they now face bankruptcy without a federal bailout.
General Motors though spent Wednesday (November 19, 2008) showcasing its electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt. "This is a big part of it," explained Bob Boniface, director of design for the Chevy Volt, which is set to go on sale in 2010. "You see all the discussions in DC now about domestic autos having to build relevant products and energy diversity with advance battery technology. Well, this is the car that is going to deliver on that." The question is whether the world's largest automaker will survive long enough to see that happen.
While Chrysler was following GM's lead in keeping a low profile in Los Angeles, Ford was busy unveiling several new model designs. "Thankfully, Ford has a number of items going on at the LA show that balances nicely. They do have the new Mustang coming out, which is a powerful performance car and it has a classic name that everyone is going to like. But, they also have multiple hybrid products coming out, they have the Fusion and the Milan hybrid's debut at this show."
While the historic sales downturn has been global, the foreign carmakers have fared better and that was evident as they took on a larger presence at the show's preview days.
"Companies like Honda and Toyota have been doing this for years and we are still 2 years away on the Volt," said Brauer. "So, the bottom line is that they are still ramping up trying to get into this market place. While most of the import manufactures, certainly the Japanese manufacturers have already been in and are coming out with second generation cars that are hybrid vehicles."
The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public on Friday (November 21, 2008).