This week we attended media events put on by Ford and General Motors called "backgrounders" that give select journalists a preview of what will be shown at the upcoming 2009 Detroit Auto Show. We signed non-disclosure agreements and agreed to embargoes, so we can't tell you what we learned or saw. Assuming the embargoes aren't broken, these events give us the ability to produce thorough, thoughtful posts on the previewed vehicles when they finally debut in early January.
Chrysler held a backgrounder for journalists this week too, today in fact. Despite being invited by Ford and GM to their backgrounders, our request for an invite to the Chrysler event was repeatedly denied by Rick Deneau, the automaker's Director of Product and Brand PR/Communications. Autoblog, Jalopnik and a number of other blogs were blocked from the event, and the reasons given are varied but seem to revolve around a misnomer that blogs can't be trusted.
Well, Mr. Deneau got his wish and banned blogs from today's proceedings, but that didn't stop all the pertinent information from getting out anyway. Jalopnik cites four journalists who attended today's Chrysler backgrounder as saying that the Chrysler vehicles and concepts scheduled to debut during the remainder of this year's auto show season (Detroit, Chicago and New York) are nothing more than "smoke and mirrors" and putting "lipstick on a foam pig." You'll find a list of what leaked out after the jump, all of which may have remained under wraps had Chrysler not decided to piss off the motoring press.
2009 Detroit Auto Show
- Jeep Patriot EV, fourth member of the ENVI division's EV family
- Dodge Ram HD
2009 Chicago Auto Show
- Dodge Ram Chassis Cab trucks
2009 New York Auto Show
- Redesigned 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Redesigned 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger with all-new interiors