The Detroit News is reporting that fully 60% of the exhibits at Cobo Center this year are new, with some $200 million being spent on creating displays. With most major auto shows' media days already a heady crush of feng shui, free schwag and MSRP-spiking quantities of top-shelf cocktails and epicurian decadence, this is indeed saying something.

For its part, General Motors is planning something along the lines of a Milan fashion runway (don't tell Mercury), and Ford's display will apparently feature a thoroughly-ridiculous 2,400 LED screens. DCX's Jeep display is said to be inspired by Fallingwater, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's cantilevered backwoods masterwork. Not to be outdone, Honda's hammers are hard at work realizing a theater-in-the-round concept.

At the NAIAS a few years back, I couldn?t resist asking one of the laborers where all of the fine materials disappeared to when the automakers periodically flexed their interior design budgets.  I couldn?t resist suggesting that a lot of the foremen must have must have some nice hardwood floors in their living rooms. Without missing a beat, he quipped: ?You don?t know the half of it? you should see these guys? home theatres!?

Of course, your faithful Autoblog servants will be there to take full measure of the 2006 NAIAS in all its hedonistic (if occasionally short-sighted) glory, so don?t forget to tune us in on your browsers next month.

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