The 2011 Super Bowl was a remarkable event for television viewers in Detroit when Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" advertisement dazzled television audiences. Strictly speaking, the ad was a pitch for Chrysler's new 200 sedan. But Eminem's music also served as an anthem for the rebound of the Detroit Three.
A resurgent attitude reigns in Detroit these days, traced to rising new-vehicle sales in the U.S., lifting the boats for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp. The rise results partly from a strengthening economy, and in no small part from a bevy of vehicle models that are able to contend with counterparts from foreign manufacturers -- or even best them in terms of value and performance.
Apples-to-apples comparisons among vehicle models are always difficult. But the Big Three are rumbling with Toyota, Honda, and even Audi, and not getting thrown out of the ring. Detroit has managed to narrow the differences with the competition and in some cases erase them.
Now the city's industry faces the job of convincing the public. With perceptions lagging reality, the time finally may have arrived for the Motor City to capitalize on its hard-fought achievements. Let's take a look at some of the matchups of foreign car vs. domestic, where every battle for a customer is a main event.