There is general agreement that this year's Detroit auto show has a lot less wattage than previous years. That was to be expected.
There are fewer stands because some automakers aren't here. Some displays are a lot leaner. They're not exactly pipe-and-curtain but nowhere near as elaborate as they have been in other years.
And there are wide open spaces in the middle of the floor where there used to be stands ... even though a couple of Chinese automakers, a college and a supplier were able to move their displays from the basement to the main floor.
There also seem to be a lot fewer journalists.
I'm not complaining.
There are plenty of new products and concepts that will be important for the future of the industry and the nation. And focusing on the products is a good thing.
So, here are the top five reasons why the 2009 North American International Auto Show is the best one yet:
5. With more space and fewer people, it's easier to see the vehicles.
4. You can get from place to place faster.
3. Even with half a foot of snow on the ground it makes the Detroit show seem like Los Angeles.
2. I haven't had anyone run over my foot with one of those stupid press kit bags with wheels.
And the No. 1 reason this year's show is better .... No-one has complained yet that Cobo Center needs to be expanded.