The Empire Strikes Back at Tesla

The Detroit auto show seems determined to remind attendees that it's still a very good time to be in the traditional auto business. But behind the bravado lurk unmistakable signs that business as usual won't last forever.

High fives, low expectations.

Photographer: Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Last week, a record number of automakers flocked to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the hopes of rebranding their cars as "the ultimate gadgets" and making the industry relevant in the information technology revolution. But this week, the world has moved to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show to reaffirm that business as usual in the auto industry is alive and well. With its usual barrage of big trucks, muscle cars, luxury sedans and supercars, the Detroit auto show seems determined to remind attendees that it's still a very good time to be in the traditional auto business.

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