Every brand tries to make a spectacle out of its NAIAS product debuts, so imagine the angst when Toyota’s unveiling of its highly anticipated FT-1 supercar concept this week hits a snafu.

The box containing the car is lowered from the ceiling of Cobo Center, where some dudes dressed up as race drivers open the left side of the box but can’t get the right-hand side to open. A crew member, easy to spot because he isn’t dressed head-to-toe white, comes out to join the struggle.

Finally the right side releases and the full car is available for the entire audience to see. Memo to journos on the right who could only photograph half a car for about 2 minutes: Sit in the middle next time.

Headed in Right Direction

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he was told the Chrysler 200 spot featuring rapper Eminem in 2011 was the right TV ad but the wrong car. He quips this year, with the all-new 200, the automaker will “hopefully have the right commercial and right car.”

Keeping it Exclusive

Land Rover buyers are some of the most loyal in the industry and for good reason: The brand goes out of its way to treat return customers with special attention, right down to the introduction of its new products.

When Land Rover launched the Range Rover long-wheelbase model in California recently, it enlisted a current owner to host the event at his home, and the audience consisted exclusively of Land Rover buyers who would be the very first people outside of the company to see the new model.

“They were the first people in the world to see it,” recalls Land Rover Brand Vice President Kim McCullough at the show here. “These are things that occur before it goes on sale. After it goes on sale, that currency is gone, because anyone can walk into a store and see it.”

Clean Sweep

Speaking with journalists several hours after sweeping the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards with the Chevy Corvette Stingray and Silverado, GM global product chief Mark Reuss keeps his enthusiasm in check. “I’m OK,” he says coyly before breaking into a wide grin. “It was pretty nice.”

As part of the ’15 Corvette Z06 unveiling earlier in the day, GM just happened to have the car escorted to Cobo Center for the reveal by a Silverado and 40 other Corvettes driven by members of the sports car’s development team.

The plan was set in motion before learning the results of the competition. “We thought maybe we’d get it, and if not it wouldn’t have ruined anything having those people drive down Interstate 75,” Reuss says. “After winning it, that was a nice thrill.”

Not Very Green of You

Honda typically is considered one of the most eco-focused automakers in the industry. It was the first to bring to market a hybrid-electric model (the Insight) and mass-market a fuel-cell car (the FCX).

But its greenness wasn't on display at its press conference here. To introduce the new '15 Fit subcompact, the automaker plastered every chair in the room with unnecessary signs reminding the seats were for credentialed media only. Isn't that the point of media days?

And by the way, NAIAS, there are no recycling bins to be found anywhere.