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Detroit primed and ready

Show time: Mini's Beachcomber Concept will be just one of dozens of new models, concepts and prototypes on display at the rejuvenated Detroit motor show.

Most major car-makers line up for Detroit’s North American International Auto Show

General News logo10 Dec 2009

ALMOST of all of the world’s mainstream automotive brands will show their wares at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit from January 11, according to exhibitor list just released by event organisers.

In stark contrast to most international motor shows held in 2009, when the automotive industry continued to be heavily impacted by the global financial crisis, only a handful of car-makers have chosen not to attend the next instalment of North America’s largest car show.

They include Italian brands Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ferrari and Lamborghini, Germany’s Porsche and French makers Renault, Peugeot and Citroen, plus Malaysia’s Proton and its British marque Lotus and troubled Korean brand SsangYong.

Volkswagen’s Czech brand Skoda will not be there, while the only mainstream Japanese company without a presence at Detroit will be Suzuki.

According to the first official exhibitor press conference schedule released this week, major presentations will be made on opening day in Michigan by Ford, GM brands Buick and GMC, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Bentley, Honda, Kia, Mini, Hyundai and Chevrolet.

The second media preview day (January 12) will host reveals by Ford’s Lincoln and GM’s Cadillac luxury brands, plus Subaru, Byd, Tesla and German transmission maker ZF.

 center imageLeft: BMW SDrive35is. Below: BMW ActiveE.

Other brands represented but not holding presentations include Daimler’s Maybach and Smart, US brands in Toyota’s Scion, Honda’s Acura and Nissan’s Infiniti, plus Maserati, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover, GM’s Hummer and Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.

Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan will round out the Japanese contingent, with the latter two brands making their return to the NAIAS, albeit with a limited presence.

Toyota is the latest manufacturer to pre-reveal at least one of its 2010 Detroit wares, in the form of a dedicated hybrid concept car that was partially revealed in two teaser shots this week (see separate story).

Also revealed this week was the new Mercedes-Benz E-class Cabriolet, which will make its global public debut on January 11 and goes on sale in Europe the same day.

Audi chose to reveal its redesigned A8 limousine at an art exhibition in Miami rather than the Los Angeles motor show on the other side of the US the same day, so the new Audi sedan flagship will also make its motor show debut at Detroit.

Finally, BMW has already pre-revealed at least four cars it will debut at Detroit, including its redesigned 5 Series sedan, a twin-turbo M-look Z4 SDrive35is variant and an electric version of the 1 Series Coupe in the ActiveE concept, plus the Beachcomber show car under its Mini banner.

Meantime, the MGM Grand Detroit will also host a concurrent exhibition of Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini, Spyker and Aston Martin models, providing “luxury vehicle enthusiasts an opportunity to see elite vehicles in a private setting”.

A $US25 ticket for the MGM’s exclusive NAIAS Gallery, which is also open on January 11 and 12, also allows entry to the Detroit show on one of its public days, between January 16 and 24.

The NAIAS – the only US motor show to receive official recognition from the Paris-based Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles – will mark its 22nd running as an international show in 2010.

Next month’s show will be highlighted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation EcoXperience exhibition and the debut of the 37,000 square-foot Electric Avenue. Sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company, the latter will exhibit up to 20 electric vehicles and other high-tech displays.

Earlier this month, 2010 NAIAS chairman Doug Fox said January’s event, which will host 55 exhibitors (up from 50 in 2009), would mark a new dawn for the global auto industry.

“No one is naïve enough to think the industry does not have challenges moving forward,” said Mr Fox.

“This show is the global forum where the positive momentum begins. The innovation touted by the exhibitors, coupled with the addition of new features at NAIAS, sets the stage for the world.

“Thousands of global journalists, government officials, visitors from around the world and the public will see that momentum in motion at NAIAS 2010.

“It's interesting to note that despite adding new pieces on the show floor, we certainly haven't been squeezing out exhibitors. We are up to 55 brands and companies and counting over this time last year, when we had approximately 50 brands and companies.

“Certainly we are encouraged by the growth but, in the larger picture, these companies year after year validate the view that if one is going to showcase product and plans, Detroit is a major draw and a necessary stop on the international circuit.”

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