Auto show points to Detroit's future

Jan. 12, 2009 at 8:10 AM
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DETROIT, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A preview of Detroit's North American International Auto Show revealed U.S. automakers are leaning on a hybrid car future.

General Motors Corp. unveiled 16 models, including an electric concept Cadillac Converj, the Detroit News reported Monday. Ford Motor Co. previewed a new strategy for moving toward electric power and Chrysler LLC unwrapped an electric performance sedan called the Chrysler 200C, the newspaper said.

"You can't look at the array of cars that we've brought on stage today and say these guys don't get it," said GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

Automakers will use the exhibition to show the public and Washington they are capable of making changes that will justify the billions of dollars in loans given to the industry in December, the newspaper said.

"In spite of the many challenges that we face, I can honestly say I have never been more excited about our prospects for the future," said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., referring to the move to electric powered cars.

The preview "was GM's way of saying we're very much viable, and you've made a very good investment, America," said analyst Aaron Bragman of IHS Global Insight.

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