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Carmakers show their wares in Detroit

DETROIT, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The chairman of this year's Detroit Auto Show promises an event that will show "new hope and optimism" for the beleaguered U.S. car industry.

The show opens Monday for the news media with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood scheduled to make the rounds on opening day, The Detroit News reported.

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Monday and Tuesday are media days, while Wednesday and Thursday are for the industry. The show is open to the public from Friday through Jan. 24.

The number of exhibitors is up this year, from 50 to 61.

"There is such a difference in the palpable feel of the show this year compared to last year," said the show's chairman, Doug Fox. "There is renewed hope and optimism. The displays are new and fresh-looking yet cost-efficient."

Ford, the U.S. auto company that has gone through the least recent turmoil, has the biggest exhibit in its history. General Motors, long the undisputed leader, has downsized its exhibit just as it has downsized the company by ditching brands.

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