2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit


By Paul Ndiho

In Detroit, Michigan the home of American automobile industry, Car makers are appealing to egos and a buyer’s desire for status to push a new wave of luxury cars at the North American International Auto show ended this week and will run through January 27th.Auto%20show

Excitement and optimism are dominating the North American International Auto Show. Car lovers say there is a serious luxury vibe this year, as carmakers strive to draw more affluent consumers into showrooms.

The Continental GT Speed Convertible, which makes its debut at the Detroit auto show, is no exception. This car has it all – says Bentley CEO, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber — there’s only one way to describe it.

“Dream on wheels. It’s a dream on wheels.”

Luxury carmakers in North America held their footing despite a slow recovery from the economic downturn and were able to reinvest in those brands. At the end of 2012, automakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche all reported strong finishes.

At the BMW stand all eyes are on the new 4 series Coupe. Lead designer Adrian van Hooydonk says he designs specifically with the American consumer in mind.

“I saw with my own eyes that people actually use cars differently here. Of course a car is something you absolutely need in and between most American cities. People drive further than in Europe and people see cars as their most important personal accessory.”

U.S. automakers are upping their luxury game too. This new Corvette Stingray has everyone here buzzing. The Stingray is the latest version of America’s most iconic sports car the 2014 Chevy Corvette. The show-stopper is only the 7th model ever designed and is the first and most highly anticipated reveal at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s Chief Engineer says the car is sexy looking, but it feels even better.

“The big story is the way it feels behind the wheel. The way it wraps around you and hugs your body, makes you part of it, so you feel totally in control. It’s super super responsive, it’s a very different kind of driving experience than what people have had before.”

Many analysts predict 2013 sales could slightly back off last years five-year high due to the fog of uncertainty still emanating from Washington.

But nowhere is the recovery of the industry more evident than in Motor City itself. The big three U.S. automakers all reported increases in sales in December. And between them – are rolling out at least 12 new models between them.

TrueCar.com’s Larry Dominique says after bankruptcys and bailouts, the glamour are back in Detroit.

“This Year is different than other years. Going back 3-4 years the auto show was depressing. What we’ve seen over the last 3-4 years is step by step resurgence of energy and excitement. What I’m seeing this year is a tremendous number of debuts from European, Asian manufacturers and domestics. Also seeing a wide range, everything from luxury to entry level vehicles. So what you’re seeing is a tremendous number of reveals, world debuts and overall a lot of energy and excitement.”

In 2012, U.S. auto sales topped out at nearly 14.5 million new vehicles, the best performance since 2007.

Many analysts predict 2013 sales could slightly back off last year’s five-year high due to the fog of uncertainty still emanating from Washington.

But nowhere is the recovery of the industry more evident than in Motor City itself. The big three U.S. automakers all reported increases in sales in December. And between them – are rolling out at least 12 new models between them.

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz expects to sell a record number of vehicles this year in the United States. Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche.

“Last year for the first time we sold more cars in the U.S. than in any other market and therefore for us the U.S. market is the number one market and we are putting a lot of focus and emphasis with our great new product being launched in this market.”

Analysts are looking for a sneak preview of the redesigned 2014 Acura MDX, which will appear as a thinly disguised “concept.”

GM’s first luxury hybrid, the 2014 Cadillac ELR, will make its public debut at the show, about a year ahead of the projected on-sale date. The two-door ELR is an upmarket companion to the Chevrolet Volt and is likely to be priced above $60,000.

Among the more mainstream vehicles coming to the show are the Nissan Resonance, a preview of the redesigned 2014 Murano crossover; the Honda Urban SUV concept, which teases the redesigned 2014 Fit subcompact, and the Fiat 500L, a compact five-passenger people-mover that will be marketed as a companion to the tiny Fiat 500 hatchback.

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