January 10, 2014 12:52
The 2014 North American International Auto Show, better known as the Detroit Auto Show, kicks off next Monday in the city's Cobo Hall. Over 50 new cars by major automakers will be unveiled.
One of the world's four largest motor shows, it is expected to attract over 5,000 journalists from over 60 countries, and some 800,000 visitors.
When the city of Detroit went bankrupt in July last year with a debt of US$18 billion -- the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in the U.S. history -- the future of the Detroit Motor Show also seemed at risk. But the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which has been running the show independently, is confident that this year's show will be successful despite the city's financial woes.
GM, Ford and Chrysler are posting the biggest sales record since the financial crisis, and demand for new cars in the U.S. is growing as quickly as in China.
Sales of new cars shrank to 10.43 million units in the U.S. market in 2009 but it recovered to 15.58 million last year. DADA has completely renovated the Cobo Hall for US$267 million.
In 2010 and 2011, when the financial crisis was still keenly felt, the focus of the Detroit Motor Show was on compact and mid-sized cars and environment-friendly vehicles. But this year automakers feel confident enough to showcase high-performance cars.
One is the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06 by GM, a high-performance version of the Corvette Stingray C7 sports car. Ford plans to premier a new Mustang as well as a new full-size F-150 pickup truck, which sells over 600,000 a year.
Mercedes-Benz will feature a new SUV, the GLA 45 AMG, and BMW the M3 sedan and M4 coupe from the high-performance M series.
Korean carmakers are also in the running for premium cars. A new version of the Hyundai Genesis, which was launched in Korea at the end of last year, will be unveiled at the show. It is equipped with Blue Link Glassware application, which allows the driver to control the car from distance by using wearable devices or smartwatches such as Google Glass.
Kia is showing off the K9, which will be sold in the U.S. as the K900, and unveil a sports concept car called the GT4 Stinger for the first time.
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