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Detroit auto show notebook

 The 2010 Lexus HS250h is introduced at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
 General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz introduces the Cadillac Converj concept at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 ...
 Chrysler President and Vice Chairman Jim Press, left, and  Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President - Product Development, introduces Chrysler 200C EV ...
 The BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid concept car is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jer...
 2009 Kia Soul'ster is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
 The New MINI Cooper S convertible is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancy...
 The Volkswagen exhibit is seen at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
 Lincoln C concept is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)
 2010 Lincoln MKT is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)
 Wang Chua-fu, chairman and president of BYD Company, left, and David Sokol, president of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, pose next to BYD e6 at ...
 Fisker unveils Karma S plug-In hybrid hard top concept at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, in Detroit. At left is Fi...

Auto Show

The 2010 Lexus HS250h is introduced at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Auto Show

General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz introduces the Cadillac Converj concept at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 ...

Auto Show

Chrysler President and Vice Chairman Jim Press, left, and Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President - Product Development, introduces Chrysler 200C EV ...

Auto Show

The BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid concept car is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jer...

Auto Show

2009 Kia Soul'ster is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Auto Show

The New MINI Cooper S convertible is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancy...

Auto Show

The Volkswagen exhibit is seen at the North American International Auto Show Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Auto Show Lincoln C

Lincoln C concept is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)

Auto Show Lincoln

2010 Lincoln MKT is introduced at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)

Auto Show China

Wang Chua-fu, chairman and president of BYD Company, left, and David Sokol, president of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, pose next to BYD e6 at ...

Auto Show

Fisker unveils Karma S plug-In hybrid hard top concept at the North American International Auto Show Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, in Detroit. At left is Fi...

General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the automaker will announce Monday whom it has chosen to supply the lithium-ion batteries for its electric car, the Chevrolet Volt.
GM has been working with two competing developers simultaneously. One is Compact Power Inc. of Troy, Michigan, which is working with its parent company, LG Chem of Korea. The other is Germany-based Continental Automotive Systems, which is using cells developed jointly by GM and A123 Systems Inc.
Lutz said Sunday on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show that the decision will be announced Monday.
GM had planned to name a battery supplier early last year but decided to keep working with both developers to test their batteries under a variety of conditions.
The Volt will be able to go up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) after being charged through a standard electrical outlet. After that, a gas engine will kick in to generate the electricity needed to travel hundreds more miles.
The car is scheduled to be in showrooms next year.
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Where's the beef? Chrysler's vice chairman jokes about last year's cattle drive
DETROIT (AP) _ Chrysler's vice chairman spent a little time at the beginning of his company's press conference Sunday joking about cows and the drubbing Detroit auto executives got in Washington in their quest for billions in federal loans.
Jim Press told journalists, "Probably like me, you're looking to see if the cows are behind me," a reference to the 120 cattle Chrysler herded down the street outside last year's auto show to promote a new version of its Ram pickup truck.
"They were on their way, and they were called to Washington to talk to the cow czar," Press said. "Cow czar wanted to find out what they were doing, how they were getting here, if they were taking the cattle car or the, uh, anyway ... ."
Members of the House and Senate were outraged when chief executives at Chrysler LLC, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. boarded private jets to make an initial trip to Washington last year for high-profile congressional hearings to beg for aid. The executives rode in separate fuel-efficient vehicles for their second trip.
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Lexus debuts hybrid sedan at Detroit auto show
DETROIT (AP) _ Lexus unveiled a new hybrid at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday, saying it will be the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the luxury brand's lineup.
The 2010 HS250h sedan, Lexus' fourth hybrid, will be the first standalone gas-electric vehicle for Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury nameplate. Lexus said the car will arrive at dealerships this summer.
Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of Lexus, told reporters that more than 60 percent of entry-level luxury car buyers would have considered buying a hybrid if one were available.
He said the HS250h is designed to meet that need.
The HS250h is the first of two Toyota debuts _ both hybrids _ at the Detroit auto show. Toyota is set to reveal its 2010 Prius hybrid Monday.
Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said an official price for the HS250h will be released in the spring, but the car will have a base price between $30,000 and $35,000.
No EPA fuel economy rating has been assigned yet, but the carmaker said its city fuel economy rating will be better than that of the Smart fortwo two-seater, which gets miles per gallon in city driving.
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Mini breaks through fake ice with new convertible
DETROIT (AP) _ A 2009 Mini Cooper convertible drove out of a giant cube of fake ice blocks Sunday in chilly Detroit to make its global debut.
Mini on Sunday unveiled the latest versions of its four-seat convertible inside the North American International Auto Show. It includes a powered soft-top roof that allows the driver to open and close it while going up to 20 mph (32 kilometer).
The convertible also features an "Openometer" that records the time drivers spend traveling with the roof down.
The four-cylinder, 1.6-liter standard Mini convertible produces 118 horsepower and retails for $24,550, while the turbocharged Mini Cooper S Convertible, which delivers 172 horsepower, sells for $27,450.
They go on sale at the end of March.
Mini has been a highlight for Munich, Germany-based BMW AG, which reported Friday that Mini sales were up 4.3 percent in 2008 over the previous year to 232,425. That came as overall BMW sales fell 4.3 percent.
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Toyota shows off upgraded version of Camry
DETROIT (AP) _ Toyota put its 2010 Camry, set to hit showroom floors this spring, on display for the first time Sunday at the North American International Auto Show.
The 2010 Camry and Camry Hybrid feature enhanced exterior styling, performance, safety, audio and convenience features, along with an upgraded powertrain, Toyota said.
Pricing will be announced shortly before the vehicles go on sale in March, Toyota said.
The Camry, LE and XLE grades come with a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence and produces 169 horsepower. The SE sport model gets 179 horsepower, 21 more horsepower than the previous four-cylinder engine.
The engine can be combined with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with sequential shift. A 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 268 horsepower is also available.
Exterior changes to the gas models include a new grille and front bumper, an enlarged lower intake, larger projector headlamps and restyled tail lamps. The hybrid model features a unique grille, front bumper, wider lower intake, restyled fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels.
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BMW ramps up hybrid gas-electric vehicle output with 7 Series and X6 crossover
DETROIT (AP) _ BMW AG is ramping up its production of gas-electric hybrid vehicles, giving consumers hybrid options with the 7 Series and X6 crossover vehicle.
The Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid will offer an eight-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor integrated into the transmission.
The BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid offers a more advanced two-mode hybrid system, mating an eight-cylinder engine and electric drive to provide about a 20 percent fuel economy improvement. Production of both hybrids will begin this year and arrive in dealerships by the end of the 2009.
BMW also introduced a Z4 roadster, maintaining the same long hood and low seating positions as its predecessor. The Z4 will now offer a two-piece retractable hardtop that takes 20 seconds to open fully.
U.S. customers will be able to choose between two inline 6-cylinder engines with 255 and 300 horsepower, said Klaus Draeger, a member of BMW's Board of Management.
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Lamborghini says business strategy can withstand the tough economy
DETROIT (AP) _ Lamborghini on Sunday showed off its new Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder, a supercharged sports car that sprints to 62 mph in four seconds.
Boasting a new 5.2-liter V-10 with 560 horsepower, the Spyder has a top speed of 201 miles per hour. But it also manages to reduce its fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by 18 percent.
Luxury sports cars are never known for their fuel efficiency, but the Spyder provides a respectable 20 miles per gallon on the highway.
Lamborghini President and Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann said at the North American International Auto Show that the Italian manufacturer increased unit sales 1 percent to 2,430 vehicles in 2008.
"This new record year above all proves the sustainability of our business strategy. We know that there are tough times ahead now, but we have increased the value and attractiveness of our luxury brand in so many facets that we are ready to take on whatever challenges the future might bring us," he said.
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Subaru displays Legacy concept, providing glimpse at sedan's future design
DETROIT (AP) _ Subaru unveiled a concept version of its Legacy sedan Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in celebration of the car's 20th year on the road in the U.S.
The Legacy concept, which Subaru said hints at the production model's future look, features sharper design lines, all-wheel drive and a larger wheelbase designed to increase interior space.
"Sometimes, people seem to forget that we've been making sedans for a long time," Tom Doll, executive vice president for Subaru of America Inc., told reporters before officially taking the wraps off the vehicle.
Subaru of America this month reported its U.S. sales rose 0.3 percent in 2008, helped by strong demand for its Impreza and top-Forester models. The Forester was named sport utility vehicle of the year last fall by Motor Trend magazine.
Subaru was the only full-line automaker to post a year-over-year sales increase in the U.S. last year, when the economic meltdown helped knock industrywide sales down 18 percent.
Doll said Subaru benefited from luring buyers who wanted to move away from large SUVs but didn't want to give up the performance that comes from the all-wheel drive vehicles in the company's lineup.
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Kia Motors makes pitch for young buyers with open-air utility vehicle
DETROIT (AP) _ Kia Motors Corp. is making a pitch for the young and hip car shopper, introducing a funky open-air concept based on its upcoming Kia Soul.
Kia showed the Kia Soul'ster, an open-air utility vehicle designed to appeal to the youth market with seating for four. The concept has a two-piece canvas top and fold-flat passenger and rear seats to provide additional storage space.
The Soul, which was shown at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, will reach dealerships later this year.
"This is a brand-defining vehicle. This is the poster child for Kia going forward," said Tom Loveless, Kia's vice president of sales.
Following the Soul'ster unveiling at the North American International Auto Show on Sunday, 20-somethings clad in white tossed beach balls into the crowd and the automaker served a beach-themed spread of Corona beer and Mexican food.
Loveless said Kia had not made any decisions on a production version of the Soul'ster but was studying the possibility.


Updated : 2021-10-22 22:47 GMT+08:00