Luxury, sports cars in Detroit spotlight as sales boom
By Mira Oberman, AFPDETROIT, Michigan -- Luxury and sports cars will be in the spotlight when the Detroit auto show opens Monday amid booming sales and renewed optimism as the U.S. economy rebounds from a deep downturn.
January 15, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
“The mood is going to be pretty good,” said Dave Sergeant, an analyst with JD Power. “The industry is coming off a reasonably good year and this year should be even better.”
U.S. sales are expected to rise to between 15 and 16 million vehicles this year after jumping 13 percent to 14.5 million vehicles in 2012, the biggest yearly gain since 1984.
The Detroit Three carmakers are raking in huge profits again after years of painful restructuring and a renewed focus on the product side of their business.
Their Asian and European counterparts are also investing heavily in the United States as they jostle for position in the highly competitive market and look for a place to grow sales amid a slowdown in China and Brazil and the collapse of European demand.
“The product is the best consumers have seen in a long time,” Jesse Toprak, an analyst with the automotive site TrueCar.com, told AFP.
GM's new Corvette was the most hotly anticipated and select journalists were given a sneak preview at a lavish preview Sunday night.
The muscular and sculpted Corvette Stingray shares a name with the iconic 1963 model but is an entirely new vehicle, sharing only two parts with the previous generation Corvette.
“The soul of our company is sitting right here in Corvette,” GM North America president Mark Reuss said.
“This car is the reason I work at GM.”
Daimler also offered a sneak peak at an entirely new car, the compact, stylish — and lower priced — Mercedes CLA coupe which is aimed squarely at the youth market.