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PHOTO CAPTION: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept car introduced at 2010 NAIAS in Detroit.

Finally, Some Electricity in the Air at Detroit Auto Show

Suddenly Cobo Hall had room for Chinese hybrids, Korean electrics and other 'green' cars whose makers invariably billed themselves as visionaries.

Published: 17-Jan-2010

THE main hall of the Detroit auto show has long been a place of Machiavellian maneuvers, with powerful carmakers defending their prime turf while banishing the weak and the weird to Cobo Center’s basement.

But this year at the North American International Auto Show — with brands like Pontiac, Saturn and Saab dead or dying, and high-end manufacturers like Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin staying away — the main hall suddenly had room for Chinese hybrids, Korean electrics and other “green” cars whose makers invariably billed themselves as visionaries.

The mass-market automakers left standing soldiered on, determined to do something to revive morale for the beaten-down industry. And this year’s show certainly improved on last year’s grim spectacle, which was followed by General Motors’ and Chrysler’s plunge into bankruptcy and government bailouts.

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