The Big Three U.S. auto makers traditionally hold little back as they prepare a glut of product unveilings for the North American International Auto Show held in Detroit, their backyard.
This year, however,Corp., Motor Co. and the Group dialed back the lengthy media previews of each company's offerings in the months leading up to this year's show.
GM went so far as to avoid a preview altogether, telling journalists it planned this year to make news at NAIAS the old-fashioned way — at the show itself.
For several years,Motor Co. Ltd. used a holiday party in early December to offer journalists a sneak peek of product expected to be unveiled at the Detroit show.
This year, however,decided to forego the traditional product reveal. Sources say the company will show either the new CR-V cross/utility vehicle (CUV) or the Fit subcompact.
Predicting this year's showstopper is a dicey proposition, but it appears Asian auto makers — both established players and those less familiar — will blitz the Detroit show with an onslaught of concepts and production vehicles designed to illustrate their seriousness about building North American market share.
Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. will unveil the all-new '07 Camry midsize sedan, as well as the new fourth-generation Lexus LS flagship, at the Detroit show.
The Camry has been the best-selling car in the U.S. since 1997, according to Ward's data, and the LS flagship helped establish Lexus as a formidable contender in the U.S. luxury segment.
Besides the standard gasoline-powered model, the new Camry Hybrid will be on hand in Detroit as well.
Motor Corp. will debut the Kabura compact sports coupe at the Detroit show. Crafted by Mazda'a California design studio and featuring a rear-wheel-drive powertrain, the Kabura “was designed for first-time new-car buyers who love to drive,” the auto maker says.
The Japansese term “kabura” is taken from “Kabura-ya,” which means “the first arrow into battle.”
Although debuting at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, the production version of's new CUV, the CX-7, also will be revealed in Detroit.
Motor Co. Ltd. will unveil the rear-wheel-drive Urge concept roadster, featuring a high-revving, small displacement engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The Urge was designed at's La Jolla, CA, studio and features color-infused aluminum body panels and a driver-centric cockpit with a built-in Xbox 360 gaming system.
Motors North America stages the world debut of the '07 Eclipse Spyder.
The convertible version of the auto maker's venerable sports car is based on the '06 Eclipse coupe, which went on sale in the U.S. in the spring. There are two trim levels, GS and GT. Variable valve timing come standard.
Also on hand will be the Concept-CT MIEV, which “will showcase a forward-thinking design study in B-segment packaging,” says MMNA.
The Concept-CT was crafted at's Cypress, CA, design studio and will feature a gas engine in conjunction with Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electronic Vehicle (MIEV) technology.
Kia Motors Corp. will reveal an all-new sporty concept CUV, the Soul, at the Detroit show.
Kia says the vehicle takes its design cues from last year's fullsize Mesa concept SUV.
The Soul features a wraparound windshield, muscular wheel flares and a sloped roofline, and its interior has a reconfigurable cargo hold.
Fellow South Korean auto makerMotor Co. Ltd. unveils the HCD-9 Talus concept, providing a hint at what could be the next-generation Tiburon replacement.
The HCD-9 will be featured alongside the next-generation Santa Fe CUV, whose production sheet metal will be revealed at the show.
As Chinese auto makers cast a longing eye on the lucrative U.S. market, at least one will have a presence at this year's Detroit auto show.
Geely Holding Group, from China, will occupy 900 sq.-ft. (84 sq.-m) of floor space at Cobo Center. It will mark the first time in NAIAS history that a Chinese auto maker has exhibited.
Geely's lone product on display will be the CK, a South Korean-designed car that went into production in May in China. It is powered by a 1.5L, 4-cyl. gasoline engine making 94 hp at 6,000 rpm and features China's first domestic-built automatic transmission.
The CK was among five cars Geely took to the Frankfurt auto show last September.
As for non-Asian auto makers, their financial outlooks may not be quite so rosy, but they will nonetheless attempt to generate some positive buzz with product unveilings.
GM will reveal its first hybrid utility vehicles at the Detroit show, the '07 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid CUV and the '08 Chevrolet Tahoe Two-mode Hybrid SUV. The Saturn is a “mild” hybrid and the Tahoe a “full” hybrid.
In addition, GM will uncover the '07 Cadillac Escalade EXT and ESV SUVs, and a concept car is expected that will revive the hallowed Camaro muscle-car nameplate.
is pushing its new CUV lineup, trotting out the '07 Ford Edge and Lincoln Aviator.
Ford is pinning much of its hopes on the new Edge, a 250-hp, 3.5L V-6 front-wheel-drive CUV with an all-wheel-drive option.
Both the Edge and Aviator, built on the Mazda6 platform, represent Ford's gradual steer toward lighter and more fuel-efficient models in the midst of a collapse of the auto maker's light-truck sales.
Group will revive the Challenger marque when it unveils a “muscle coupe” at the Detroit show. The concept car will be based on a modified version of the LX platform that supports another iconic nameplate, the Dodge Charger.
The Challenger, powered by a 6.1L Hemi V-8, will have a 116-in. (295-cm) wheelbase, 4 ins. (10 cm) shorter than the Charger.
Mercedes-Benz will unveil its first 7-seat CUV, the '07 GL-Class, based on a unique unibody platform and powered by a 335-hp 4.6L V-8 mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission.
The GL-Class is expected to compete with the Lincoln Navigator, Lexus GX 470 and Infiniti QX56.
— with Christie Schweinsberg, Eric Mayne, Steve Miller and William Diem