Less than a decade ago, the concurrent auto shows in Detroit and Los Angeles were reviewed by the carmaking industry as separate but equal. But since the Detroit event became the Northamerican International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 1989, the world's spotlight has focused on the Motor City during the first week of January.

Media from around the globe flock to Detroit to see the more significant world and North American introductions. Yet in one of the largest import markets in the country, the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show still attracts key foreign model unveilings and boasts higher attendance.

Last year more than 722,000 flocked to the Los Angeles Convention Center compared with 632,000 who came through the doors of Detroit's Cobo Center. Conversely, 3,500 journalists from around the world converged in Detroit while LA show played host to about 1,500 media representatives.

In 1995, scheduled press activities indicate the international focus is still solidly on Detroit. Thirty-five automaker marketing divisions and four suppliers are conducting press conferences during Detroit's Jan. 3-6 press days compared with 24 news conferences planned in LA on Jan. 5-6. Both shows are open to the public Jan. 7-15.

More than 40 of the world's automakers will showcase more than 700-plus cars and trucks covering 600,000 sq. ft. (55,740 sq. m) in Detroit. In LA, more than 1,000 vehicles will take up 700,000 sq. ft. (65,000 sq. m) of floor space.

At least 15 new models will make their world debuts in Detroit and Los Angeles simultaneously. Among the double introductions are the 1996 Acura NSX (targa top) and an Acura concept car that the company says is a preview of the model's next generation.

Buick will unveil its XP2000 concept at both venues. Chevrolet will do the same with its 1995 Tahoe sport/utility vehicle and Cavalier Z-24 coupe. Ford Motor Co. is double-debuting its 1995 Explorer sport/utility and the all-new '95 Lincoln Continental. Chrysler Corp. will bring its full contingent of 1996 minivans, including the European version of its '96 Chrysler Voyager, to both shows.

Honda's 1995 Odyssey minivan will make its long-awaited public appearance in both the Motor City and the City of Angels. The same goes for Nissan's 1995 Sentra and 200SX. Oldsmobile Div. is launching its '96 Bravada sport/utility offering in both cities a day apart.

The 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 with Triptronic S transmission, which functions as either an automatic or manual, will take its North American bow in both locations, as will the 1995 Land Rover Classic and SE Range Rover.

Among this year's Detroit exclusives are four Ford concept vehicles: the GT90 V12 supercar, the SHOStar (a Windstar minivan with the Taurus SHO engine), the Lincoln L2K roadster (a 2-seat convertible sport luxury concept), and the Triton pickup (an F150 with advanced styling treatment). Chrysler also plans to unveil a trio of concept vehicles: the Chrysler Atlantic, Eagle JA22 and the Plymouth Backpack.

Pontiac's Detroit auto show display will feature its Grand Prix 300GPX show car, which the GM division says is a preview of the next Grand Prix rendition. The 1995 GMC Yukon makes its worldwide debut at the NAIAS.

From abroad, BMW will give Detroit show-goers the first North American look at its V-12 750iL, V-8 74OiL, 318ti and the luxury version of the sporty M3. And, Suzuki brings its 1995 4-door Sidekick and a sedan to Detroit for their world premieres.

Los Angeles will have its share of firsts, most reflecting its position as one of the hottest import markets in the country. Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Pininfarina are concentrating their auto show efforts in LA. Kia is introducing its 1995 Sephia, Mercedes is showing its 1995 C36 production model and the SLK concept. Oldsmobile is bringing an Aurora concept car to the LA show. Pininfarina will be the star of the show with the world debut of its Ethos 3 electric vehicle.