Cold comfort in Detroit

The organisers of the Detroit Motor Show did their best to drum up excitement on the first day of the show yesterday, unveiling the winners of the North American car and truck awards of the year – the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.

But the mood in Detroit was almost as chilly as the weather, with a snowstorm battering delegates arriving in the city, the home of the US car manufacturing industry, for the annual convention.

Car manufacturers usually unveil new models in Detroit, but only a handful of new launches are expected this year. Instead, US manufacturers are focused on survival – General Motors, Chrysler and Ford have scaled back their presence at the show. Japanese companies, including Nissan and Mitsubishi, will not be exhibiting in Detroit at all this year, while many of Europe's high-end producers, including Porsche, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce, have opted out.

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