The Bolt's calling card: a projected range of up to 200 miles all electric at a price point of close to $30,000.
For Barra and GM the Bolt is an important reveal because it's setting a target in the future that could revolutionize the domestic auto industry.
After the horrendous year GM went through in 2014, the Bolt is chance for Barra to remind people inside and outside the company that GM still has ambitious goals.
The ambitions for Toyota and Nissan are to finally make a substantial dent in the dominance of the Big 3 in pickup trucks.
Toyota is showing a re-designed Tacoma in a mid-size pickup market that has become more competitive thanks to the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Meanwhile, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will introduce an all-new Titan pickup truck as the Japanese automaker tries to become a true player in the full-size pickup market that has seen new models from the Big 3 all make their mark.
As much as this auto show has different feel, it's different than it was during boom years in the late 90's and early 2000's. Back then, profitability was hit and miss.
There would be some years where earnings in North America would be surging and others where strong sales did not lead to big profits because of overcapacity and a bloated cost structure.
These days, thanks to the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler, the cost structures for the industry have been lowered. That's given automakers an extended run of profitable quarters.
But the memory of the painful bankruptcies is a reminder to the auto industry that this period of prosperity is different than the late 90's.
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