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Auto Show Winners

Congratulations GM , Toyota , Rolls-Royce and BMW. After three days of watching new models being revealed, those 4 automakers are, in my opinion, the big winners from this year's North American International Auto Show.

GM: For the first time in many years, GM has people on the show floor buzzing. On the practical front, the new Chevy Malibu is a major improvement and better positions the Malibu to compete with the Toyota's Camry and Honda's Accord. The Cadillac CTS, with a redesigned and upgraded interior, wowed auto show visitors. The Chevy Volt shows we're not far from the day of the electrically powered car. And the Chevy Camaro Convertible is a gorgeous car the company will almost certainly make. All around, a home run.

Toyota: With the all new line-up of Tundra's, including the big Crew Max version, Toyota shows it's ready to better compete with the big three in full size pick-up trucks. Few expect Toyota to take major market share from GM, Ford and Dodge. But the Japanese automaker is showing here in Detroit that it's finally in the game.

Rolls-Royce: The new Phantom Drophead Coupe is an ultra-luxury dream car. We've written extensively about the Dropheadand the buzz it's generated at this show has lived up to the reputation.

BMW: The new 3 series hard top convertible is a winner on two fronts. Stylistically, it's a good looking car with the roof both up and down. That's not an easy feat for a convertible. Just as important, the roof does not take up the entire trunk, as most hard top's do. Last years 3 series sales were down 5 %. BMW is banking on those sales rebound with the new hard top hitting showrooms in Late March.

Now, I know I will hear from people who think Ford's Sync software or Chrysler's swivel and go seats are also winners. They are. But for overall corporate impressions, the four I listed above are my picks for best in show.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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