The chief executives of all the automakers told reporters Sunday that their companies are on a path to recovery and are here to stay.
Video: CNBC's Phil Lebeau discusses the most talked-about cars at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner said the company's restructuring plans submitted to Congress, which include concessions from the United Auto Workers union and other cost cuts, combined with GM's lineup of new products, will make the company prosper when the worldwide auto market recovers.
"We'll be in a position to run the business at break-even or profitable at a much, much smaller industry than frankly a year ago that we ever felt would be possible to deal with," Wagoner said.
Chrysler's Robert Nardelli said that while his company's plan for new vehicles has a hole in it for 2009, the automaker will make it to 2010, when it plans to introduce an electric car and a subcompact. It also has a new 300 sedan, Charger performance car and Jeep Grand Cherokee in the works.
Many analysts have predicted, however, that Chrysler will be acquired by another automaker by next year, or sold in pieces by its majority owner Cerberus Capital Management LP, a New York private equity firm.
Ford's executive chairman, Bill Ford Jr., said the Dearborn company is working on four high-mileage electric vehicles to be introduced in the coming years. Ford plans to have a battery-powered commercial van on the market in 2010.
"We're employing a comprehensive approach to electrification that will tackle commercial issues such as batteries, standards and infrastructure," Bill Ford said.
GM's stable of 17 new or upcoming models displayed Sunday also had a focus on fuel efficiency.
The Chevrolet Spark subcompact, a three-door hatchback that was called the Beat when GM unveiled it as a concept car in 2007, is set to go on sale in Europe next year and in the U.S. in 2011. GM also announced that the Chevrolet Orlando seven-passenger crossover vehicle will go on sale in North America that same year.
But the surprise of the automaker's event was the unveiling of the Cadillac Converj concept car, which is designed to go 40 miles on electric power alone after being recharged from a standard wall outlet. A small gasoline engine would extend the range to hundreds of miles.