German Automakers Tout Speed and Luxury at Detroit Auto Show
Car candy is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The world's automakers are showing off new models, from the electric to luxury categories.
The annual show has reclaimed some of its glamour and energy as the auto industry continues to rebound from its dreadful slump in 2008-2009.
Among the new models this year — theFordFusion and the HondaAccord in the family-car market and GM Cadillac ATS sports sedan and BMW 3 Series in the luxury market.
Toyota's Lexus will show off its LF-LC, an advanced hybrid sports coupe, and Chrysler Group will unveil a new version of the Dodge Dart, the famous nameplate last offered in 1976.
CNBC's Phil LeBeau is at the show, where he's checking out the vehicles and talking to industry executives. Here are some highlights of what German automakers brought to Detroit.
BMWon Monday trotted out a new version of its 3 series, the best-selling luxury sedan in the world, with 94,000 sold last year. The least expensive model sells for around $34,000.
BMW faces new competition from Mercedes-Benz and GM's ATS, which was unveiled Sunday and hits showrooms this spring.
Ludwig Willisch, BMW North America CEO, describes the vehicle's new design and partly new engine.
he German automaker is also drawing attention because of widespread speculation that it will soon announce details on a plan to increase production at its Spartanburg, S.C., plant, where it already builds almost 300,000 vehicles a year.
The South Carolina plant, which was first expanded in 2008-2009, might get an additional assembly line for a new model, which could mean 1,500-2000 new jobs.
Willisch says an increase in its U.S. capacity "is likely to happen." An announcement is expected Thursday.