Automakers unveiled new car styles in Detroit on Monday, kicking off of the North American International Auto Show.
Ford showed off its new aluminum F-Series pickup, a lighter-weight version of the truck, which has been the best-selling vehicle across all types in the United States for the past 32 years, according to the company.
"Aluminum is, pound for pound, tougher than steel," Ford CEO Alan Mulally told CNBC. And by using aluminum, supplied by producer Alcoa, Ford has cut about 700 pounds off of the vehicle's weight, Mulally said.
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"Our goal is simple: to make sure every vehicle is the best in the segment in every country in which it competes," Barra said at the unveiling.
Another GM truck, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, was named the North American Truck of the Year at the show just as the company announced that it's recalling 370,000 Silverados and similar GMC Sierra trucks.
Outside of the truck segment, GM also unveiled its 2015 Corvette Z06. The Corvette was named the North American Car of the Year at the show.
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Among luxury brands, Mercedes unveiled its 2015 C-Class, a vehicle that's lost about 200 pounds thanks to trading some of its steel with lighter-weight aluminum, noted Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz and chairman of parent company Daimler.
Zetsche said that, this year, luxury car segment sales growth could outpace growth in the industry overall, which he estimates will come in at about 5 percent.
Among other luxury vehicles unveiled in Detroit were the retro-styled convertible Porsche 911 Targa as well as the BMW 2-series coupe.
—By CNBC's Althea Chang.