Carmakers have much to celebrate at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the world’s largest show revealing new cars and trucks. They had a banner 2015, selling 17.5 million cars, more than the 17.3 million that were sold in the year 2000, the peak of the boom time for the industry. With a stronger economy and record low gas prices, they hope to keep that momentum going this year. Carmakers are revealing 57 new products; about 90 percent of them are worldwide debuts being shown for the first time at an auto show.
Some of the biggest hits this year will surprise you. It's usually hard to get excited over a new minivan, for example, as the segment has lost much of its luster since Chrysler first ushered in the era of the soccer mom vehicle in 1984. Still, the company this year made a compelling case for why the minivan remains “the best tool to manage a parent’s chaotic life,” as Timothy Kuniskis, Chrysler’s head of passenger brands, puts it.
Similarly, the mid-sized truck segment isn’t packed with offerings, but it is growing in popularity. One of the redesigned competitors in the category this year carved out a chance to be part of the action.
This year’s auto show also featured the first car built in China to be sold in the U.S. — and it’s a compact crossover that’s eye-catching enough that it could revive sales for its manufacturer, Buick, which has suffered as a result of its historical reliance on cars as opposed to SUVs.
Or how’s this for a stunner: You no longer have to sacrifice style for safety when purchasing a Volvo. The carmaker cemented that change with a new offering.
Click here to see some of the most promising offerings revealed at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.