DETROIT, Jan 9 ― Global automakers will kick off 2017 by displaying a wide array of future vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This year, luxury sedans and small sport utility vehicles will jostle for the spotlight along with electric cars and diesel-powered pickup trucks. When it comes to industry profits, the trucks and SUVs will be at centre-stage.
Here are some of the notable vehicle debuts expected at the Detroit show, which opens to the public on Saturday, January 14.
Nissan Rogue Sport
A five-passenger SUV that will be slightly smaller than the Nissan Rogue, which has become the top-selling model in the company’s US lineup. Rogue was the top-selling non-pickup truck in the US in December. It will go on sale in the spring. This is part of Nissan’s response to US consumers’ growing preference for SUVs of all sizes.
Kia Motors Co Stinger
The Stinger is a new five-passenger fastback sport sedan. Kia said it will produce the Stinger after showing a concept version of it earlier. The car was designed in Frankfurt. It will go on sale in the US market in late 2017.
Toyota Motor Corp debuted the first Lexus LS 400 sedan in Detroit at the 1989 auto show. Today, the brand will unveil the fifth generation of its big sedan to a market that is turning away from the traditional concept that a luxury brand’s “flagship” model must be a sedan, instead of a sport utility vehicle.
BMW AG has already taken the wraps off the look of the new 5-series, which competes with the Mercedes E-class and Audi A6. The German luxury automaker plans to display a plug-in hybrid version of the car for the first time in Detroit. Like its competitors, the 5-series is losing ground to SUVs ― and the Tesla Model S electric sedan ― among affluent US buyers.
Just in time for millennials starting to have the baby boom generation’s grandchildren, Honda Motor Co is expected to debut in Detroit a new generation of its Odyssey minivan. The minivan segment has shrunk since the former Chrysler Corp pioneered the concept of a boxy family hauler in the 1980s, but sales in the segment rose 8 per cent last year.
Ford Motor Co will give the 2018 model of the best-selling vehicle in the United States some modest appearance changes, and more significantly, new technology to reduce fuel consumption. For the first time, Ford will offer a diesel engine option in the F-150. The company is not releasing fuel economy estimates for that engine. A new 3.3-litre six-cylinder engine will also be offered and fuel-saving technology that shuts down the engine at a stop light will be available.
General Motors Co is highlighting two redesigned sport utility vehicles in Detroit, including a new generation of the Chevrolet Traverse, a family hauling SUV that will compete with the likes of the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The best-selling passenger car in the United States for the past 15 years gets a major makeover. Camry sales fell 9.5 per cent in 2016 from the year before, reflecting pressure from the shift to SUVs. Overall, mid-sized sedan sales in the United States fell 10 per cent. Toyota has been giving its mainstream models more expressive styling and advanced technology, to counter a long-held image for dull reliability. The 2018 Camry is expected to reflect that direction.
Analysts expect Audi, the high-volume luxury brand of Volkswagen AG, to show a new, large sport utility vehicle in Detroit. The mainstream Volkswagen brand, meanwhile, is expected to highlight a new generation of its compact Tiguan sport utility.
Analysts expect Nissan Motor Co’s luxury brand Infiniti to show a redesigned QX50 compact SUV. ― Reuters