The annual Detroit auto show kicked off on Monday with renewed optimism, as the industry emerges from one of the worst recessions in decades.
The North American International Auto show in the U.S. auto capital, Detroit, Michigan opened to the press with more glitz, driven by rising auto sales. The event will open to the public on Saturday.
Detroit’s big three automakers, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, all took market share in the United States for the first time since 1988, and growth is expected in 2012.
But analysts say the U.S. auto industry still faces risks from the looming economic crisis in Europe and and competition from Asian automakers.
South Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai won the 2012 North American Car of the Year award for the Elantra, edging out the Volkswagen Passat and Ford Focus. The company’s North America CEO says the award will help cement the improving reputation of the car that has surged in U.S. sales in recent years.
The Range Rover Evoque was named truck of the year, beating out the BMW X3 and Honda CR-V. Jaguar Land Rover’s North American president says he hopes the award boosts the brand in the company’s largest market, the United States.
A panel of 50 automotive journalist choose the winners from a group of finalists.