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SUVs, trucks and sports cars take center stage at Detroit auto show

AFP  |  Detroit 

SUVs, trucks and sports cars were set to take center stage Monday as a subdued auto show kicked off with fewer carmakers and more uncertainty.

With compact cars and sedans an ever-shrinking portion of the North American market, auto makers have all but abandoned them, as evidenced by what they chose to emphasize in

Trucks, SUVs and high-performance vehicles dominated the new debuts scheduled for the US's premier auto show. The exception was Volkswagen, which was to unveil a new sedan.

"Car companies are acknowledging that the crossover, sport utility vehicle boom is continuing," said of

For those looking for an alternative, carmakers were emphasizing sporty cars with nostalgic pasts.

Ford's redesigned Explorer SUV, debuted in on Friday, is on public display for the first time, with a high-powered version of the sports car called the also to be unveiled.

was also scheduled to show off a new -- a refresh of a the firm stopped producing more than 16 years ago.

Meanwhile, was to unveil redesigns of its larger versions of the popular truck.

Aside from VW, German carmakers abandoned the Detroit show this year, amid competition from events in New York, and where increasingly were presented.

At the Detroit show, the hope was that larger and more profitable vehicles would help the industry weather any economic storms. Analysts predicted slowing sales in 2019, following a decade of growth.

"We believe that the future is increasingly looking less positive for the industry," said Jonathan Smoke, for Cox Automotive, whose firm has forecast 16.9 million new in 2019, down from 17.3 million in 2018.

"The market itself is adjusting to a slightly smaller volume but they happen to be more expensive, higher quality vehicles," he said.

Small cars and conventional sedans accounted for less than a third of last year's new -- down four percent from 2017.

The industry has invested heavily in SUVs and trucks, making them more luxurious and high tech, analysts said.

Meanwhile, small car and sedan production has been downsized or abandoned by many companies.

GM has announced plans to close underused US plants that make smaller cars. planned similar cost-cutting moves in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 18:45 IST