Jan 11, 2010 8:40 AM by Associated Press

Smaller, electric cars reign at Detroit auto show

Electric, hybrid and small cars are grabbing center stage today at the Detroit auto show but expect to see a little muscle too.

Overall, the industry is trying to comes to grips with environmental concerns and a world reshaped by the Great Recession.

Ford wants to build on its success in midsize sedans and re-ignite small car sales. Hyundai aims to extend last year's triumph in budget-conscious models. GM and Chrysler will start fresh with electric vehicles while Toyota hopes to solidify its dominance in hybrids.

Americans feel less wealthy and more certain that the trend toward higher fuel prices remains a threat. It's a change U.S. automakers were slow to embrace - and it cost them, especially last year when sales plunged 21 percent.

Detroit automakers also will try to revive 1960s-style passion with muscle cars, a niche that's doing well.


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