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North American auto show kicks off in Detroit


08:39, January 15, 2013

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan January 14, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

DETROIT, United States - Thousands of journalists from across the globe swarmed around dazzling displays Monday at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

More than 50 new cars were set to make their public debut at the annual show.

The first day of the media and industry special previews got off to a fast start with the announcements of the 2013 North American Car and North American Truck/Utility of the Year, industry awards decided by a jury of 49 automotive journalists.

At a special ceremony at the newly renovated Cobo Convention Center, the Cadillac ATS won Car of the Year, beating fellow finalists the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.

In the Truck/Utility of the Year category, the Ram 1500 took the top prize, overtaking the Ford C-Max and Mazda CX-5. The awards marked a victory for US car companies, as the winning vehicles were from automakers General Motors and Chrysler, respectively.

The show also unveiled 50 new models, compared with 42 car debuts in 2012. China's GAC Group also was to debut in this year's show.

The seventh generation of the Chevrolet Corvette, one of the most iconic American sports cars, was perhaps the most highly anticipated car premiere at this NAIAS.

The Internet has been abuzz with speculation about features of the 2014 Corvette. It has been eight years since the debut of the last model.

Japanese brand Infiniti was scheduled to host a special Cirque du Soleil performance at the unveiling of its new sports sedan, while automaker Toyota will debut a new concept car called the Furia.

After the preview week, the auto show will open to the public from January 19-27. More than 800,000 visitors are expected to attend the show, which last year attracted about 770,000 people.

They are hoped to bring about 360 million US dollars into the local Detroit economy, as the American Motor City continues to rev up after the financial crisis.

US auto sales in 2012 were the best since 2007, with a total of 14.5 million vehicles sold.

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