DETROIT — These are tough times, but the show must go on. The 2009 Detroit auto show kicks off at Cobo Center with press days Jan. 11-13.
The pre-show news has centered on automakers that opted out of the show to conserve marketing money — namely Ferrari, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Suzuki.
But show organizers say more than 20 vehicles will make their global debuts. Buick, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volvo are among the automakers and brands expected to have the press buzzing.
For the most part, technology will stir the talking. All eyes likely will focus on the Toyota stand. Despite plummeting gasoline prices, the spotlight will be on the unveiling of the next-generation Prius hybrid and, especially, a battery-powered subcompact that previews Toyota's upcoming global city car.
Toyota is not alone in showcasing technology. Honda will unveil a production hybrid sedan, the 2009 Insight. Mercedes-Benz will introduce alternative powertrains and a concept that might be the next-generation B class. The Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands each will offer concepts that feature alternative powertrains. Ford will be talking electric-powered vehicles.
But not all the talk will be about being green. Buick has redesigned the LaCrosse sedan, Ford has reinvented the Taurus, and Cadillac has recast the SRX crossover.
And for those who were born to be wild, nothing at the Detroit show will top the SLR Stirling Moss edition created by Mercedes-Benz/McLaren. To replicate 1950s racing cars, the production SLR Stirling Moss has neither a roof nor a windshield.
What follows is a company by company rundown of significant world debuts at the Detroit show.