NEW YORK -- The flood of SUV and crossover debuts continued unabated during last week's New York auto show press days. But behind the scenes, industry executives were grappling with questions about cars -- ones that could shape investment, product and marketing plans for years to come.
How low will cars' share of the U.S. market -- 37 percent in the first quarter, off from 41.5 percent a year earlier -- ultimately go? And how to reignite the appeal of cars?
Some strategies were on display here. FCA US sought to pump up cars' appeal with the debut of the outrageous 840-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon drag racer. Nissan North America also bet that sports cars will always appeal, showing a 370Z Coupe Heritage Edition. Acura valiantly went once more into the midsize sedan breach with the 2018 TLX, which goes on sale in June.
Amid far flashier and more numerous crossover and SUV debuts, though, it was clear that restoring the luster to the mainstream sedan won't be easy. Nonetheless, executives cited two reasons to nurture their car lineups: