Wed, January 13, 2010
Sci-Tech > Technology > 2010 North America International Auto Show

World carmakers battle for green leadership

2010-01-13 08:58:19 GMT2010-01-13 16:58:19 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Volvo's Electric C30 car is presented during the second press preview day of the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Cobo center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., Jan. 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

The plug-in of Toyota's Prius Hybrid concept is seen during the second press preview day of the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Cobo center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., Jan. 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

Lexus's LF-Ch hybrid concept car is presented during the second press preview day of the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Cobo center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., Jan. 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

Hyundai's Blue-will hybrid concept car is presented during the second press preview day of the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Cobo center in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., Jan. 12, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

DTROIT, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 2010 North America International Auto Show (NAIAS) at the U.S. auto city of Detroit is a lot smaller and greener as the industry adapts to a world reshaped by recession and environmental worries.

In the 39,000-square-foot showroom of the COBO Center at deep heart of Detroit, the global automotive community comes together to catch up on the latest with 60 new vehicle premieres.

Electric, hybrid and small cars have grabbed center stage at the auto show this week. Some global automotive companies unveiled new electric and hybrid cars at the auto show as car companies battle for green leadership and strive to meet stringent new fuel economy and emission requirements later this decade.

Toyota Motor Corp. announced here it plans to expand the Prius into a family of vehicles with cars both smaller and larger than its flagship hybrid. The Japanese company unveiled a concept car called the FT-CH, a vehicle about 500 millimeters shorter than the Prius that is to become a model on the road within three years.

German carmaker Volkswagen AG unveiled a concept car code-named the New Compact Coupe that combines a hybrid motor with a turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine. The company believed this hybrid model will be on the road this spring.

Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd., also unveiled at the auto show a hybrid sports coupe, the new CR-Z which will go on sale in the U.S. market this summer.

The hybrid version of Ford Motor Co.'s Fusion sedan won car of the year at the annual Detroit show. According to Mark Fields, the president of Ford, the new Ford Fusion Hybrid Sedan will be competitive among the other all-electric vehicles.

Ford Motor Co's Alan Mulally stated positively that "the efficiencies generated by our new global C-car platform will enable us to provide Ford Focus customers with an affordable product offering quality, fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations."

The South Korean carmaker Hyundai, which aims to extend last year's triumph in budget-conscious models, has displayed a number of small-size electric cars at the auto show this year.

U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler also vowed to start fresh with electric vehicles but also try to boost their small-car credibility.

Meanwhile, Chinese electric carmaker Build Your Dream (BYD), bent on becoming one of the world's largest automakers, launched a series of ambitious projects that it hopes its electric cars will reach the streets before larger, well-established carmakers.

At the Detroit Auto Show, BYD stepped onto center stage with plenty of interesting product, including the world's first dual-mode plug-in hybrid. BYD's F3DM and e6 which debuted at last NAIAS in Detroit, were brought to this year's Detroit auto show again.

The Chinese electric cars have attracted thousands of visitors and reporters at the auto show. BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu told Xinhua that both vehicles could hit the American and other foreign markets by 2011.

Analysts here said the abundance of hybrid, electric and other environmentally friendly vehicles shows the auto industry believes it must meet stringent fuel economy goals through technology.

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