Detroit auto show, and industry, prepare for transition | 1/14/2019 | Staff
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The auto industry gathered Sunday in Detroit, on the eve of the last winter edition of North America's premiere auto show, as carmakers grapple with a contracting market and uncertainty in the year ahead.

Concerns over the health of the global economy and a US-China trade war loomed over the North American International Auto Show, as it prepared to open Monday with the first five days dedicated to the media and industry insiders. The show opens to the general public on January 19.

Number - Announcements - Alliance - Ford - Volkswagen—there

While a number of major announcements were expected—including an anticipated strategic alliance between Ford and Volkswagen—there will be fewer automakers and new car unveilings, making it more subdued.

"This is a transition year for the Detroit show," said analyst Michelle Krebs of Autotrader. "It's kind of emblematic of where the industry is. We're in a transition in the industry."

GM - String - Car - Unveilings - Cadillac

GM kicked off the string of new car unveilings by debuting its new Cadillac XT6—a mid-size crossover in line with similar SUVs from competing luxury car makers.

GM aimed squarely at Tesla in releasing concept photos for a future Cadillac electric SUV. The company said the luxury brand would be the first to employ an upcoming electric vehicle platform, the time frame for which was not specified.

Cadillac - Leader - Technology - Innovation - Level

"Cadillac, being a leader in technology and innovation, it's very important that as we take it to the next level, we lead with Cadillac," GM CEO Mary Barra told reporters.

After a 10-year boom, analysts expect North American auto sales to contract in 2019, as consumers face pressures and carmakers grapple with multiple uncertainties.

Interest - Rates - Car - Prices - Car

Rising interest rates and car prices have squeezed car buyers, and fewer of them are able to afford increasingly pricey, technology-heavy cars.

Kelley Blue Book predicted the average new-car price was up about three percent in 2018 to more than $36,000.

Tariffs - Steel

Meanwhile, tariffs on imported steel and...
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