4. Various of Chevrolet truck displayed inside showroom, interior and exterior of the truck
5. Various of Nissan Titan truck displayed inside showroom
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) George Pipas, Ford sales analyst manager:
"As far as the overall truck business is concerned in 2008 I think we approach it with a little bit of caution because we don't expect a quick turnaround in the housing industry and so from that standpoint it's not likely we're going to get a lift from the underlying economic fundamentals but in terms of this product in the marketplace we ought to be able to do real well with them."
7. Various of Ford truck on display in showroom
8. Various of Chevrolet Hybrid Silverado truck on display in showroom
9. Various of Ford Verve on hybrid display in showroom
10. Various of Vue and Aura Green Line Hybrid on display
The Detroit car show opened on Sunday with automaker Chrysler showing off its revamped Dodge Ram with help from ranchers and a herd of 120 cattle roaming through the city's streets.
Before the cattle drive, which came on the first day of media previews at the North American International Auto Show, men in cowboy hats and ranch work clothes loaded bales of hay into a mud-spattered Ram and hammered together fences.
Ford Motor Company, whose F-series pickups are the top-selling vehicles in the nation, unveiled its new F-150 at the show.
Both will debut as 2009 models in the autumn, and each was designed after extensive research to fix flaws in the old models, making them more efficient.
Hybrids, advanced diesels and green alternatives were also pushing aside the traditional displays of speed and chrome at the show, a nod to a new fuel-efficient reality for car makers.
Automakers, only weeks after Congress approved tougher fuel-efficiency requirements, are broadening their array of cars that get more on a gallon (3.79 litres) of gasoline, cutting carbon dioxide emissions and using alternative power sources.
Most of the vehicles and technologies have been in the pipeline for years, but the podiums at the show should further signal a shifting direction for the industry after years of pushing more horsepower and speed.
By 2007, according to data from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the average vehicle weighed 4 thousand 144 pounds (1 thousand 880 kilos), boasted a 223 horsepower engine and did zero to 60 mph (96 kph) in 9.6 seconds.
US President George W Bush signed an energy bill in late December that requires the industry's fleet of new cars, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans to average 35 miles (56 kilometres) per gallon (3.79 litres) by 2020, a 40 percent increase and the first major changes since the 1970s.
General Motors Corporation (GM), which created a green buzz last year with the Chevrolet Volt, showed a similar plug-in hybrid concept on a Saturn Opel.
GM also will extend its hybrid line up, releasing a new Saturn Vue two-mode hybrid, which is expected to boost fuel economy by about 50 percent when it hits showrooms later this year.
Toyota Motor Corporation, which has dominated the gas-electric hybrid market with its Prius and Camry hybrids, will raise the curtain on Monday on the A-BAT, a hybrid pickup truck built on a car platform.
Even niche, luxury carmakers are getting in the advanced hybrid act.
Still, auto industry officials note that many consumers are turned off by the higher costs of a hybrid vehicle, typically 4,000 US dollars (2,704 Euros) to 5,000 US dollars (3,380 Euros) more, and more modest alternatives are needed.
Ford Motor Corporation is taking a practical approach through its new EcoBoost engine, a more fuel-efficient one that it plans to use in about 500 vehicles in North America during the next five years.
The engine is much more cost-effective than a hybrid, using direct-injection and turbo charging technologies.
Others are pointing to diesels, which can provide about a 25 percent boost in fuel efficiency.
Daimler showed its GLK compact sport utility vehicle, offering a diesel option that can get up to 35 mpg (56 kpg).
BMW AG, meanwhile, showed advanced diesel versions of the X5 sport utility vehicle and a 3-Series passenger car.
Car makers have been testing advanced vehicles for several years, including hydrogen fuel cells and plug-in hybrids, with the hopes that the technologies will improve and become more viable.
Chrysler LLC, which has ranked near the bottom in fuel efficiency ratings, on Monday showed a Jeep with a lithium-ion battery pack and diesel hybrid engine, a Dodge ZEO electric concept sports wagon, and a Chrysler fuel-cell vehicle.
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