North American cars make a comeback

February 10, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Some at the Chicago Auto Show are calling it the resurrection of the North American car. Domestic manufacturers are front in center at the auto show, the largest consumer exhibition of its kind, to tell the world they have the products, the quality, and the enjoyment factor that buyers have long wanted to see out of Detroit.

With so many sparkling, brand new vehicles to check out, manufacturers turn to stunts to grab visitors' attention.

"Perfect time for those buyers who are looking for discerning, demonstrate-able products that will help them in terms of what they are looking for in life, it is a great time, a great time," Don Butler, vp of marketing for Cadillac, said.

Domestics manufacturers are banking on helping to reignite America's industrial might. The much-awaited electric hybrid Chevy Volt matters to GM like the iPhone matters to Apple -- both to make money and to help lessen America's dependence on foreign oil.

"And our power and our leadership and our say in how we want to be driving and how we want to be living, the freedom to drive our vehicles, you will see that changing quickly," said Britta Gross, Volt.

From Chrysler, whose corporate marriage with Italy's Fiat is now consummated, Fiat 500s will soon flood American roadways. The new Chrysler 200 is on display along with the ubiquitous mini-van with upgraded interiors that Chrysler says will be the hallmark of its fleet.

"We've had some tough times in the last year or two but that is behind us and we have known that all this stuff is coming and now we get to share it and people can see and test it for themselves," Rick Deneau, Chrysler, said.

Ford officials say the Chicago-built Ford Explorer is their future -- especially because many of its design cues came through social media feedback from customers

"We actually listened quite intently to what people are saying and we make adjustments as we move along based on what the consumer is telling us -- in a way, we are putting our brand into the hands of the consumer," Jason Teitler, Ford, said.

Still though, an Chicago Auto Show remains a place to dream, which the perennial industry leaders make sure to have, too.

"It is always good to have dreams and we are happy to give you a taste of those dreams," Dan Barile, Mercedes Benz, said.

Organizers say the show, itself, is improved with more floor space, more food options and cheaper parking available for the public.

The Chicago Auto Show opens to the public Friday and runs through February 20.

Check out the vehicles on display | Download a map of the Chicago Auto Show 2011

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