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Detroit auto show: Electrifying GM?
Revving up for the Detroit Auto Show… General Motors officials have hinted they will show a concept that could use electricity as its principal source of power. (CEO Rick Wagoner pictured right). Such a product would allow GM to answer critics on the demise of the EV1 electric car and counter the perception it lags Toyota in developing environmentally-friendly cars. The show is unfolding at a crucial moment as U.S. automakers struggle with declining sales and an over-reliance on gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles. You can find a media schedule of events for the show here. GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler unit have all made or will soon announce moves to address their problems.Last year, Jerome York, a former Chrysler Corp. chief financial officer called on GM to step up efforts to stanch mounting financial losses. (He later joined GM’s board as the voice for billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, who had then built up a 9.9 percent stake in the automaker. York later quit the board and Kerkorian has since sold.)This year, models to watch this year – many of which can be seen in Car and Driver — include GM’s newly redesigned mid-sized Chevy Malibu, meant to be a stronger rival to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord; Chrysler’s new minivans, the automaker’s biggest selling vehicle line and critical to its rebound; the Toyota FT-HS concept hybrid sports car; and the ultimate small car, the nine-foot-long Smart Fourtwo (pictured left) that will go on sale in the United States in early 2008.Check back for links to stories, pictures and coverage from Reuters Television throughout the show at Reuters.com.(Photos: Reuters right, official Smart site, left)