Following government bailouts, layoffs, and bankruptcies, the auto industry is hoping to forget its near collapse last year, starting 2010 with a slew of new vehicles, and a focus on value and technology.
The North American International Auto Show, or more simply known as the Detroit Auto Show, is shaking the shroud off of last year's event and making a splash with new hybrid vehicles, fully electric vehicles, and of course luxury.
In an answer to the gas spikes that shook confidence in the industry early last year, and a growing public demand for sustainable technologies, global automakers unveiled a litany of new vehicles with small efficient gas engines, and exotic power plants.
American and Japanese automakers are focusing on hybrid vehicles, while European automakers are vying to lead with electric car strategies.
BMW unveiled the ActiveE Concept vehicle that will be produced in limited numbers early next year. The German automaker promises that the model will deliver all the fun one could expect from a BMW, but its new plug-in technology makes it more environmentally friendly than its gasoline powered brethren.
Audi demonstrated its e-tron technology in a new electric concept vehicle, a two-seater that promises to get 150 miles per charge while producing 204hp.
Other manufacturers touted their hybrid models from the sporty Honda CR-Z to Toyota's plug-in Prius, which hopes to cover up to 13 miles on battery power alone.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car looks to make hybrids irrelevant with its 40-mile battery range and onboard generator for longer trips.
While electric vehicles and hybrid cars may be the wave of the future, much of the excitement still revolves around power and performance.
Cadillac unveiled the Platinum XTS concept car, a V-6 with all-wheel drive and robust 350 horsepower hybrid engine.
Ford, the financially healthier of the three US automakers, rolled out an all-new 412-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 Mustang that gets at least 25 miles per gallon.
The industry is vying to recover from a slowdown in the past years, though 2009 ended on a higher note.
Total December light-vehicle sales stood at an annualised 11.3m vehicles, up from 10.3m a year earlier, according to Autodata.
Yet car and light truck sales in 2009, estimated at about 10.4m units, were the lowest in almost three decades, down from 13.2m in 2008.