Tue, 15 Jan 2013 08:45:00 GMT | By Reuters

First take on 2013 Detroit auto show - Sports cars trump EVs

Detroit: The message from automotive CEOs at the opening of this year's Detroit auto show is deceptively simple: Sports cars are hot, electrics are not

First take on 2013 Detroit auto show - Sports cars trump EVs

As General Motors Corp CEO Dan Akerson unveiled a new 450-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette and Fiat SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne extolled the Italian automaker's $130,000 (80,810 pounds) Maserati Quattroporte luxury sedan, their counterpart, Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Japan's Nissan Motor Co, announced a stunning $6,000-plus price cut on the slow-selling Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.

Despite that hiccup, executives generally seemed upbeat about the mood of the U.S. auto industry as it enters a fourth year of recovery from the 2009 meltdown and bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler. "Without trying to read tarot cards and tea leaves, 2013 is structurally going in the right direction. It will be the best year on record since I've been here," said Fiat's Marchionne, whose company was handed control of Chrysler four years ago.

If U.S. consumers' views of green cars remains sceptical, their unabated appetite for performance and luxury models is widely evident on the show floor at Detroit's Cobo Centre, even to industry officials from overseas.

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