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Shifting Gears: News briefs from Detroit

An advertisment for the Cadillac CTS sedan hangs from a building outside the Cobo Center, where the North American International Auto Show is being hosted in Detroit.


CHEVY SWEEP: The hardware was the first order of business on Day One of the media preview for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, and GM vehicles captured both categories with the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the Chevy Silverado winning the 2014 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year awards, respectively.

BARRA FEVER: Mary Barra, who took over as General Motors' head honcho on Wednesday, caused quite a commotion at the NAIAS early in the week. The Wall Street Journal reported that Barra was "swamped by a sea of more than 50 journalists" on Sunday night when she unveiled the GMC Canyon pickup truck. And that scene was repeated the next morning as "hordes of reporters, photographers and TV crews fell over themselves, tripped over furniture and bounced off the walls" to get up close with the new GM CEO.

NUMBER CRUNCHING: It's no secret that Detroit is a city in bankruptcy. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that the NAIAS is good for the ailing city's economy. But how good exactly? Well, CBC reports that the car show will boost the city's economy by $390-million, according to a study. CBC says that downtown hotels were at near-capacity for the preview days and at about 70 per cent occupancy for the public viewing days.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I live on an airplane. It doesn't make that much difference to me." – Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler-Fiat CEO, during a news conference when asked if the combined company will be based in Italy or the United States.


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