Green focus takes fantasy away from NY Auto Show

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid hits showrooms late this year

Automakers have to learn how to make cars greener — and sexy too.

A new generation of electric cars, hybrids and fuel-efficient small cars took center stage at the New York International Auto Show. Pushed to the back were vehicles boasting big horsepower and glamorous styling, but with little fuel efficiency…

Compacts, crossovers and electric cars dominated the show’s main hall at the Jacob Javitz Center, while trucks and big SUVs were displayed to a much-smaller space two floors down.

“There is a real push on getting the products people want, rather than feeding their fantasy with extravagance,” said Dave Champion, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “Small cars are where the market is going…”

Survivors of last year’s crash continued to exhibit financial frugality and vigilance, with products geared toward real consumer demand and low-key displays in muted colors, devoid of spectacular events or lavish refreshments…

Kia Optima

Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors, the only major automakers to increase sales last year in a struggling U.S. market, were more upbeat than rivals, unveiling new models they said should deliver continued gains in market share.

Hyundai introduced its first hybrid car for U.S. consumers, based on the flagship Sonata mid-size sedan, while Kia showcased the all-new Optima sedan.

“To me, this is the first show of the year that feels like there is life again in the auto industry,” said Scott Margason, director of product planning at Hyundai America on Thursday.

There were some snazzy versions of the new affordable style – but, that isn’t what the piece was about. Fact is, even the all-electric crowd is beginning to seem tasty for the reality of the commuting life most people get to live.

2 thoughts on “Green focus takes fantasy away from NY Auto Show

    • moss says:

      Another area where the U.S. and Japan are competing for leadership – even if Republicans aren’t allowed to notice.

      Saw an article somewhere, yesterday, about a new factory opening in the Midwest – just to make the polymer containments and structures for batteries like this.

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