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2009 North American International Auto Show

Mid-sizer: Chrysler unveiled the rear-drive 200C Toyota Camry-rival at NAIAS 2009.

12 Jan 2009

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in DETROIT

The same month that saw President-elect Obama’s inauguration also saw heaps of no-shows in Detroit, including Porsche, Land Rover, Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce. This paved the way for Chinese carmakers BYD and Brilliance to move from the hall fringes to the main floor.

Wintry conditions and that GFC gloom made for a very solemn event. Debutantes included the BMW Z4, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SRX, Chevy/Holden Cruze, Ford Taurus IV, Honda Insight, Toyota Prius III, and Lexus HS250h.

Weirdly Mercedes brought the all-new W212 E-Class but only showed it to a select group of journalists, without even displaying it at all.

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