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12:25 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Car companies starting auto show earlier

Press days for Detroit's North American International Auto Show "officially" begin Monday morning - but it's become something of a recent tradition to show an especially important car the night before.

That's what GM did with the seventh-generation Corvette, which it calls the "Stingray" in homage to the much-loved 1963 Corvette.

Mark Reussis GM's North American President, and a long-time Corvette fan.  He's owned about ten of them in his lifetime so far.

"I love this car, I honestly - that's why I'm here," Reuss told a group of reporters.  "I joined this company because of this car."

The car, with a striking exterior design, and upgraded interior, will feature a carbon fiber roof, 450-horsepower, and better fuel economy than its predecessor, which got 26 miles per gallon highway.

Reuss says the importance of the Corvette to the entire company can't be overstated.

"The whole political arena has changed radically over the last few years since we went through bankruptcy," says Reuss, "And I think a lot of people here needed something to believe in.  This is a car that we all believed in."

Later in the evening Mercedes Benz showed journalists a sneak peek at an entry-level compact car that will be priced around $30,000....aimed at younger buyers who might have thought they couldn't afford a Mercedes Benz.

The first big event of this morning is the announcement of the winner of North American Car and Truck of the Year.