Carmakers fill Detroit Auto Show with crossover concepts

Article by Anita Panait, on January 18, 2013

The ongoing Detroit Auto Show underscores the significant growth in one of the most popular vehicle segments in the United States – crossovers. A number of carmakers from around the world paraded their crossover concepts at the show, demonstrating the growing diversity of car-based vehicles that offer the styling, space as well as functionality of a truck-based sport-utility vehicle. One of the possible entries to the US crossover segment is the CrossBlue concept of German carmaker Volkswagen AG.

The CrossBlue provides a glimpse of a new midsize seven-passenger crossover vehicle that VW intends to produce at its plant in Tennessee in early 2015. Its production version is expected to enter the US crossover fray.

Nissan also unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show its Nissan Resonance concept, a preview of the Japanese carmaker’s the redesigned 2014 Murano crossover and its new hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain. Honda, on the other hand, unveiled its Honda Urban sports utility vehicle that previews a Fit-based crossover. Ford Motor Co's premium brand, Lincoln, unveiled the Lincoln MKC, its first compact crossover that will hit the market early 2014.

Meanwhile, VW made a forecast this week that the US market for midsize crossovers will grow by over a fifth by 2021. The crossover segment has been attracting diverse consumers – from retirees wanting a smaller vehicle to young families looking for another option to the minivan. The rise of the US crossover market started in the mid-1990s, and it built on the popularity of Toyota Motor Corp's RAV4 as well as Honda's CR-V compacts. According to data firm TrueCar.com, the crossover segment now accounts for 29.4 percent of vehicle sales in the US, up from 26.4 percent in 2009.

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