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Detroit gears up for electric sales growth

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Detroit gears up for electric sales growth

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Renewed optimism in the car industry means that at the North American International Auto Show, opening this week in Detroit, there are twice as many new models as last year.

The show is dominated by the comeback kids, the beleaguered US carmaker, particularly General Motors with its electric car, the Chevy Volt.

GM is counting on demand for green vehicles to build its profits and its North American boss, Mark Reuss, said it is an industry wide enthusiasm: “I think that we have to have technology and energy storage and electrification options spanning the customer needs. So you’re going to see pure electric. You’re going to pure electric options like the Volt and you’re going to see a lot of things in between.”

The new upbeat mood in the US car industry comes as sales rose in 2010 for the first time in four-years.

Many analysts expect double-digit growth in 2011 and further gains next year. But other industry experts urge caution given persistently high US unemployment rates and a still-uncertain outlook for the housing market.