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Six car makers are missing from the Detroit motor show this year - Nissan, including its Infiniti luxury brand, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari. Companies like Smart, Tesla and Fisker are elevated to main floor space. And the space downstairs has been turned into a 200-metre test track, , complete with waterfall, trees and flowers and a succession of eco-friendly vehicles driving around in eery silence.
"Seeing cars on carpets instead of suspended from mock cliff faces was a refreshing change from the normal over-the-top glitz and glamour."
-Joe Serra, senior co-chairman of the show
But he cautioned that it won't last: "Once the good times start again, the egos will take over and business could well return if not to normal, then something approaching it".
Meanwhile, GM has announced that battery development was too important to leave outside the company, and that it would begin hiring engineers and expanding research facilities with the hope that thousands more spin-off jobs could be created as the EV technology is developed and if demand for electric-drive vehicles takes off.
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