Car sales are finally edging up in the UK, although many of Europe's big manufacturers are still searching for the killer product that'll elevate them above their rivals. Premium cars are still doing best of all, with the big German brands now outselling their mid-market equivalents in some territories. The American car market is a different beast altogether, slower, more conservative and rather eccentric in its predilection for big trucks and nostalgic muscle cars. On the other hand, hybrids have been taken by the US in bigger numbers than almost anywhere else, while the ultra-compact city car beloved in central Europe is still seen as a wayward aberration to be confined to the coasts.
This year's Detroit Motor Show, the traditional bellwether of the US Industry's state of mind, was rather more upbeat than in recent years. The headline car was an all-new Corvette, the C7 Stingray, a sharp-edged statement that - Chevrolet hopes - signals a switch to American supercar supremacy. Elsewhere, the focus wasn't so much on eco-flavoured minimalism, but a rather pumped up self-confidence; expensive cars are starting to look rather similar as the fashion for swirling, muscular body styles and jutting, angular grilles sweeps across the market.
See the image gallery above for our round-up of the most significant machines at the show.