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BYD and Brilliance at Detroit show

For the first time, two Chinese automakers will have main floor exhibit space at Cobo Center for the 2009 Detroit auto show.

Chinese automakers BYD Auto Co. and Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Co. will occupy about 11,000 square feet on the main floor. The space was reserved for Mitsubishi Motors Corp. but became available after that company pulled out of the show.

BYD"They've been waiting, all the exhibitors in Michigan Hall, so it's a wonderful opportunity for them," said Joe Serra, show co-chairman. BYD and Brilliance "have been notified and they're thrilled."

Chinese automakers have had a presence in Detroit for years but were always in Michigan Hall -- the lower level of Cobo Center -- or the lobby. BYD and Brilliance do not sell vehicles in the United States.

Besides Mitsubishi, five other automakers have pulled out of the show. Nissan North America said yesterday it dropped out of next year's Detroit and Chicago auto shows, citing depressed economic conditions.

Nissan, the biggest automaker to skip out of the show, followed the exits of Suzuki, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Ferrari. Porsche pulled out of the show last year and has not returned.

© Source: autoweek
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