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NY auto show promises lots of cars, less bling

The auto industry will try to put on a happy face at the Jacob Javits Convention Center starting next week when the New York Auto Show comes to town, introducing at least 35 new models into a market that's the weakest in almost three decades.

With General Motors and Chrysler on the financial ropes and almost every automaker hurting, show organizers and automakers say manufacturers are watching their pennies more carefully this year.

- Click here to see photos of the 2009 Chicago auto show

- Click here to see photos of the 2009 Detroit auto show

- Click here to see photos of last year's New York auto show

"This is a year of realities, I'm afraid," said Jeremy Barnes, a spokesman at the U.S. headquarters in California for Mazda, which is showing three new cars. "You generally will see less excess, toned down displays, fewer 'concept' cars and more people talking about value for the money."

Two of the largest automakers, Ford and Nissan, are forgoing news conferences at the show's two-day media preview beginning April 8, events that can cost millions of dollars.

Organizers of the nation's oldest and traditionally best-attended auto show say that, when it opens to the public April 10 for a nine-day run, showgoers will find about the same number of cars on display, roughly 1,000.

"We're the biggest market in the country for most manufacturers for car sales, and that's what these shows are all about," said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, sponsor of the show.

About 1 million people usually attend the show.

Still, Schienberg said 325 truckloads of cars and displays - about 10.5 million to 11 million pounds of freight - were delivered to Javits for this year's show - down from about 350 truckloads with 12 million pounds of freight last year.

Media registrations to cover the show are running about 5 percent behind last year, when about 2,700 media registered, said Schienberg, although forms are still coming in.

New models on display for the first time anywhere or at least the first time in the United States will run the gamut in price, from a MazdaSpeed 3, expected to cost in the low $20,000s when it reaches showrooms in late summer, to the Bentley Continental Supersport, with an expected $250,000 price tag.

They'll range in "greenness" from an experimental "micro subcompact" from Toyota's Scion division to the 435-hp. 2010 Porsche 911 GT3.

In between will be:

A new crossover sport utility vehicle from General Motors - the GMC Terrain, sharing basics with the Saturn Vue

Prototypes of a new Acura four-door crossover, the ZDX, and redesigned Mitsubishi Outlander SUV

Redesigned Mazda CX7 crossover SUV going on sale around June

Redone Subaru Legacy/Outback sedans and wagons

A sportier "M" version of BMW's X6 crossover and a redesigned Z4 roadster and 7-Series luxury sedan

Freshened versions of the Volkswagen Rabbit and GTI

Mercedes' redesigned E class models, unveiled at last month's Geneva auto show and due to go on sale in the summer.

Other experimental cars will include a hybrid gasoline/electric Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan and a hybrid Hyundai, the two-door Nuvis.

In between will be: A new crossover SUV from General Motors - the GMC Terrain, sharing basics with the Saturn Vue Prototypes of a new Acura four-door crossover, the ZDX, and redesigned Mitsubishi Outlander SUV Redesigned Mazda CX7 crossover SUV going on sale around June Redone Subaru Legacy/Outback sedans and wagons A sportier "M" version of BMW's X6 crossover and a redesigned Z4 roadster and 7-Series luxury sedan Freshened versions of the Volkswagen Rabbit and GTI Mercedes' redesigned E class models, unveiled at last month's Geneva auto show and due to go on sale in the summer. Other experimental cars will include a hybrid gasoline/electric Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan and a hybrid Hyundai, the two-door Nuvis.

- Click here to see photos of the 2009 Chicago auto show

- Click here to see photos of the 2009 Detroit auto show

- Click here to see photos of last year's New York auto show

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