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Kelley Blue Book Just Appraised The Detroit Auto Show

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The Detroit Auto Show, which wrapped up on January 25, put a premium on showcasing vehicles with wide profit margins and hot markets, analysts at Kelley Blue Book said.

The Irvine, California-based company, which compiles prices on new and used vehicles, said U.S. automakers are confident in their financial outlooks, and are highlighting advanced engineering and technology, which are "nothing short of amazing."

A Few Highlights

Among so-called performance vehicles, Kelley singled out the Ford GT successor and Raptor, Acura's NSX, BMW 6 Series, Cadillac CTS-V and Lexus GS F.

Important crossovers include the Volkswagen's three-row concept, Mercedes' new GLE Coupe, the Lincoln MKX and the Volvo S60 Cross Country.

On the truck front, Nissan unveiled its all-new Titan, and Toyota offered a significant revamp of the Tacoma.

Paying Homage

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)'s GT successor, meanwhile, allows the automaker to pay homage to Ford's historic win at the Le Mans endurance auto race nearly 50 years ago.

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Ford's GT from the mid-2000s developed a cult following, and the successor aims to "bring excitement to the brand and nothing more,” Kelley's Matt DeLorenzo said.

The all-new Ford Mustang shows the company "is serious about establishing the car as a track-weapon of Ford fans who also are serious weekend racers," according to Karl Brauer.

'A Global Brand'

General Motors Company (NYSE: GM)'s latest version of its Corvette "should help make Chevrolet a global brand," while a revamp of its Volt "comes at the right to entice buyers to take a second look, even if gas is less than $2 a gallon,” DeLorenzo said.

Kelley analysts will watch for pricing on GM Cadillac's latest CTS-V in light of reductions taken on some CTS models that ranged between $1,000 and $2,000.

Cadillac sedan sales have "struggled" in 2014, and could get revived by the new CTS-V with a top speed of 200 miles per hour, DeLorenzo said.

'A Long Track Record'

With GM re-entering the market for mid-size trucks with the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM) has responded with an all-new Tacoma.

The Tacoma has "a long track record of success in this particular segment,” and Kelley's Akshay Anand expects a "serious battle" among competitors on the marketing front.

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