Small cars steal auto show


The slogan of the 2011 Portland International Auto Show is “The Future is Here,” an appropriate catchphrase for the show that features many futuristic small cars.

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The slogan of the 2011 Portland International Auto Show is “The Future is Here,” an appropriate catchphrase for the show that features many futuristic small cars.

The gas-guzzlers may be largely history, but the auto industry as a whole is racing back amid economic recovery.

“What you’re seeing is a race back to prosperity. The market is recovering and everyone is rushing to get their best new cars into it,” says Ed Tonkin, vice president of Portland’s Ron Tonkin Family Dealerships and chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

One is the Fiat 500, the first car imported from Europe since the Italian automaker bailed out Chrysler.

Although a perennial bestseller overseas, the new subcompact will test America’s taste for small cars and the wisdom of the Chrysler-Fiat merger. Originally designed to navigate Italy’s narrow streets, the Fiat 500 is the tiniest car ever associated with Chrysler. It is also the most economic because gasoline has historically cost far more in Europe – the equivalent of nearly $7 a gallon in Italy today.

Read more at The Portland Tribune.

The 2011 International Portland Auto Show is scheduled Thursday, Jan. 27, to Sunday, Jan. 30, at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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