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2016 Los Angeles Auto Show: Crossovers rule

The Los Angeles Auto Show’s effort to rebrand itself as AutoMobility, which includes a conference on the future of the automobile, speaks volumes about where the industry is headed. Ride sharing, autonomous technology and connectivity are all on the agenda and while it’s all well and good to think about the future, a more immediate concern of manufacturers who have actual vehicles at the show is boosting sales in a maturing market that may have hit a plateau.

So, for all the talk about what may be happening years down the road, a look at the hardware on display in the Los Angeles Convention Center presents a truer picture of what’s important in the here and now. And it boils down to crossover SUVs.

While the show will have its share of future concepts, plug-in hybrids and even some ultra-high-end luxury and performance cars, the stalwarts among the introductions remain car-based crossover SUVs with a models ranging from entry level to upscale. Chief among the upscale set is the much anticipated launch of the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the first such entry from the Italian automaker. The popularity of crossovers is crucial for the survival of small marques like Alfa, and the brand is counting on the Stelvio to deliver the same kind of success Cayenne and Macan have for Porsche.

Alfa’s sister division at Jeep will be bringing the Compass replacement, a compact entry that was unveiled last month in Brazil, where that vehicle is built for Latin America. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is retooling its Belvidere, Ill., plant, former home of the Dodge Dart, to produce the Compass for North America. Speaking of domestic production, the Chattanooga, Tenn.-built Volkswagen Atlas, which also has been revealed, will be making its auto show debut at Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Mazda will be showcasing a redesigned CX-5 and Toyota will have the U.S. launch of its entry level C-HR crossover, which originally was slated to bow as a Scion.

The fortunes of Mercedes-Benz have turned around because of its emphasis on SUVs and it will have the AMG GLE43 4Matic bowing, as well as two other sub-brand entries, the AMG E63 sedan and the Mercedes-Maybach Cabriolet.

The environment is not being slighted; there will be any number of plug-in hybrids, like the redesigned Mini Countryman. And even VW, which is said to be showing the next evolution of its Golf, will display an eGolf version to showcase the makeover.

Here’s what we know so far, check back for updates through press days which run from Nov. 15-17.

Past Los Angeles Auto Shows

If you are interested in past shows check out our coverage of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show where Mazda's next generation CX-9 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class both debuted. How about the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show where the Audi Prologue and Lexus LF-C2 concepts were revealed? Step back in time to the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show to see the sleek Subaru Legacy concept that was launched. Go back even further to the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show and see the unveiling of Cadillac's 2-Door CTS Coupe.

Still want more? Then take a look here at all of the big auto shows held around the globe.


 

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