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Automakers battle in Detroit for the heart, mind and pocketbook of the America car buyer

Rebecca Cook / Reuters

The Lexus LF-LC sports car concept is driven onto the stage during the first press preview day for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jan. 9, 2012.

Mike Cassese / Reuters

Upscale sedans, fuel-efficient electric cars – and old-school muscle cars – make their debuts at the 2012 North American International Auto show.

Paul Eisenstein reports on msnbc.com that the huge midsize market segment is now up for grabs, with the two long-standing giants, Toyota and Honda, suddenly facing some serious challenges from an assortment of American, Korean and even German alternatives.

“We think we have a real opportunity to keep growing Fusion sales” by delivering a mix of stand-out styling, good mileage and more features than buyers would normally expect in the segment, said Ford’s global marketing czar Jim Farley.

View our slideshow to see many of the new models.

Stan Honda / AFP - Getty Images

The MINI Roadster is introduced at the 2012 North American International Auto Show on Monday.