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Stars, cars and stunts at the auto show

By Joni Gray, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

To get a jump on the Detroit auto show festivities, General Motors brought together popular singers and fashion designers to provide a glamorous backdrop for its best new product offerings. The event was designed to highlight the vehicles, but with a star-studded music lineup and leggy fashion models, the cars seemed oddly out of place.

Performing a few of her big hits, singer Mary J. Blige opened the show alongside a 1953 Chevrolet. (Bloomberg)
Kim Cattrall helped Daimler AG’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche launch Mercedes-Benz’s GLK Freeside concept at the Detroit auto show (NAIAS).

“Very passionate people make Mercedes and they’re very smart and I’ve always considered both of those things right down Samantha’s alley,” Cattrall said. “It’s a cutting-edge car.”

The compact sport utility vehicle will be driven by Cattrall’s sex-obsessed character in the upcoming “Sex and the City” movie, which is expected in theaters on May 20. (PR Newswire)
Wearing a “Detroit” T-shirt and touting the joys of Motor City, Kid Rock, originally from Detroit, was the headliner for the GM Style Corvette VR-1 supercar launch.

His singing was amazing, but when he started talking, there was a bit of a disconnect. In what seemed to be an effort to brag on Detroit’s carmakers, Kid exclaimed, “In Detroit, we don’t buy the [expletive] -- we make the [expletive].” (EPA)
Former NBA player Spud Webb poses with the Kia Borrego after the car’s introduction. (PR Newswire)
Before the reveal of the BMW 135i -- a convertible version of the new 1-Series car -- “Kill Bill"-style dancers who were part karate masters, part contortionists, certainly got the mostly male audience to pay attention. (Stan Honea/AFP/Getty Images)
Ford brought out its new F-150 truck lineup with country star Toby Keith at the helm, who mentioned the many Ford trucks he has on his ranch. Keith also touts the trucks onstage in his “Hookin’ Up and Hangin’ Out Tour.” (Getty Images)
Just after Ford’s F-150 extravaganza, Chrysler introduced the newly redesigned Dodge Ram pickup with the help of a herd of 120 longhorn cattle driven by 10 cowboys. President Jim Press, a recent convert from Toyota, couldn’t resist the urge to pun, “If you want to stand out from the herd, you’ve got to work hard.” Then, when all eyes were on the bulls, he said, “OK, look at truck.” Really -- no bull. (Chrysler)
‘80s pop star Bryan Adams made an appearance on the Audi stand to help introduce the new Audi TTS -- a complete redesign of the Audi TT. This was part of a larger partnership the brand had with Adams specifically for the Audi TTS launch in Europe and North America.

Adams played and sang the song, “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You,” causing many of us to wonder if a small change couldn’t have helped the integration of his performance by simply changing the words to, “The Only Thing That I Look Good in is You.” (AP)
Maroon 5 performed at the GM Style event alongside models previewing designs by Justin Timberlake and longtime friend, Trace Ayala. The band played some of its biggest hits, including “Makes Me Wonder,” and got the place jumping with “This Love.” (EPA)