Detroit: Keep on Truckin'

(NBC News) The vehicles that will drive the future of the automotive industry are in Detroit today for the start of the North American International Auto Show.

It is the biggest car show in North America and for the first time in years there is a sense that things in the business may be shifting into high gear.

A lot of that excitement is generated by the unveiling of 50 worldwide concept or production vehicles.

Whether it's high-end luxury or high performance sports cars, sedans, suv's or even the futuristic concepts a bumpy ride marked by bailouts five years ago has shifted into the fast lane with four consecutive years of growth and profits.

"I think there is an energy here that we haven't seen in the last couple of years actually. The industry is moving up, we had a great sales year last year and we expect even more-so this year," said Jack Nerad the Executive Editorial Director at Kelly Blue Book.  

Chevy's Corvette Stingray and Silverado pick-up swept the car and truck of the year honors on opening day.

Ford is showing it's metal with a redesigned F150 the best-selling vehicle in America for the last 32-years is now going to made out of military grade aluminum.

"There's been aluminum body vehicles but they're often high-end luxury vehicles or sports cars, but in a mainstream, the mainstream vehicle in America, the highest selling vehicle in America, that's a game changer, Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports said.  

Also changing the car game General Motor's incoming C.E.O. Mary Barra.

She is the first woman to lead a major auto maker.

"She had her debut here. There were a lot of car debuts, but she had her debut and she knows her stuff. She comes off great," Fisher said. 

As for vehicle sales, the immediate future looks really strong with predictions that 2014 sales will top 16-million units.

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