NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) and GM ( GM) are focusing on fuel-efficient mid-sized entries at the New York Auto Show. GM introduced the Chevrolet Malibu this week at both the New York and Shanghai auto shows, while Ford previewed its refreshed 2013 Taurus. "New York is the largest retail market in the nation for large cars," said Mark Fields, Ford president for the Americas, noting that the new Taurus is a large sedan that will get at least 32 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Taurus is the first Ford in North America to be sold with a choice of two Eco-Boost engines, Fields noted. It is "our flagship sedan," said Derrick Kuzak, chief of product development. Built in Chicago, the new Taurus will feature new styling, better fuel economy and newer technology including MyFordTouch connectivity. It will also come out just three years after Ford totally remade the Taurus, as the company races to benefit from the cycle of constant restyling. The Malibu is a somewhat smaller mid-sized sedan than the Taurus, and will likely compete with the Honda ( HMC) Accord and the Toyota ( TM) Camry. The Taurus is more likely to be compared to the Impala than to the Malibu. Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing, said the Malibu will be sold in 100 markets worldwide and is a step in completing a revived, fuel-efficient Chevrolet product line that also includes the Volt, Sonic and Cruze. Chevrolet spokesman Michael Albano said the Malibu occupies a somewhat different market niche in China than it does in the U.S., where it is considered a larger car at the top of the Chevrolet line. In recent years, the Malibu has been making a transition from a car that is driven by a chauffeur to a car that is driven by its owner. At midday Wednesday, GM shares were up 41 cents at $30, while Ford shares were up 51 cents at $15.17. -- Written by Ted Reed in New York >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed