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A pedal to push the metal

Many companies plan to have bikes share space at car show

DAVID RUNK
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Associated Press

Subaru will use bicycles as accessories on its Outback wagon at North American International Auto Show.

DETROIT – Transportation of the two-wheeled variety is sharing the floor at the Detroit auto show with the latest cars, trucks and concept vehicles, a nod to the potential marketing boost that bikes may offer for automakers.

Some, such as those at Subaru’s display, are shown just as accessories on vehicles.

Subaru has bikes with its Outback wagon, which is aimed at outdoor enthusiasts. Others, such as the electric-powered bicycle displayed by minicar maker Smart display, are for sale.

Bicycles weren’t the main attraction of presentations during last week’s media previews at the North American International Auto Show, but they’re often used in marketing cars.

“Consumers that may be not that active or may not even have bicycles themselves are going to associate that with an active lifestyle, an outdoor lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle,” said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of the automobile website Edmunds.com.

Other prominent bike displays in Detroit this year include the Prius X Parlee concept bicycle among Toyota’s vehicles.

And at Hyundai’s spot on the show floor during media preview days, a bike was perched out the rear and rooftop of a Veloster coupe.

In addition to the Outback, which has two bikes on its rooftop rack, Subaru gave a nod to outdoor enthusiasts with rooftop racks holding skis and snowboards on some other vehicles.

Consumers’ associations with bicycles are generally positive, Anwyl said, even if a vehicle doesn’t have room to easily stow a bike.

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