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The annual CES takes place in Las Vegas Jan 6 - 9 (Photo: CEA)

The upcoming CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas will feature keynote addresses by General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess.

The high-profile presentations underscore the growing importance of the global electronics industry for today's and tomorrow's cars.

Barra, in a speech on January 6, will focus on GM's strategy to adapt personal mobility to changing consumer preferences. “GM is driving innovation in the automotive sector, with an attractive approach to enhance the driver experience while keeping vehicles safe, affordable and consumer-friendly,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the US Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes the gathering.

Diess, will speak on the eve of the show's opening, January 5, and, according to the CTA, will unveil a new VW electric vehicle. The car "will further illustrate the synergy between the internet of things and the automotive industry," the association said in a press release.

Carmakers have been a growing presence at CES, as automotive companies increasingly rely on consumer electronics technologies to transform their industry. In recent years, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche and Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields have all  been keynote speakers at CES, the world's largest consumer electronics gathering.

At the 2016 event, which takes place January 6 - 9, show floor space for automotive exhibits is up 25 pc over last year's total. More than 100 automotive companies will display new technologies across more than 200,000 square feet of exhibition space, the CTA said.

Among those companies are nine automakers:BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Other confirmed keynote speakers in Las Vegas include Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Samsung Electronics President WP Hong, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube.

More information on CES is available at https://www.cesweb.org.