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10 car stars of movies and television

CNET Car Tech looks at 10 obvious tie-ins between car companies and movies or television series.

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'Twilight's' Edward Cullen upgraded from a Volvo C30 in the first movie to an XC60 in the third. Volvo

As common objects in everyday life, cars frequently appear in movies and television. But sometimes they show up with more impact, such as when a camera angle just happens to pick up the badge in the foreground, a character makes a comment about the car that has little to do with the story, or a whole fleet of the same type of car drives into view onscreen.

Automakers embrace movie and television tie-ins as a means of raising awareness for their brands and specific models. And with some movies, the product placement is baked in, such as the recent series of live-action "Transformers" movies with the Bumblebee Camaro. Similarly, the "Fast and The Furious" franchise is all about cars, so it is no surprise to see a Dodge Charger featured prominently.

But when Acura suddenly seems to be the company car for S.H.I.E.L.D. in the "Thor" movie, the placement becomes a little obvious. And although Tony Stark probably would have an Audi R8, even when he can afford a Bugatti, Sam Axe in "Burn Notice" stopping to admire Fiona's new Hyundai Genesis Coupe kind of breaks up the action.

We put together 10 examples of obvious automotive product placement in recent movies and television. Click here to see the photos.