Auto Show Back in Town

Auto Show Back in Town

By George Eichorn of New Monitor

Exciting days are here again for the auto industry as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is back in town. Following media previews earlier this week for more than 5,000 credentialed worldwide media and the industry preview for two more days, the show is about to open to the public.

A black-tie gala Charity Preview is Friday, January 16, as thousands of glamorous patrons jam the show floor to raise at least $5 million for area charities. Tickets are $400 each.

The public NAIAS opens Saturday, January 17 and concludes on January 24. Tickets are $13 adults, $7 seniors, $7 children 7-12 and free for children infant-6.

There are 45 auto and truck unveils (40 global) planned for the Detroit show. One year ago, the show generated an estimated $375 million for the Metro region. Those staggering stats make our show one of the best attended and most prestigious in the world.

MGM Grand Casino and Hotel in Detroit kicked off Auto Show week last Saturday in an amazing display of two dozen luxury cars worth millions of dollars. Miss Michigan USA, Rashontea Wawrzyniak of Harper Woods joined multiple celebrities for the annual benefit event.

Car sales are up across the United States and around the world as tough economic times have eased in many markets. U.S. automakers sold 16.5 million vehicles in 2014; the best since 2006. Traffic returned to showroom floors as folks kicked the tires and tried out a new set of wheels. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors dealers were happy to welcome back customers, many of whom were away for years.

The displays are ready at Cobo Center as thousands of dollars have gone into the flashy exhibits, LED video walls, dashing display cases and the talented models who will showcase the 2016 models and concept cars and trucks in fine fashion.

Cobo Center itself continues its sparkling new re-build as millions of dollars in renovations are apparent to visitors from here and around the world. New carpeting, additional exhibit space, meeting rooms, concourse improvements and video walls are in place or will be soon at Cobo. Honestly, the place never looked better.

Mayor Mike Duggan and the City of Detroit know that successfully staging this first major international auto show of the year is another crucial step in the city and region’s comeback. No one wants to look back on all the negative press, rather, look forward to good news stories and a rebound for the city.

There are more CEOs and VIPs at the NAIAS than anyone else in North America. Awards for the North American car and truck of the year plus special awards and announcements make Detroit the place to be. Here a few of the big announcements or introductions planned.

Acura NSX supercar, Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, Audi Q7, RS3 Sportback, Bentley, BMW 6 series/M6, Buick Cascada and Avenir concept, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Volt, Dodge Ram, Ferrari, Ford (various), Honda FCV, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Infiniti Q60, Lexus F Model, Lincoln, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and smart, MINI John Cooper Works, Nissan Titan, Porsche, Toyota Tacoma, Volkswagen 7-seater CUV, Volvo and ZF.

For Charity Preview tickets call (888) 838-7500. For NAIAS public tickets call (248) 283-5173 or www.naias.com.

Martin Eichorn contributed to this story; reach George Eichorn at geichorn@yahoo.com.