Detroit’s North American International Auto Show is showing signs of a return to its former lavish glory, a key indicator of an upswing in Michigan’s own economic recovery. And that might as well be music to the ears of business owners across our state.
The Detroit Free Press yesterday reported that show itself is recovering from a slump in 2009. Visitors this month can expect to see 30-40 brand new cars and trucks showcased amid extravagant displays. According to the story by Reporter Brent Snavely, ticket sales for the gala Charity Preview are up 15 percent compared to 2010, and attendance is expected to continue an increase that began last year.
The event offers automakers a chance to present new products and concepts for the first time. It can drum up sales for the year, create hype around a certain model of vehicle and help determine what vehicles resonate with journalists and the public. In a lot of ways, presentation effectiveness comes into play for those showcasing vehicles at the event.
According to the story:
Porsche is coming to the Detroit show for the first time in four years, and many of the vehicles that automakers plan to reveal are expected to be top-sellers. They include Honda’s all-new Civic, Toyota’s new family of Prius hybrids and a vehicle that is vital to Volkswagen’s goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker.
Also, media registrations have surged in recent weeks, said auto show spokesman Sam Locricchio, and the final tally should exceed 5,000 this year… Another good sign, according to Bill Perkins, auto show vice chairman, is that automakers are investing more money in their show displays.
General Motors is building a two-story display for the first time in at least three years, Perkins said. Ford is dedicating more space than ever to its display for the Ford brand, and Audi has suspended a giant, oval-shaped structure above its display.
Perkins also is ecstatic about $80 million in upgrades that the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority has started to make at Cobo Center.
Although the biggest part of those changes won’t be complete until after the 2011 show, a new set of concession stands in the lobby will open in time for the media and industry days. A food court also will be open during the public days.
Are you planning to attend the North American International Auto Show or related events this year? Does the auto show impact your decision to buy a car? Do you like to check out the concept vehicles and displays the best? What draws you there? Let us know in the comments section below.