Story of the Week

Posted: 01.19.2010
The North American International Auto Show 2010 - Why do people attend the show?
By: Margery Krevsky

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Cobo Hall was the destination of choice for many people on the first day the doors were open to the public. The attraction for this show spreads beyond the borders of metro Detroit. It is part of the tradition of many Midwesterners and Canadians. Lifetime workers in the automotive business mark it on their calendars to attend with family and reminisce about their part in the industry. Car fans from out of state make this trip part of their winter travel plans. They forgo a trip south so they can see the cars, take a ride on the Peoplemover and visit Greek town. Most have a target place to begin usually in the exhibit of the brand they drive and then investigate the rest of the show. A target at the show is the ride and drive experience on the lower level which features electric vehicles. In the Ford Mercury exhibit you can get behind the wheel and personally experience the car which parks itself.

The Ford Mercury exhibit features a driving experience, a car that parks itself

Larry Washington, a retired UAW worker at Chrysler, and his grandson, Demark Washington visited the Chrysler exhibit checking out the display. Mr. Washington a former electric repairman for Chrysler attends every year passing on the legacy of his Detroit experience to the next generation in his family. “I cannot imagine not coming to this show”, he states. “It supports all I have worked for in my professional life”. Grandson Demark is looking forward to the day he has a job and can buy a black Challenger.

Retired UAW Chrysler worker, Larry Washington, & his grandson, Demark Washington, check out the Chrysler exhibit

Ford Engineer, Enerson Canargo, stated, “Today is the most important day of the year for me”. He was looking at the Fiesta and talking to his friend, Fabio Laxy, an engineer for Mercedes. His excitement was genuine as the engine was being produced in Brazil. He beamed with pride eat the accomplishment.

Brazilian engineer, Enerson Canargo, proudly wears a Ford sweatshirt to the auto show showing his friend, Fabio Laxy, the Fiesta and explaining finer points of the engine which is produced in his country

John and Carol Anne Pickins of Dublin, Ohio were one of the first attendees in the door on Saturday morning. When looking at the opening day information on line they got mixed up and thought the show opened on Friday night. You can imagine their surprise when they discovered it was the $250 per ticket Charity Preview black tie evening. “We might have attended”, said Mrs.Pickins, “but we just had our regular clothes on so we decided to stay at the downtown Marriott to go to Greektown and the come to the show the next morning.” They were having a great time looking at the map of the show and deciding what to see first. They are GM aficionados owning a vintage Cadillac and a 1985 Corvette. They are in the market for a new car and were going to check out the 4 wheel drive vehicles.

John and Carol Anne Pickins of Dublin, Ohio watched the Charity Preview party on TV at their hotel waiting for public days to open so they could check out the GM line up of cars

Business professor, Tony Hayes, from Dearborn, MI is an instructor at both Davenport and Grand Valley State Universities. He was checking out the Chevrolet Aero in the GM space and taking mental notes for a lecture on the car industry for his classes next week. In the market for a vehicle he was focusing on economy and ease of ownership.

Tony Hayes, a college professor comes to the auto show to see the cars and take back to the classroom business ideas and concepts

Canadians, Jim Meunier and James Watson have been coming to the show for 27 years and they are diehard fans of Buicks. These friends also agreed GMC makes a top notch truck. These guys are real car buffs who know their stuff. “Gear heads” to the core both had their eyes on the Buick LaCrosse.

From across the Detroit River Canadians, Jim Meunier and James Watson have attended the auto show in Detroit for 27 years

The Michelin man was getting his share of hugs from fans. Emily Bell, her son, Gwynn, and nephew, Walter Ebert from Centerville, Ohio met this automotive celebrity at the show for a photo op. Ms. Bell’s father worked for GM for 40 years. She was looking at the new crossover vehicles as a possibility to replace the min-van she is currently driving.

The Michelin man greets Emily Bell and members of her family at the first day of the auto show.

Everyone one has a different reason to visit the auto show but all agree it is a great and memorable experience!

Margery Krevsky is the author of Sirens of Chrome: the enduring allure of auto show models, Momentum publishing, available at amazon.com / www.sirensofchrome.com

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