The North American International Auto Show said it had its biggest attendance in more than a decade for this year’s event.
Organizers announced Sunday that attendance was more than 803,000; the last time the show broke 800,000 was in 2003, when it was more than 838,000. NAIAS Chairman Bob Shuman said in a statement that this year’s event “was a special show, and everyone knew it.”
Sunday was the last day for the show at downtown Detroit’s Cobo Center. It began earlier this month, with press and industry previews. A black-tie preview featuring a performance by musician Sheryl Crow helped raise $4.8 million for children’s charities.
A race-worthy Corvette, a sumptuous Mercedes C-Class and other glitzy models were among the eye-catching vehicles on display.
“The industry is healthy, the products and technology are spectacular, and confidence is high. It would be difficult to find a more exciting or more important two weeks than what we just experienced in the auto industry here on Detroit’s world stage,” Shuman said.
Ford’s aluminum-clad F-150 shows that automakers are figuring out how to improve fuel economy and still give Americans the big vehicles they want. Porsche’s 911 Targa and pocket rockets from Volkswagen and Subaru demonstrate that buyers still love performance cars.
And new mainstream cars like the Honda Fit and Chrysler 200 will have to work hard to compete in a market that’s not growing as fast as it once did.