DETROIT - The North American International Auto Show is poised to celebrate its silver anniversary in 2013. Think back 25 years ago...
Detroit's Anita Baker topped the charts. The Detroit Pistons of the "Bad Boys" era were poised to win the first of two back-to-back NBA Championships. The Berlin Wall fell. Tiny Tim ran for Mayor of New York. And singer Taylor Swift was born.
The year was 1989. The world was changing, and in a bold move, the Detroit Auto Show, in its 81st year, was about to change as well. A number of future-thinking dealer-members of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association had been devising a plan, and that year officially announced that the Detroit Auto Show would now be known as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The objective was for the NAIAS, and Detroit, to take center stage as a preeminent show alongside the major global auto shows in Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai. After 25 years, it is safe to say: Mission Accomplished.
Earlier this summer, the NAIAS 2013 announced the start of the celebration of its Silver Anniversary during a press briefing at its annual meeting with automakers and exhibit companies in downtown Detroit, hosted by Jim Seavitt, chairman, and Bob Shuman, vice chairman of NAIAS 2013.
"Perhaps it's fate," said Seavitt," but in 1989, when the show transformed into the NAIAS, it coincided with the opening of the newly renovated Cobo Center. Now, as we celebrate our Silver Anniversary as the NAIAS, Cobo is once again being transformed. We are both ready to take it to the next level."
After a greeting by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Seavitt and Shuman provided updates on show planning, as well as a glimpse at the 2012 show from the perspective of the newly released Media Metrics Report commissioned each year by the NAIAS.
- Over 40 vehicles were unveiled during the press preview before 5,196 international journalists from 61 countries.
- 22,788 auto suppliers, designers, engineers and industry associates attended the Industry Preview, representing 28 countries and more than 2,000 companies.
- 12,000 people attended the spectacular Charity Preview, raising $3 million for local children's charities.
- And 770,932 car enthusiasts and shoppers attended the public show.
Thom Connors, general manager of Cobo Center, provided a glimpse at the ongoing renovations. Connors showed renderings of what will be, by show time, an open-air, glass enclosed atrium that will stand as the centerpiece of the new Cobo Center, a state-of-the-art conference destination that will compare to other great convention centers around the world.