New renovations to Detroit's Cobo Center make 2013 Auto Show something special

$300 million expansion makes Cobo Center better home for Auto Show in Detroit

DETROIT - It's a new view from Cobo Center that you haven't seen before at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

A new atrium has been built in what was the old Riverfront Ballroom and the walls to Cobo Arena next to Michigan Hall have all been removed.

There also are white air ducts in place for heating this year, but they will come down for next year's show.

Rod Alberts is the CEO of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and he led the $300 million expansion program that's now in its second year.

"I've been here for 20-plus years now and we haven't had a change like this in Cobo in that entire time, but to have this atrium, which opens up the building and I think it's symbolically showing changes in Detroit, and Cobo Hall and the City is just a great thing for all," said Alberts.

Things are rebounding on the show floor as well which is 30 percent larger this year.

Companies that had left after the bankruptcies are back including Nissan.

"Everything coming together, with the building renovations and the investment from the manufacturers, and 55 new unveilings, are you kidding me?" said Alberts. "It's the best feeling in the world to be down and out and then come back after three or four years, nothing better."

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