Detroit Auto Show

January 14, 2012 by staff 

Detroit Auto ShowDetroit Auto Show, The North American International Auto Show opens to the public on January 14, 2012. Memories from a half-century ago came driving back into Robert Farmer’s mind as he toured the 2012 North American International Auto Show Saturday in Detroit.

“I had one of the original Darts for probably 15 years,” said the 72-year-old Adrian resident at Cobo Center. “There’s no comparison.”

Farmer, who owned a Dodge Dart in the early 60s, said the new Dart unveiled by Chrysler Group LLC at the Detroit auto show this year is great, but he’d still go with the original if he had to choose.

“It’d be hard, but I think I’d probably choose one of the old ones,” he said. “The original ones had big engines and everything.”

Farmer was one of thousands to attend the opening public day of the 2012 NAIAS Saturday. He, and numerous others, said the show has become a family tradition for the gear head in all of us.

Karen Doering, of Grand Blanc, shared the show this year with her entire family, including her 14-year-old daughter Mariah.

“My whole family is here,” she said as she looked at the Chevrolet Tru 140S concept. “My dad worked for GM, so he used to bring me every year.”

This year’s NAIAS features more than 500 vehicles from 54 manufacturers, including dozens of worldwide premiers, and about 165 exhibits. It is open to the public each day at 9 a.m. through Jan. 22 at Cobo Center, One Washington Blvd. in Detroit.

New Detroit Big Three vehicles at the show include the 2013 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ concept,2013 Buick Encore, 2013 Dodge Dart and a number of concept vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Tru 140S and Code 130R

Enlarge Katie Rausch/MLive Katie Rausch | The 2013 Ford Fusion is rolled out Monday morning at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new Fusion has a number of new technological features as well as offering hybrid models. Ford is hoping to gain ground in the midsize sedan market with the Fusion. 01-09-2012 North American International Auto Show Big Three gallery (18 photos)
And while numerous automakers continue to focus on fuel efficiency and electric vehicles, the majority of crowds late Saturday morning were focusing around the cars they might not be able to see on the road, such as Bentley models, concepts and high-performance sports cars.

“I like the Flex and the (Ford Mustang) Boss 302 – that’s my favorite,” said Paul, 13, whose father, Matt O’Mara, oversaw design and construction of Ford’s massive display, which features numerous interactive LED screens.

The Royal Oak father said the auto show really showcases the best the Motor City has to offer.

“It’s great to just bring him in and show him what can be done by people based in Detroit,” he said. “This was all designed and built by Detroiters. It’s a real sense of pride to be able to share that.”

That “pride” resonates with non-Detroiters as well. Jeremy Snape and Kyle Gibson, both 25, braved the snow Saturday to come up from Columbus to see the auto show.

“We’re just in to cars,” Snape said. “We’re going to walk around and see everything.”

NAIAS officials say this year’s show could be the most-popular one in years. Attendance during this week’s press preview and industry days were both up compared to last year; and ticket sales for Friday night’s Charity Preview attracted 12,000 people, up from 10,649 last year.

More than 770,000 people, including 5,183 journalists from 55 countries, attended last year’s Detroit auto show.

Tickets for this year’s show are available at the door, online at and by calling 248-283-5173. They cost $12 for adults; $6 for senior citizens and children 7 to 12; and are free to children 6 and under.

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