Auto Show opens with energy, smiles and sunshine

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:24:23 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 20 2013 02:03:44 PM EST

With a decidedly upbeat mood inside Detroit's Cobo Center, more than a hundred thousand people enjoyed opening day at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). That's an 11.96 percent increase over opening day last year.

"First day attendance was the strongest in eight years," said Jim Seavitt, chairman, 2013 NAIAS.

"The celebration of cars continued today in Detroit, and the show floor was packed from open to close," said Seavitt. "We started the week strong during Press Preview with 50 worldwide vehicle introductions and nine North American reveals. Combined with the rapidly growing strength of the auto industry, the show has really created excitement among car enthusiasts."

And, among those expressing interest, a seven-year old boy from Livonia who raced to the first car he saw, a Honda concept, as the show floor opened.

"Take a picture of that car, dad," he said. "Whoa, take a picture of all the cars!"

The mood was cheerful off the show floor, too, as show goers took advantage of Cobo Center's new sun-drenched Riverview Atrium and rested on the grand staircase.

Among the most popular attractions inside the show?

"Hands down, the new Corvette," said NAIAS Vice Chairman, Bob Shuman. "People actually ran to it when the doors opened. Last time I checked there was a large crowd six-deep in front of it."

RELATED: Exhibits grabbing most attention at 2013 NAIAS

Driving simulators at Chevy, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Toyota attracted a lot of attention, as did the highly interactive exhibits themselves.

"And, you can't get more interactive than a ride & drive," added Shuman. "This year we have the Aisin Drive Green Experience in Michigan Hall featuring EVs and Hybrids and, for the first time, electric scooters."

NAIAS Public Show ticket prices: Adults: $12; Seniors: $6 (65 and older); Children 7-12: $6 (6 and under: free when accompanied by a parent or guardian). For more information visit


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