Auto show gets ready for spotlight in 2015

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published December 29, 2014

 More than 800,000 people expected to come out for the 2015 NAIAS.

More than 800,000 people expected to come out for the 2015 NAIAS.

As gas prices drop below $2.50 a gallon, a fresh wave of optimism is fueling representatives’ hopes for the 2015 North American International Auto Show, which will return to Detroit in January.

The auto show will first preview its automaker and supplier exhibits to the media Jan. 12-13. Then the public show will begin Jan. 17 and last until Jan. 25.

Auto show representatives say the vehicles on display are visually appealing and more fuel-efficient. They said most of the activity would be in Detroit’s Cobo Center, though some events will be held at Joe Louis Area or in a glass atrium near the Detroit River.

Event spokesman Marc Harlow said more than 800,000 people attended last year’s auto show. He said auto enthusiasts come to check out the car models and keep some in mind for future shopping. Further, he said it’s an opportunity for metro Detroiters to have a first peek at automakers’ latest creations.

“The Detroit show is rather unique in the auto show world,” Harlow explained. “It is one of the shows in North America that features debuts by the auto companies … brand new vehicles not seen anywhere else in the world.”

NAIAS 2015 Chairman Scott LaRiche said this year’s show will feature a digital screen at Washington Boulevard and Congress Street that will reveal glimpses of what is happening on the auto show floor. And plenty will be happening.

“You’re looking at probably 45 brand-new reveals that the manufacturers are bringing,” he said. “Forty of those should be worldwide reveals, and five North American. And there could be more.”

LaRiche mentioned a couple of what he said were the upcoming show’s most anticipated vehicles, such as a “game-changing” Nissan vehicle and a new Chevrolet Volt for 2016. He also said many companies will be competing to produce the most appealing displays.

LaRiche said 2014’s worldwide auto sales brought higher revenues than three or four years ago, and he added that industry experts expect sales to do even better in 2015.

“With that optimism level, they’re going to bring the best of the best,” he said.

The 2015 North American International Auto Show will be open to the public Jan. 17-25 at Cobo Center, 1 Washington Boulevard, in Detroit. Admission is $13 per adult, $7 per senior citizen, $7 per child ages 7-12, and free for children 6 and younger who arrive with a guardian. The show offers discounts for groups of 30 or more.