Automotive, Business, charities, News, Philanthropy

Detroit auto show brings $430 million into region, more than 800,000 visitors downtown

auto show overview

The 2016 North American International Auto Show brought $403 million into the region. That’s twice as much a Super Bowl would bring.

“The auto show is something everyone in this region should be extremely proud of,” says Paul Sabatini, 2016 NAIAS Chairman. “The $430 million in economic impact is nearly equivalent to having two Super Bowls in Detroit every year, a truly astounding figure when you stop and think about it.”

That’s up $30 million from last year, according to economist David Sowerby.

The Charity Preview, held the night before the auto show opens, was a huge success with 13,075 people attending. It is the world’s largest single-night fundraiser and brought in $5.2 million for eight Southeastern Michigan children’s charities.

Charity Preview

Charity Preview

Even the Commander and Chief himself, President Obama, stopped by Cobo this year. He was among other government officials, automotive CEOs, and more than 800,000 car fans who poured into Cobo during the show to see what the future of the auto industry would be and to drool over the new vehicles.

The last day, Sunday, January 24, alone brought in 104,263 anxious visitors. With that staggering number the year’s total of ticketed attendees was 815,575, which beat out last year’s 808,775, an impressive attendance in its own right.

“Being chairman for the 2016 NAIAS and being part of a team that produces one of the most influential and powerful auto shows in the world is truly something special,” says Sabatini. “I’ll never forget having the honor to escort President Obama around the auto show floor and have him witness all the vehicles and technologies that made their world debuts just days prior and will undoubtedly shape the future of our industry.”

President Obama and NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini

President Obama and NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini

Aside from the impressive number of ticket holders, 60 countries sent 5,068 journalists to cover the two-day press preview, which brings in the world’s top automotive leaders. They saw 61 new vehicle introductions, and 90 percent of them were worldwide reveals.

Exhibiting automakers, suppliers, and partners invested $200 million in show floor design to help draw the eyes of all those in attendance. The floor was 70% redesigned for this year.

“It’s very rewarding to have the strong commitment and partnership from the top automakers to bring their best to Detroit, and journalists respond to these significant brand announcements by generating international news and social buzz felt around the world,” says NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Gallery at the MGM  Grand, January 9 (cost was $500 per person)
    • Exclusive ultra-luxury showcase of more than $7 million worth of exotic supercars and flagship vehicles
    • In partnership with luxury lifestyle authority Robb Report, now owned by Dan Gilbert, silent auction items generated $40,000 in proceeds for the DADA Charitable Foundation
    • 500 guests enjoyed dinner served by world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck
  • Press Preview
    • 5,068 journalists from 60 different countries and 40 U.S. states
    • 61 vehicle introductions
      • 46 worldwide production
      • 8 worldwide concept
      • 1 North America production
      • 6 auto show debuts (vehicles never before seen at an auto show in the world)
  • Industry Preview (a networking event held Jan. 13 and 14 for auto industry professionals and analysts)
    • 39,788 (record attendance) people attended from 2,000 companies and 25 countries
  • Charity Preview
    • 13,075 people attended the world’s largest single-night fundraiser, totaling $5.2 million for eight Southeastern Michigan children’s charities
    • $105.2 million raised since 1976 when the Detroit Auto Dealers Assoc. established Charity Preview
    • Huey Lewis and The News performed on Cobo Center’s Atrium stage

Hughie Newtom

  • Studio 25
    • 2,563 people attended the North American International Auto Show’s official Charity Preview afterglow party in Cobo Center’s Grand Riverview Ballroom
    • Guests rocked the night away to the music of Your Generation in Concert featuring Fifty Amp Fuse, sampled gourmet food and kicked back at the 80-foot bar overlooking the international waterway
  • Tiger Day
    •  Detroit Tiger Fans had a chance to see their favorite players when the team stopped by Friday, Jan. 22

Detroit Tiger Day

  • Total Ticketed Attendance:
    • 815,575

“As the automotive industry continues to evolve, NAIAS continues to explore new partnership opportunities that will maintain our global leadership position and keep Detroit as the mobility epicenter of the world,” says Sabatini.

No matter what comes and goes for Detroit, the nickname Motor City seems to still hold true for the foreseeable future. With that much attention, and the money that poured in before and during the show, no one can deny the importance the industry holds.

– Pictures courtesy of North American International Auto Show

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