It definitely seemed there was more going on at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit; more buzz, more pizzaz, more enthusiasm. There were over 40 product unveilings, including some highly anticipated new models like Cadillac’s ATS, Acura’s NSX and Ford’s new Fusion, just to name a few.
Now that the show has closed for another year, those observations proved to be true. The 2012 show was the best attended since 2005, with some 770,932 people walking through the doors to ogle the auto industry’s latest wares, more than 92,000 on the first public day alone.
And although not a record, NAIAS chairman Bill Perkins was still pleased at the results. “A lot of people counted Detroit down and out,” he said “but  has been a major year for our industry and show. Detroit is still the center of the North American auto industry, and the importance of this show draws people here from around the world.”
According to Perkins, NAIAS has an economic impact of some $400 million for the city of Detroit and South Eastern Michigan, more than the Super Bowl.
The higher attendance numbers have no doubt helped to add a bit of luster to the Detroit show’s status as one of the major events of its kind in the world, along with the likes of Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and Bejing.
“NAIAS is positioned with [those shows] because of the number of worldwide product unveilings we host,” remarked Jim Seavitt, the show’s vice chairman. “We are traditionally very strong in both categories, which is why NAIAS remains an important part of the automakers’ global product launch strategies.”