Automakers and journalists from around the world descended on Detroit, MI Sunday for the launch of the 2008 North American International Auto Show’s (NAIAS) press preview days.
This year’s show, which is expected to attract 45 car companies and approximately 6,700 reporters from 62 countries, debuted Sunday with a cattle drive on the street in front of Cobo Center here. More than 120 longhorn cattle and 10 cowboys on horseback paraded down the street, stopping traffic in the area. The cattle drive was hosted by the Dodge subsidiary of Chrysler LLC to celebrate the introduction of the crew cab edition of the Dodge Ram light-duty truck.
The 2008 show is the rollout site of more than 50 new concept cars and redesigned production vehicles, including the Audi TTS, BMW 1-Series convertible, Cadillac Escalade hybrid, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Ford F-150, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Genesis, Kia Borrego, Mazda RX-8, Saturn Vue Green Line and Toyota Venza, among many others. It will also host the unveiling of new eco-friendly gasoline-burning engines, diesel engines and hybrid drivetrains, NAIAS said.
The auto show, which has existed since 1907, is considered a huge draw for the Detroit area, adding approximately $500 million annually to the Southeast Michigan economy. It has taken 10 weeks for automakers to build their booths, many of which are massive, multi-floor structures.
The NAIAS press preview will last until Thursday of this week. A public show will follow, running Saturday, January 19 through Saturday, January 26.