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Detroit Auto Show Opens To The Public At Cobo

Mon, 01/16/2012 - 3:56am

DETROIT (AP) — Thousands of people poured through the doors Saturday for the opening of the Detroit auto show, the global industry's annual showcase of new vehicles and concept cars.

Industry executives spent the week promoting their brands to news media from around the world. Now it's the public's opportunity to walk the floor and gaze at more than 500 vehicles, through Jan. 22.

Many people in Detroit Red Wings jerseys toured the show at Cobo Center before going next door to an NHL hockey game.

Matt O'Mara of Royal Oak, who brought his 13-year-old son, supervised construction of the Ford Motor Co. display at what's formally known as the North American International Auto Show.

"It's great to just bring him in and show him what can be done by people based in Detroit," O'Mara told MLive.com (http://bit.ly/wSdZ02 ). "This was all designed and built by Detroiters. It's a real sense of pride to be able to share that."

Adam Dettloff of Rochester told The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/yMgFb0) that he already has his eye on a new car, the Chevrolet Sonic. He described it as small but comfortable and easy on gas.

"It's a great show this year," he said. "It seems like for a few years the automakers had peeled back. The displays are impressive."

Tim Slabach of Commerce Township said he feels an industry revival — and that's good for Detroit.

The show "looks bigger than two years ago, definitely," he said as he looked at Dodge Ram trucks. "It's nice to see the auto industry pick up a little."

Chrysler Group LLC unveiled a new Dart earlier in the week. Robert Farmer, 72, of Adrian said he owned one of the original Dodge Darts in the 1960s.

"It'd be hard but I think I'd probably choose one of the old ones," he said. "The original ones had big engines and everything."

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