Tag Archives: Cobo Center

The 2016 North American International Auto Show

Despite the bone-chilling cold here in the Detroit area, I braved the elements to visit the North American International Auto Show downtown at Cobo Center. I hadn’t been the show in a few years and it’s fun to go back.

We parked on the roof of Cobo Center. Get there early if you want to park here – it does fill up by mid-day. There are other parking garages around the Center, but there may be a walk involved.

For some, the auto show might be a great big room with lots of new, expensive cars. In my observation, here are the coolest things I saw at the show.

Feel like the floor is moving? It might be!

There are many cars sitting on turntables moving slowly. I stepped up to the Alfa Romeo exhibit and for a moment, I felt like I was moving! It was the car that was moving, not me.

It’s important to watch the floors in the hall. There are lots of steps and ramps and you’ll need to pay attention to where you’re putting your feet.

Auto ShowYou can get into the cars

It was a surprise to me that folks didn’t know you can get into the cars and play around with the knobs and buttons. Yes, visitors to the show can get into most of the cars. Open the trunk and let the kids climb in. Just don’t shut them in!

How else will you get a picture in the latest Mercedes sedan or the newest Corvette?

Only the most expensive cars are off-limits.

The huge video screens

Maybe it’s just me – I don’t go to a lot of large conferences or shows. The multi-story video screens were quite a shock. Watching a video that’s two stories tall is quite the experience.

Chevrolet had wraparound video screens. The audience felt like they were in the car and driving down the road. How fun!

Auto Show
Viper virtual reality

The virtual reality booths

Most of the biggest manufacturers had some type of virtual reality game or booth that visitors to the show could play. There were lines of folks to get a chance to drive a Viper through virtual reality.

Toyota had a Teen Driver booth where they put virtual reality goggles on the driver and the participant drove down the street trying not to hit the taxi cabs while the phone rings and the radio blares. And everyone can watch them drive on the monitor.

The models

It’s 2016 and the car companies are still hiring beautiful women to stand by the cars  in eveningwear and look, well, beautiful. In four inch heels.

Sometimes the models speak. Often they do not – they just stand there.

This year I did notice that there were some good looking guys talking about the cars as well. I didn’t see any men just standing next to a car as it twirls on the turntable. Nor did the men have on formal wear, sport tank tops, or uncomfortable shoes.

I never understood the need for a model to stand by a car. Is the car not beautiful enough to be alone? I guess if the women, or man, is explaining the features of the car, that makes a bit more sense.

It’s a tradition.

This little car in the Toyota booth

Auto Show
Toyota IRoad car

There are lots of cool concept cars in the show. I thought this one was very neat. It’s a two-seater, has three wheels, and leans into the turns like a motorcycle.

That’s the top coolest things I saw at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Did you go to the show? What was your favorite?