Duggan praises resurgent Auto Show

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Thursday praised a resurgent auto industry and a more upbeat auto show as he previewed the 2015 North American International Auto Show floor at Cobo Center.

The mayor spent about 30 minutes walking through numerous displays amid the sounds of hammers pounding nails and forklifts carrying parts that had yet to be built. He stopped to shake hands with workers, and was greeted by representatives from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Toyota Motor Corp.

"For the next couple weeks we're going to have a little bit of Hollywood right here in Detroit," he told reporters. "I'm just amazed at the displays and the technology. There's far more showmanship than perhaps we've seen in the past. I think people are going to love the experience."

He cited the auto industry, which just wrapped up its best sales year since 2006, and low gas prices as encouraging signs that have translated into more excitement for the yearly show. The show is expected to draw more than 800,000 visitors, including about 5,000 journalists from 60 different countries. Duggan said the city has a good message to tell them.

"I remember in 2009 you could feel people walking around depressed," Duggan said. "The feeling of the city and country is palpable in the auto show. Last year was feeling better and this year you can tell people are excited."

Duggan said he was excited to see the 2015 Mustang, unveiled at last year's show, along with the new Chevy Volt and Chevy Colorado.

Ford has been mum on what it will show next week, but Duggan offered some insight, saying "Ford's going to do a new GT I hear."

His dream car?

"I had a dream car, my 2010 Ford Taurus," he said. "I got 170,000 miles on it and I finally had to give it up this year. It was the best car I ever had."

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