Attendance up at Detroit auto show on opening weekend

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Subhro Kar has been attending the North American International Auto Show for the past three years but Sunday was the first time for his father.

Fresh from Bangladesh, Subodh Kar, 58, was wowed by the shiny new cars from Honda and other automakers and wasn’t shy about hopping in and out of them while his wife and family watched.

“It’s very nice and it’s very interesting,” said Subodh Kar, who now lives in Troy along with his son.

His son loves the auto show because “you can see all kinds of cars” ranging from concept vehicles to everyday automobiles that he can someday see owning.

“It’s good. All the lighting and different displays,” Subhro Kar, 35, said. “It’s getting better and better. And we can get the idea of the future cars, too. It’s nice.”

The auto show finished up its first show open to the public with a brisk weekend: attendance Saturday was up by 2,000 more visitors than last year, for a total of 109,643, according to auto show organizers. Attendance Sunday was 104,917, an increase of over 3,000 people from the same day in 2016.

Candice Thames, 45, of Brownstown has been going to the auto show for years and the thrill never goes away. She and her friend were viewing Lincoln, Lexus, GM and the Infinity — “the cars above our level.”

“I have a teenage son and usually I bring him, and that’s how I started coming and letting him look at the cars,” Thames said. “It’s kind of a tradition here. Who doesn’t go to the auto show?”

Thames said was nice to see the new cars headed to showroom floors so she can “aspire to something greater.”

The Lawyer family from Gibraltar took in the auto show but the one who still was impressed the most was Spencer Lawyer, 12, who checked out the Ferrari and other sports cars as well as the interactive displays.

“You can get in the cars also and you can see all the cars and what it has to it,” Spencer Lawyer said.

His mother, Jennifer Lawyer, who works for Ford, said her auto show experience keeps getting better.

“I think it gets a whole new group of people interested in the vehicles because they can come out and do more with them,” she said. “It’s not just walking around and looking at vehicles. It’s getting in and touching them and playing with the technology and learning about what’s available now.”

(313) 222-2620