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Detroit — The excitement of seeing the latest and greatest domestic and international automobiles and other vehicles brought out crowds Saturday to the annual North American International Auto Show.

Crowds packed Cobo Center to see shiny new vehicles and high-tech features they had to offer on the first public day of the popular event.

Eric Smith and his wife Jessica along with their daughter and young sons were all smiles as they wrapped up their tour of the show.

“We were down here when it opened,” said Smith of Detroit. “I’ve been coming since 1976. It’s a little different. For the most part it’s still inviting.”

Smith said there was no special exhibit because he likes it all. His wife said she uses the show to comparison shop for new vehicles and prepare herself before she hits a dealership to buy a new car or SUV. She said she is looking to buy a Chevy Traverse this year so it helped coming to the auto show to get more information on it.

“You get all the pamphlet and it takes out the middle man (of car buying),” said Jessica Smith.

Sons Jaylen, and Justin, 12, liked the high-tech fun for youngsters their age.

Ariel Coursen and her husband, Doug, headed to the Volkswagen exhibit. A new Volkswagen Jetta owner, Ariel slid into the seat of a new model greyish-silver Jetta to check out what the German automaker was offering this year.

Doug Coursen said he likes that the car show gives automakers the chance to “show what they do” and show off their more “personalized” automotive gadgets and other accoutrements for consumers.

People crowded around exhibits Ford’s vintage 1968 Bullitt Mustang featured in the movie with the late actor Steve McQueen and also simulators like Acura’s one for the NSX GT3.

Rajeev Upadhye and his daughter Nitya, 12, stood in line for the chance for her to try out the simulated test drive for the car.

Rajeev Upadhye said gave this year’s show a thumbs up “so far.”

“They have more cars than last year,” he said.

(313) 222-2027

If you go

What: The North American International Auto Show

When: Through Jan. 28

Where: Cobo Center in downtown Detroit


■9 a.m.- 10 p.m.Sunday to Jan. 27. No admittance after 9 p.m.

■Sunday, Jan. 28, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. No admittance after 6 p.m.


■Adults: $14 per person

■Seniors: $7 (65 and older)

■Children: $7 (7-12 years old; 6 and under free with a parent or guardian)

Every child in a school group must have a ticket to enter the show.

For more information visit for more information.

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