Economy shifts into gear

Eager public afforded opportunity to view their “next new car”

By CLIFF AND NANCY HILL

Hill-Auto-Show

King Robota, an 8-foot tall
Comic Bot, performed hilarious dance routines with “Professor” Kevin Bentley at the 2013 DeVos Place International Auto Show.

It may have been snow, snow, snow in West Michigan last Thursday through Sunday but for thousands of visitors to West Michigan’s largest consumer auto show it was cars, cars, cars, and much more.

If you failed to attend the 15th Annual Michigan International Auto Show at DeVos Place, produced by ShowSpan Inc. and presented by the Grand Rapids New Car Dealers Assn., this is what you missed.

Some 300 new vehicles were on display. Manufacturers from around the world offered up the very latest in concept cars, along with sedans, vans, SUV’s, trucks, hybrids, and sports cars. In addition, factory representatives from nearly forty different manufacturers were on hand to answer any and all questions. Attendees of West Michigan’s largest consumer show know that the Auto Show is the best place to shop and compare their options in planning for a purchase of a “new ride” 2013 or 2014 vehicle.

The “Million Dollar Motorway”, boasting one of the largest collections of $100,000+ cars, was back by popular demand.

The Gilmore Car Museum, from near-by Hickory Corners, returned to the Grand Gallery with ten classic vintage vehicles that spanned the years between 1915 and 1970. Even better yet, Gilmore volunteers were handing out fliers offering two free admissions to the award-winning museum. The Gilmore Car Museum is truly one of Michigan’s treasures, with over two hundred extraordinary vehicles spanning more than 100 years.

There was something for everyone. Platinum sponsor Meijer was well represented on the floor of the show in a 3,000-square-foot display of Meijer automotive accessories. Attendees who perused the offerings were rewarded with a discount booklet offering up BOGO or percentage-off coupons for each of the fourteen showcased automotive brands that are available everyday in the Meijer automotive departments.

Perhaps one of the most popular exhibits, especially for families with young children, was the famous robotic “Comic Bots” that were hanging out near the Meijer Automotive Area. These animated robots posed for pictures with show patrons and performed comedic routines with their white-coated laboratory technicians. Most of the kids loved it but some were “terrified” and refused to get anywhere near the 8-foot dancing and singing automated androids.

 

If you missed this year’s Auto Show it will be back bigger and better, at DeVos Place, next January. With safe and secure warm parking available underneath the huge exhibition hall, it is a great mid-winter escape from the realities of yet-again another harsh West Michigan winter.

 

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