Twenty-five years later, there are still plenty of new-car

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Bloomberg Nissan's unveiling of the Infiniti brand was among the highlights of the first international auto show 25 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Detroit auto show was just one of many sleepy, regional shows around the country that didn’t excite the public or auto manufacturers. The show was focused on dealers moving the tired sheet metal in showrooms, not highlighting what was coming next. But 25 years ago, some dedicated auto dealers, along with my old friend Bob McCurry, who had left Chrysler for greener pastures in California with Toyota, transformed the show into the North American International Auto Show. And it has never been the same. The late Dan Hayes embregts-genealogie , who was the manager of the Detroit show, wanted to change the entire idea. Dealers Ken Meade, Gordon Stewart, David Fischer and the late Robert Thibodeau Sr. were involved from the beginning. Meade got in touch with McCurry to see whether Toyota would do something splashy. McCurry promised that Toyota would have the world premiere of its new brand, Lexus, in Detroit. Nissan followed with the premiere of its new luxury brand, Infiniti. NAIAS was off and running. That first year, hundreds of Japanese journalists descended on Detroit to see the introduction of the Lexus LS 400 and Infiniti Q45. Hundreds more journalists arrived from Europe to see the new brands that were going to be challenging the reigning stars from Germany. There were plenty of other vehicle introductions that year because other automakers realized the media coverage would be incredible. Twenty-five years later, there are still plenty of new-car introductions. And there are still more journalists in Detroit during press days than at any other car show in North America. The dealers in Detroit added the official tag that gave them the international status up there with Geneva best designer replica handbags , Paris and Frankfurt. In this ever-changing world, nothing is forever. Some car shows, such as Geneva and Detroit, become fixtures while others quietly fade away. I have fond memories of the auto shows in Turin and London; both are now just a pleasant memory. Tokyo is now being challenged by not one or two but three major shows in China. But the Detroit dealers who had the vision for NAIAS started something that has gotten stronger over a quarter of a century. New cars are the life’s blood of the industry, and there is no better place to introduce them than in the Motor City. Related LinksHow Detroit built its marquee auto showMedia exposure fueled auto show’s growth, economic impactWhat to know about the 2014 North American International Auto Show

KEITH CRAIN: Detroit auto show keeps getting stronger

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