45th Annual Northwood Auto Show to Debut the \'Smart Car\'

Posted In: News, Local,   From Issue 669   By: Sam Fitzpatrick

09th October, 2008     0

It may not be as massive as the annual display staged in Detroit, but the Northwood University International Auto Show is coming up on the inside track, featuring over 450 new domestic & imported cars, trucks, vans, experimental, specialty and recreational vehicles on the campus of Northwood University the weekend of October 10-12th, as the event celebrates its 45th anniversary.

The largest outdoor new car auto show in Michigan, this year's theme is 'Fueling the Future'; chosen "because the auto industry is moving toward alternative methods of propelling our vehicles," notes Auto Show General Chair, Nicole Paparella. "The theme focuses on the changes being made in the transportation industry, but also the changes that are facing our world."

With over 55,000 guests annually, show attendees indulge themselves in the vehicles of the future, as well as grooving on the nostalgia of yesterday. The 3-day event includes a Classic Car Show on Saturday & Sunday, and is proudly planned and executed by Northwood students.

The show begins on Friday, Oct. 10th at 9:30 AM in the Griswold Lecture Hall with a VIP panel that is open to the public, consisting of Chip Perry, president & chief executive officer of AutoTrader. Com, Steve Landry, executive vice president of sales for Chrysler; Joe Serra, president owner of Serra Automotive; Dave Schembri, president of smartUSA; and Barb Samardzich, vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering.

According to Northwood's John Young,  "This year is special because it also marks the 50th year of the college. Just about every automotive company that is out there will be represented."

"It takes lots of sacrifice & commitment to pull this off," adds John. "Right after the current year's show, the University starts on the next year's show. The process is about ten-and-a-half months, and about 900 students participate in the process."

"This show is completely hands-on," notes Nicole, "so it is in no way comparable to the Detroit Auto Show. Almost all of the cars are safe to go inside, touch, feel, play around in, and there are even some cars that you can start up. The show is for all ages, and what kid wouldn't want to go and play around in a brand new car?

"Additionally, the Smart Car will be available for the first time this year at the show, and also the Bugatti, which is the world's fastest production car. The smart car is German engineered and originated in Boblingen. It's also incredibly small and can fit three of itself in the average parking space. But it fits 2-people and averages 32 mpg."

Many exhibits will line the Mall Walk and offer a variety of food, information and entertainment. Show hours are Friday, Oct. 10, 1 pm to 6 PM; Saturday, Oct. 11, 9 AM to 6 PM; and Sunday Oct. 12th from 10 AM to 5 PM.

For more information, visit www.northwood.edu/autoshow or call 989-837-4823.

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