What is Veterans Day? I took an informal poll to see if anyone knew why today is what it is, and what it’s purpose is. Most people had a vague idea, but I was surprised at how many young people (in their early to mid 20s) had no clue as to the meaning of Veterans Day. “A day to thank or honor veterans and the men and women of the military for their service” is the most common response, and while it’s technically true, it really goes much deeper than that.
If you’re like me and you’re eagerly anticipating the 2013 North American International Show (NAIAS), then you’ll know that it’s now a mere five days away – err correct that, four days and eight hours away! This year’s show will feature the arrival of many new and exciting additions, such as a new look for Cobo Center, the unveiling of 55 new automobiles and an ongoing retransformation to downtown Detroit.
Cobo’s new look is one of this year’s main talking points. With a completion date of 2015, Cobo is going through a massive overhaul, which, in part, will allow visitors the opportunity to experience Detroit’s riverfront through a beautifully designed glass atrium. This is the first in a series of new additions that visitors will begin to notice as the arena is slowly retransformed into a beautiful state-of-the art facility.
Fifty-five new vehicles, including the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, will be unveiled at this year’s NAIAS. Other vehicles that will be making their debut this year will be the Bentley GT Speed Convertible, the BMW Z4 and the Cadillac ELR – just to name a few. The large number of new cars is a far cry from the 2009 show where the future of General Motors and Chrysler teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. Since their revival, the future of the NAIAS has never looked so bright.
Of course, if you live in the metro Detroit area you know that Quicken Loans chairman and founder Dan Gilbert has been engaging in a massive transformation of the city of Detroit. He concluded the 2012 year by purchasing 15 buildings in the downtown area and is showing no signs of slowing down. With these recent purchases, the landscape of Detroit is rapidly changing. Pop-ups, restaurants and retail have been slowly filling up the once vacant buildings in the downtown area. Be patient, this is just the beginning! The once rumored M1 light rail is gaining speed as U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood is expected to deliver $25 million in federal funding for the 3.3 mile project up Woodward Avenue that will connect downtown and midtown Detroit.
In addition, visitors can get up-to-the-minute information for free on their smart phones. The Official NAIAS 2013 Mobile App will be available on both iPhone and Android platforms and will allow users to keep track of what’s happening every minute of the show. Users will have access to breaking automotive news, photos and videos, live stream video coverage of vehicle unveilings, a virtual map of Cobo, along with other multiple features to help guests enjoy their experience.
While you’re at Cobo, check out The Detroit Shoppe, where you’ll find all of your Detroit favorites, including music, food, books and more. You may also run into favorite local performers ”Sweet Dreams,” a Supremes-inspired girl group entertaining fans with Motown songs.
The NAIAS will be held January 19 – 27. Hours are 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (no admittance after 9:00 p.m.) and 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (no admittance after 6:00 p.m.) on Sunday, January 27. Tickets for this year’s NAIAS are $12 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and up and children 7–12, and children 6 and under are free with a parent or guardian.
For more information regarding this year’s North American International Auto Show, please visit NAIAS.com