There's a lot of misinformation being spread about what the Detroit auto show is really about, just look at Chris Harris's last article about how he believes Detroit is a dead and worthless city. I'm here to explain what has changed in the last 8 years; the last time I believe Chris Harris attended NAIAS.
Since the beginning of time Detroit has been the automotive capital of the world, hell, we're known as the MotorCity for a reason. I remember when the Ford GT debuted at the auto show over a decade ago, the energy around the car was something I cannot describe. People huddled all around the car, smiling, proud that a company such as Ford was able to bring back the history of a legendary racecar that went toe to toe with Ferrari and won. Sure, you can Google pictures of the car and gawk at its awesomeness but it just isn't the same feeling. For this year's auto show, the racing heritage is being brought back by Chevy and Ford. You won't find the passion and spirit of Detroit muscle in California or New York.
I fully agree that Detroit was a wasteland for years. There's no denying that the city went through hell and back to try and flourish again. We do have a few things here that you can't find anywhere else though, the largest number of industry suppliers and automobile manufacturers. The feeling you get walking through the Henry Ford Museum or the GM Renaissance Center is priceless. The food trucks, breweries, and a quick glimpse at the abandoned Central Station or Eastern Market should all be a part of the experience for those traveling to NAIAS. We don't want you to just look at the cars, we want you to experience our culture and feel our passion as we strive to be the giant we once were.
To those traveling to the auto show this year, I suggest you experience Detroit for what it is. It's not dangerous (well not nearly as dangerous as what people make it out to be), the food is terrific, the beer is fantastic, and the history is breathtaking. You won't find the same vibe anywhere else. Some call it magic, but you should find out for yourself.