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January 17: 2014 North American International Auto Show

Vice President Biden Touts Auto Industry’s Ingenuity as Key Economic Catalyst

The U.S. automotive industry is building more than the best products in the world; it’s building a lot of jobs, as well. That was the message Vice President Joe Biden delivered as the Detroit Regional Chamber welcomed him to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at COBO Center today.

Initially joined on stage by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Biden likened the automotive industry’s ongoing return to prominence to the ability of the U.S. economy to constantly remake itself. With leaders committed to challenging the orthodox and moving beyond the old strategies and procedures, the auto industry is a catalyst for moving the economy forward create a positive job outlook for the future.

Displaying a genuine interest in automobiles, alluded to in an introduction by Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah, Vice President Biden showed a genuine appreciation for the new product unveilings on display at the Auto Show, but raved about the thousands of job opportunities created by each.

“The United States has the best minds, engineers, tech people and entrepreneurial instincts in the world,” Biden said. “This will be the century of American manufacturing, mark my words.”

The Chamber partnered with Delta Airlines to host an exclusive networking reception in the Delta Sky Lounge. To view Vice President Biden’s address, click here.

Joint Legislative Hearing: Talent, Collaboration and Tech Advancement Key to Michigan’s Auto Success

The Chamber’s MICHauto program and the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) hosted the Michigan Senate Economic Development and House Commerce committees for a joint legislative hearing at Cobo Center on January 15, emphasizing the importance of technological development, talent attraction and collaboration amongst stakeholders as keys to maintaining and improving Michigan’s status in the global automotive marketplace.

Nigel Francis, Michigan’s senior automotive adviser, Carla Bailo, senior vice president of research and development at Nissan, and Scott Paradise, vice president of marketing and business development at Magna International, delivered the message that talent attraction is critical to the continued success of the automotive industry and that a manufacturing-friendly environment is necessary to ensure further investment. Echoing these statements was MICHauto’s program manager Rob Luce, who provided an overview of the program and its growing role in the industry.

Following the hearing, Detroit Free Press auto reporter Mark Phelan led the lawmakers on a tour of the NAIAS floor.

Former ‘Car and Driver’ Editor, Csaba Csere, Addresses Chamber Board at NAIAS

Former “Car and Driver” editor Csaba Csere provided an overview of the highlights of the 2014 NAIAS to the Chamber Board of Directors at Wednesday’s meeting during the first day of Industry Preview. Csere discussed some of the vehicles revealed during this year’s show and addressed some key industry trends.

According to Csere, the all-aluminum Ford F-150 stood out as the “undisputed star” of 2014, calling it a gutsy decision by the automaker to make the move on its best-selling vehicle for more than 35 years. Sticking to the theme of innovation to meet fuel efficiency standards, Csere also highlighted vehicles such as the Toyota FT-1, Mercedes C-Class and BMW i8 as worth checking out for innovations designed to meet CAFÉ standards. He also said the key to staying at the forefront of industry technology is attracting engineering talent to the region.

Following Csere’s remarks, Board members were welcomed to the by Auto Show director Rod Alberts, and given the option of touring the showroom floor.

High-Performance Vehicle and Technology on Display at NAIAS Industry Preview

Industry Preview Days kicked off at the 2014 North American International Automotive Show (NAIAS) on Wednesday, January 15, following an exciting first two days that saw more than 50 new high-performance vehicles and technologies introduced.

As a continuation of the exciting opening day of Press Preview Days, the second day offered more product unveilings now on the show floor. Some noteworthy highlights included:

Nissan Debuts Sports Sedan Concept:
Nissan displayed a new sports sedan concept that possesses a V-Motion design direction, a floating roof and boomerang-shaped lights.

Cadillac Makes World Debut of 2015 ATS Coupe at NAIAS:
Cadillac also introduced the 2015 ATS Coupe that sports a wider stance and a 2.0-liter turbo engine.

Subaru’s Zippy WRX STI to Maximize Power:
The new WRX STI is wider, rides on a stiffer suspension, has all-wheel drive and new active torque vectoring for better handling.

Lexus Cranks Up Power, Acceleration with RC F Performance Coupe:
The RC F cranks up acceleration and power with what Lexus promises will be the most powerful V8 in any of its cars.

Today concludes Industry Previews with the Charity Preview set for Friday. The show opens to the public on Saturday, January 18 and runs through Saturday, January 26.