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  • Saab Cars North America comes to Detroit at the steps of the NAIAS (auto show)

    The North American International Auto Show (formerly the Detroit Auto Show until 1989) is opening today with Saab participating near the show. In recent years, several automakers have skipped the show, presumably as a cost cutting measure, including Nissan, Porsche, Suzuki, and Saab. Porsche returns this year after four years. Nissan returns next year after a three year absence.

    Saab is meeting with show officials today to discuss return to the show. However, Saab is returning to Detroit even this year, albeit not in the exhibition hall. Saab has set up an outdoor exhibition on the patio of the former Hotel Pontchartrain, across the street from the convention center.

    In an article in today's Wall Street Journal, the hotel, which was renovated in 2007 but closed in 2009 awaits its fate. There are discussions to re-open the hotel but also the possibility of foreclosure. The hotel is being used not only by Saab Cars North America but also adorned by Mercedes Benz advertising for the auto show.

    Welcome to Detroit, Saab!

    Hotel Pontchartrain, below

    further reading:

    Tom Walsh: Suzuki, Saab in talks to rejoin Detroit show | freep.com | Detroit Free Press
    Saab has set up an outdoor exhibit across the street from Cobo this week, on the patio of the former Hotel Pontchartrain, with a half-dozen cars and a tent. But itís not an official NAIAS exhibitor and has no press conference as part of the show schedule.

    Saab spokeswoman Michele Tinson said the carmaker may come in out of the cold next year with a presence on the NAIAS show floor, particularly if it has a new model to debut.

    On the heels of Nissanís commitment Sunday to return to NAIAS after a 3-year absence, the Saab and Suzuki meetings are seen as further evidence that Detroit is regaining its luster as one of the premier global auto show venues.

    Shuttered Hotel Symbolizes Detroit's Struggle - WSJ.com

    But many conventioneers' image of Detroit may be shaped by the dark and vacant former Hotel Pontchartrain, directly across from the Cobo Center convention hall. Fully renovated in 2007 then shuttered in 2009, the steel-and-glass hotel stands as a conspicuous symbol of Detroit's stunted redevelopment efforts.

    Its terrace, which faces Cobo, is being rented by auto maker Saab for an event while the hotel itself is being draped from top to bottom with a Mercedes-Benz advertisement.

    The 25-story Pontchartrain, built in 1965, was once a luxury landmark in Detroit.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Saab Cars North America comes to Detroit at the steps of the NAIAS (auto show) started by Dave 37 View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. nordwulf's Avatar
      nordwulf -
      Detroit can be cold and windy in January. Hopefully, they'll have some heaters in the tent and serve hot drinks or Akvavit for the visitors to keep warm.
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