DETROIT -- Dan Hayes, who led the Detroit Auto Dealers Association for many years and helped transform the Detroit auto show into the North American International Auto Show, died Sept. 22. He was 84.
Hayes was executive vice president of the dealer association from 1975 to 1993 and general manager of the auto show from 1976 to 1993.
In 1989, the show became an international event, a move credited to several key players, including Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain and Ken Meade, a luxury import dealer in the Detroit area. The key, Crain said, was to get global automakers to introduce new models at the Detroit show. Two luxury brands, Lexus and Infiniti, debuted at the first international auto show in Detroit in 1989.
Bob McCurry, then head of Toyota sales in the United States, made the first commitment for the Lexus introduction. Other dealers involved in the change included David Fischer, CEO of the Suburban Collection dealership group outside Detroit.