KEITH CRAIN

Detroit is well worth the trip

COMMENTARY
Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.
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Next week is the start of the North American International Auto Show.

The Detroit show is always remarkable with more debuts than anywhere else and lots of executives who are available to share insights on what's shaping this global industry.

In addition, I add with a certain amount of pride, Automotive News will be opening the 38th Automotive News World Congress in the midst of the auto show's press days. Our theme this year, "What lies ahead," is the central question that everyone is asking this time of year.

Between the NAIAS and the World Congress, there will be plenty going on in Detroit next week. If you can, plan a trip to the Motor City.

What makes this year even more special is that the once-local Detroit show is celebrating its 25th anniversary as an international motor show.

Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, Detroit has become a true international motor show, a stature only a handful of other shows around the world can claim. With thousands of members of the international press in attendance, the show will be something special on its quarter-century anniversary.

As always, the cars are the stars, and there will be plenty of introductions of prototypes, concepts and production models to celebrate the new year.

The competition has never been fiercer, with every manufacturer scrapping for every single sale. Globally, automakers are introducing lots of new models this year, and many of them will have their global premiere in Detroit.

Fresh products always reign supreme, but lots of senior automaker executives also will arrive in Detroit next week determined to make headlines. Some will be fresh faces. There have been many changes in the executive ranks in the past year, and there are bound to be plenty more in 2014.

If one thing draws journalists to an auto show more than the cars themselves, it's access to the executives who come primed to generate news.

Any major auto show captures the industry's dynamic spirit. But none of them does a better job than Detroit does, even after 25 years.

Next week will be very exciting for the industry, and it's well worth the few days needed to take it all in.

As always, my colleagues and I will be out in force next week at the World Congress and the NAIAS.

Come visit Detroit. It will be worth your time.

You can reach Keith Crain at kcrain@crain.com.


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