DETROIT -- The 2011 North American International Auto Show was a far cry from the subdued mood of recent years, according to final numbers released today by the event's organizers.
Attendance at the 2011 show totaled 735,370 visitors -- a 3 percent gain over 2010's mark of 714,137 visitors.
This year's results included the breaking of the single-day record for a Friday: 75,327 this year, beating the Friday record of 74,900 set in 1993.
Increases in public attendance, money pumped into the economy, international media turnout and vehicles revealed were all examples of the auto show's resurgence.
Southeast Michigan received an estimated $350 million to $375 million boost to the economy from visitors in the form of hotels, transportation, catering and entertainment -- a more than $25 million improvement over last year's show.
"The 2011 NAIAS validated all promises made by exhibitors in 2009 and 2010 as the product pipeline is full and vibrant," Barron Meade, chairman of the 2011 show, said in a statement. "The ability to rise up from the difficult economic times of the recent past in glowing fashion indicates a positive ripple effect for our local, national and global economies.
"NAIAS is again proud to kick off a new year by providing a global stage for so many to be spotlighted."
At least 5,000 international media from 60 countries covered the auto show during the press days. There were 55 new-product unveilings.
This year also saw the return of Porsche, which had been absent from the past two shows, and the announcement that Nissan will be returning in 2012.
For the two-day industry preview, 21,000-plus visitors attended from 23 countries. About 16,000 attended in 2010.
And the annual black-tie Charity Preview raised $2.6 million for local children's charities and surpassed its goal with 10,500 attendees.