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Obama checks out Detroit auto show

January 21st, 2016 | by Latin Tire News Team
Obama checks out Detroit auto show

DETROIT (Jan. 21, 2016) — President Barack Obama visited the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Jan. 20 to see firsthand a show floor filled with innovation in transportation technology that will help drive the future of the global automotive industry.

In his first-ever visit to the NAIAS, President Obama toured the show with 2016 NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini and United Autoworkers (UAW) President Dennis Williams, stopping at several exhibits that included General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet division, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Co. and ZF Friedrichshafen A.G., which is developing intelligent cars for urban mobility.

Prior to his tour, the president met privately with Mr. Sabatini, NAIAS Co-Chair Sam Slaughter and Executive Director Rod Alberts.

“NAIAS is honored to have President Obama visit our great city and our international show,” Mr. Sabatini said. “His presence here underscores the importance of NAIAS and highlights the vehicles and technologies on display that made their world debut last week at press preview.”

Mr. Alberts added that the announcements “coming out of NAIAS not only impact the automotive community, but are also relevant to the U.S. and world economy. We’re privileged to have the president visit today as NAIAS continues to draw the attention of government leaders and officials across the globe.”


During his tour of the show floor, President Obama reviewed a sampling of autonomous vehicles and advanced powertrain technologies on display, according to NAIAS promoters, as well a number of the new production and concept vehicles unveiled at the annual show.

In announcing his visit to NAIAS, President Obama said he believed that “every American should be proud of what our most iconic industry has done,” noting he wanted to see the industry’s progress “firsthand” since his administration was instrumental in carrying through on the $80 billion bailout of the U.S. auto industry.

During a speech in Michigan on Jan. 20, he emphasized that the federal government’s bailout was the “right thing to do.”

The auto bailouts, initiated by former President George W. Bush’s administration, were largely overseen by President Obama, although they were unpopular in some quarters at the beginning of his administration but have since become more popular following the U.S. auto industry’s turnaround — and record sales in 2015.

President Obama is one of three U.S. presidents who have visited the Detroit auto show. President Bill Clinton visited NAIAS in 1999 and President Dwight Eisenhower toured the then-“Detroit Auto Show” in 1960.

The NAIAS is now in its 28th year as an international event. It is called one of the largest media events in North America and, according to promoters, the only auto show in the U.S. to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world.

The show is open to the public through Jan. 24.

Courtesy of

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