North American International Auto Show
January 15, 2010
The Charity preview evening at the North American International Auto Show at the Cob center in Detroit.
The gala is the biggest party of the year in a town that lives and dies by the auto industry. The event saw men in tuxes and women in gowns that were eye-catching. In all between 7,000 to 8,000 attended the event.
The Charity Preview benefits 12 local children's charities and has raised more than $79 million since its inception in 1976. The 2009 event raised $2.6 million.
Following a disastrous year that saw GM and Chrysler LLC forced into government-led bankruptcy. U.S. auto sales plunged to 39 percent below a peak in 2005 during the recent ill-founded economic boom. The big, unanswered question here, however, is what the U.S. economy will do following its longest, deepest downturn since the 1930s.
Chrysler's exhibit on the convention floor was dramatically scaled back from previous years. Chrysler's appearance, on the other hand, was more of a car wreck, critics said during press previews.