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For many auto enthusiasts, the 2009 North American International Auto Show was the official beginning of the US economic downturn. Nissan, Infiniti, Mitsubishi and Porsche didn't even bother to show up for the once-prestigious event and Honda chose not to unveil any new product. A couple months back, the NAIAS organizers gave us some hope for the 2010 extravaganza when they said that the show would be better attended this time around. Well it appears that the show will at least be marginally better.

NAIAS co-chair Doug Fox has reportedly told the Detroit Free Press that at least 54 automakers will take part in the show this year, up four from 2009. Fox also estimates that a couple more automakers may decide to join in on the fun, but nothing is official at this time. Also exciting is news that both Porsche and Nissan will participate in this year's show, though the extent of their presence isn't very clear. We do know that Nissan will, at the very least, participate in the Detroit show's 37,000-square-foot Electric Avenue exhibit, which features electric vehicles from 26 automakers. So far Porsche will only participate in a special event called "The Gallery," which will be held for holders of the American Express Centurion card. The invitation-only event will be held at the MGM Grand on January 10.

While it's nice to see that Porsche and Nissan are going to be active at NAIAS 2010, we're a bit disappointed at the level of participation. At least the show will top the down year that was NAIAS 2009, but it looks like we may still be a ways away from the grandeur of shows gone by.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      We will see greater interest from the public and auto makers once COBO's reconstruction is complete and the place is actually attractive again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      WB - People come from all over the country to attend NAIAS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I am sure that is true, in the NYC metro area, Centurion Cards are about as common as Platinum Cards in other area's of the country. I am just surpised that they would choose Detroit in January in this economy as the place to hold such an event at what is, I am sure a significant cost.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Again, it's NAIAS. It doesn't matter that it's Detroit. I'm sure that there are many international visitors as well. In fact, I know that there are. I have been attending for years. Amex must be sure that the event is significant enough and since it is invitation only, they probably know exactly the number they are inviting and it may well be RSVP.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I used to work for AMEX in Business Accounts - it always astounded me how people could spend more in a month than I made in a decade. And the Centurion card to this day is all beautiful and mystical. A charge card that you need to spend ten grand a month for a year minimum to even qualify for is pretty sweet, is all I'm saying.

      Also, it's made out of titanium. One of our employees' boyfriend had one of those things, and I'll be damned if they don't make a beautiful noise when plopped on the counter of our favorite bar.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One of my neighbor's has a Centurion card and you are right, it is pretty kickass.
        The feel of it and the sound when it hits the counter definitely gets attention.
        Whenever he hands it to someone they always kind of stare at it weirdly and kind of hold it for a little longer than usual.
        I have never seen anyone else with one though, pretty rare.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just think the fact they have such a high ceiling is cool - typically charge cards don't have "limits" but at the same time they do, but the highest purchase I remember being made on a Centurion was for $30 million. Imagine how many cars you could buy at Barret Jackson with THAT mother?

        Two. The answer is two cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm surprised American Express is holding a Centurion event in Detroit. Although I am quite sure that there have to be a number of cardholders, I am sure that the number of Centurion customers in either LA or NY would far outnumber what is in the Detroit Metro area.

        Also, although you only need to spend $10,000 / per month to retain the card, you need to have a history of spending $250,000 / per year to even qualify for the card. (Plus the enormous annual fee, $2,500 or $5,000 / per year depending on the number of account holders). I wonder how many card holders will go out of their way to see a Porsche on a pedistal, they better be bringing something special if they want people to show.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The real question is if it's a personal Centurion or a business one. I'm just not that impressed with a business Centurion because it wouldn't be too hard to hit those spending levels if you've got even a small business. If someone throws down a personal Centurion...then that's respect.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Users with a Plat or B. Plat card who spent $10-15,000 for 12-18 monthes would sometimes be approached with a Centurion membership. Alternatively, I saw members all the time who spent $300,000 a month and couldn't get a Centurion. I'd have peple beg me to help sign them up for the darned thing.

        The first Centurion holds an annual fee of $5,000, and each additional card is $2,500. I also imagine the draw for car enthusiasts in general is what would make them hold the event in Detroit - I can only imagine what kind of economy runs through Michigan the week of the NAIAS.

        I wrote our department's training guide on the Centurion, back in the day. ;)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Both the CEO and President of my company have "Black Cards"... and I doubt that either of them will attend this, even though they are both big gearheads (one of them has a Panamera Turbo already).

        The Centurion is truly bad-ass though. You know you have a "cool" credit card when ghetto-rappers are dropping lyrics about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not sure people buying thirty million dollar jets are going to care about twenty-five hundred bucks a year. Not to mention the Concierge (Centurion, not Plat) is pretty excellent.
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