Automakers have been fleeing the Detroit Auto Show in droves over the last few months. Porsche, citing slow sales in metro Detroit, was the first to announce it was pulling out of the NAIAS, but Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Ferrari, Land Rover and Rolls-Royce all followed suit shortly thereafter. While much of the blame can be placed squarely on the broad shoulders of the global economic meltdown, organizers of the event also point to the quickly deteriorating conditions at Cobo Hall and the lack of available space when compared to such venues as the Chicago Auto Show.

Even if they can't fix the economy, the U.S. Michigan Senate has stepped in to fix Cobo. A total of 166,000 square-feet of space will be added to the 700,000 that is already present. NAIAS officials are hopeful that this added room, along with a general tidying up of the joint, will bring those manufacturers back and keep any others from leaving after '09. To reach a deal, a five-member board will oversee Cobo Hall, including the governor of Michigan and representatives from Detroit and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. We're sure negotiations will go just swimmingly from here on forward.

[Source: Detroit News]

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