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New floor plan adds more space for automakers' displays, aisle for the expected 700,000 visitors.

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

With less than two weeks until Cobo Center opens its doors to the world's automotive press, work crews are making their final push to ready scores of displays for the 2008 North American International Auto Show.

This year, several automakers will have all-new or expanded displays. One brand -- Germany's Porsche -- has pulled out of the Detroit show, but the sports car company's departure has created more room for the rest of the automakers, many of whom still complain they cannot get enough space.

Additionally this year, there will be five Chinese automakers, including some new names, displaying their vehicles in Michigan Hall at the convention center.

Show organizers say all of this is good news for show-goers, who will be treated to one of the most spectacular auto shows ever.

"There's a lot of new sets," said Fred Tanari, president of Lincoln Park-based Convention and Show Services Inc., the company in charge of building the displays. "It's going to be a beautiful show."

The more than 700,000 people who are expected to visit the show also will have more room to walk, thanks to a new floor plan that adds another aisle running the entire length of the hall.

Organizers prepared about 80 different floor plans this year in an effort to find the optimum configuration, said Joe Serra, president of Serra Automotive and co-chairman of this year's show. Using software, they were able to relocate several of the high-end exotic auto brands to create the new thoroughfare without cutting any exhibition space.

"We're always looking at ways to improve it," Serra said, adding that new aisle should make for less pedestrian congestion on the show floor.

Among the automakers that picked up more space for their displays this year are Germany's BMW AG, which is building an all-new display; Audi, which is also building a new display; and Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., which is adding a second floor to its Lexus display.

That space will accommodate offices and executive meeting rooms and allow Toyota to get more vehicles onto the show floor.

"A lot of business transpires during the show," Serra said.

Serra promised there will be other surprises when the show opens, but he wouldn't elaborate.

Tanari said his workers are right on schedule, though he added that having an extra week to prepare the show is a big help.

This year's show opens a week later than last year -- on Jan. 13 for automotive journalists, to the public on Jan. 19.
 

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Ticket Prices

Adult: $12
Senior Citizen (65 and older): $6
Children 7-12: $6
Children 6 and under free with their parent (every child in a school group must have a ticket to enter the show, see Group Tickets for discounts)
For ticket information, contact the ticketing department.
For parking and shuttle information, click here.
dates and times

Saturday, January 19 - Saturday, January 26, 2008
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (no admittance after 9:00 p.m.)
Sunday, January 27, 2008
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (no admittance after 6:00 p.m.)

Early access for handicapped indiviuals at 8:00 a.m. Enter at the Oakland Hall Entrance.
Ticket Purchasing Options


  • Will provide you with a voucher to be redeemed for tickets at the eTicket window.​
  • The Ticket window open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., January 19 - 26 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., January 27.​
  • Each order must be picked up in its entirety.​
  • Photo ID required to pick up tickets.​
  • Senior and Children discount tickets are only available for purchase at the door.​
  • Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a parent and do not require a ticket.​
  • Tickets at non-refundable​

  • Discounted rate ($8 per ticket) for groups of 25 or more.​
  • American Express, Visa, Mastercard and business checks accepted. Personal checks and cash not accepted.​
  • Photo ID required to pick up tickets.​
  • Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a parent and do not require a ticket.​
  • There is no group discount for senior tickets.​
  • Tickets are non-refundable​
Ticketmaster

Purchase at the Door

  • Tickets may be purchased the day of the show at ticket booth located in the Cobo Center concourse (cash only).​
  • There will be a number of ticket kiosk set up in the concourse for credit card purchasing.​
  • Children 6 and under are free when accompanied by a parent and do not require a ticket.​
 
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