The North American International Auto Show is a world-renowned event bringing thousands of industry experts, business people and individuals who plain out just have enthusiasm for automobiles to Detroit every January.
And why not? The automobile industry is big business in Detroit. But its impacts are also felt significantly in Macomb County. In fact, the automotive industry is an instrumental component of Macomb County’s economy. Here, the industry is made up of nearly 500 companies, employing more than 44,000 individuals. That is a huge impact locally.
According to Russell Maisano, general manager of Sterling Heights Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM, a dealership that in 2015 marked its 50th anniversary in business here in Macomb County, the impacts of the auto show have become even more immediate in the past couple of years. He said attendees are really responding to what they see at the event.
“It has a tremendous impact on business,” he said. “Once people go down there, it makes them really enthused.”
Maisano said in years past, the dealership would stock about 150-200 cars to accommodate auto show buyers, but this year, they have just over 1,200 on the lot.
Most of the models being shown at the auto show can be purchased at local dealerships, but there are a few that aren’t available until late spring. Maisano said there’s a “big pickup in high-end luxury models” in Macomb County, which trends with national statistics. For example, in 2015, the average new car transaction price was $33,188 – up 20 percent since 2005 when the average price of a new car was $27,655. Current low interest rates and stable gas prices also have industry experts predicting sales in 2016 to grow to 18 million.
“Last year, we broke all records,” said Maisano about the sales directly made at the dealership both during and after the auto show. “They see the new cars and it gives them a little spark.”
Sterling Heights Dodge is located at 40111 Van Dyke Avenue, Sterling Heights.
Sarah Cormier is a contributor to the Make Macomb Your Home blog and works in the Macomb County Executive Office.