When the 2018 "North American International Auto Show" opens this weekend, Detroit will have nothing on Saline. Over three decades ago, local automotive parts manufacturer Universal Die Casting exhibited at Cobo Center and we covered it just after our own first year in business.
The photograph above is from the then-separate "Automotive News World Expo" more focused on suppliers. Newly released Pontiac Fiero coupes could be seen about on the floor as illustrations of leading-edge design and technology.
Across the industry, vehicles still had enough shiny metal trim to keep our venerable plant on Monroe Street in business. This show is a historical snapshot that ties to other aspects of Saline history as well.
For example, the Chevrolet marque was dominant on the main floor — but not Toyota. In 1984, Toyota market share in the United States had yet to hit 6% (in 2016 it stood at 13.78%). The Chrysler minivan had been on the market less than a year and, as you can see in one of our photographs just added to The Saline Post Forums, it shared center stage with a Fiero at this Detroit exposition.
Maybe you knew all of this.
But did you also know that JAC Products produced luggage racks for the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager that same year?
Our own work at the "Automotive News World Expo 84" through D² Enterprises centered on making photographs for subsequent use in publicity and investor materials.
We've gone on to do a great many projects in exposition and destination-based marketing over the last three decades. As part of our recognized expertise, Dell Deaton was elected to a three-year term on the international Center for Exhibition Industry Research Board of Directors in 1996.
All of that started for us, however, with this Motor City show right here in Michigan.