Reporting Jeff Gilbert
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DETROIT — (WWJ) A new indication that even ultra luxury car sales are improving, as örganizers of “The Gallery”, an auto show preview for high rollers, reported record attendance and sales.
“It was a really good night for us,” said executive director Bob Caza.
VIDEO: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert spends some time at “The Gallery.”
With names like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bently, organizers set up eight and a half million dollars worth of high end vehicles in a ballroom at Detroit’s MGM Grand Hotel. To make sure those attending were serious about purchasing a vehicle, the event was limited to those with an invitation, and those who were willing to pay $500 a ticket.
“It was probably the best night for sales we ever had,” said Caza. “We had some cars that didn’t even make it out of here. Deposits were were made, and they drove them right out of the parking deck this morning.”
The Gallery is the first event in a week of auto show previews. Carmakers had a number of unofficial events on Sunday, including the revealing of the next generation Corvette. Monday morning marks the start of two days of press previews.
“The global stage is set, with over fifty global unveilings,” said Scott LaRiche, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Assocaition, which puts on the auto show.
Among the vehicles set to be unveiled at the auto show are a new Mercedes E-Class Sedan, a concept of the next generation Toyota Corolla, a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Cadillac ELR, an electric vehicle based on the Chevrolet Volt.
WWJ Analyst John McElroy says it’s a great mix of foriegn and domestic products.
“This really sends a message to the world that, yes there are problems in Detroit, but when we really get our act together, we can be world class.”
For videos, photos and instant updates from the North American International Auto Show, follow Jeff Gilbert on twitter @jefferygilbert.