DETROIT (WWJ) — Underneath all of the glitz and glamour of the North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview — which included dazzling dresses, sleek rides, the Steve Miller Band and probably too much champagne — was a serious undertone of what the annual event is helping to bring to the Metro Detroit area.

There was a definite sense of excitement from local officials before the charity event, including from Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, who spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950 on Friday before the bash, saying that tech companies are now looking to come to southeast Michigan.

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“We are hearing a lot of interest in people wanting to locate near that hub that we have in Macomb County — we call that the Defense Corridor, the Arsenal of Innovation,” Hackel said. “That is where a lot of the industry is taking place — even General Motors — that’s where the tech center is and that’s where a lot of the research, engineering and design is happening for a lot of the vehicles they’re putting out there.”

Hackel also backed autonomous car technology, stating that it will be great for both the automotive and defense industries.

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“The autonomous vehicle thing is going to be important, not just for automotive, but for defense as well,” Hackel said. “We’re starting to see that conductivity taking place and Macomb County is a hub for that, why? Because we have the research, engineers and designers in and around this area — a tremendous cluster of assets — that I think really can help us take the lead in that area and help the industry.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also stopped by to talk with WWJ at Cobo Center on Friday, saying that he is constantly working to bring more jobs to Detroit, including a deal announced this week.

“[It’s] a huge announcement with the groundbreaking of the lightweight materials facility — a $150 million investment in Corktown that’s going to build the next generation of lightweight metal in our cars, ships and planes” Duggan said. “It’s just a really exciting time to be in Detroit.”

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Duggan also naturally talked cars, including his first — a Ford Escort.