Windsor-Essex trying to attract auto industry interest at the Detroit auto show
Detroit car show returning for the first time since 2019
The North American International Auto Show is coming and Windsor-Essex is on the ground trying to encourage automotive investment into the region.
The show is returning for the first time since 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellations of the 2020 and 2021 editions. Stephen MacKenzie, president and CEO of Invest WindsorEssex, is there trying to drum up interest.
"We consider ourselves to be the automobility capital of Canada," he said. "We're thrilled to promote that and connect with companies and entrepreneurs that would like to pursue their ventures. We think that Windsor-Essex is a great location for them to consider and we think they can be very successful."
Students from the University of Windsor are there to promote the school's Centre for Hybrid Automotive Research and Green Energy (CHARGE) Lab. The lab conducts research on and tests electric vehicle (EV) powertrains.
"We're excited to see what other companies are doing in terms of electrification, potentially partner with them and conduct research with them," said Madeline McQueen. "We're going to be having up to seven functioning dyno systems by the end of this year to test electric motors and other components."
Organizers are happy the show has returned.
"After three-and-a-half years of sabbatical from the show, we're excited to see all the people come and interact with the vehicles and to celebrate the city, the regions and our auto industry," Karl Zimmerman of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the group that organizes the show, told Afternoon Drive's Allison Devereaux.
This is also the first year the show is being held in September as opposed to its usual January slot, a shift that was supposed to take place in 2020 but was cancelled because of the pandemic.
U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to make an appearance at the show on Wednesday as a part of the show's media day.
A heavy emphasis on EVs is expected to be part of the show.
Cars like the 30th anniversary edition of the Jeep Grand Cherokee are scheduled to be big draws.
The special-edition Grand Cherokee 4xe Grand Cherokee is the first one to feature a plug-in hybrid option.
Lincoln is another manufacturer that has joined the EV game with the L100.
The semi-finalists for the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year were also revealed. The finalists will be announced in Los Angeles in November, with the winners being declared in January in Detroit.
Stellantis unveiled the 2023 Chrysler 300C ahead of the show on Tuesday night. CBC Windsor News at 6 was live during the unveiling.
WATCH | Stellantis unveils the 2023 Chrysler 300C during CBC Windsor News at 6:
With files from Afternoon Drive and Jacob Barker