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Hundreds of cars rolling in for annual Auto Expo

By Keith McCord | Posted - Jan 17th, 2013 @ 9:25pm

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SANDY — The Utah International Auto Expo will roll into Sandy for the weekend. It has been one of the most popular indoor winter attractions every year, where the U.S auto industry shows off their new products.

Thursday was the setup day for the expo and the cars kept driving in. A variety of vehicles ranging from a Tucson, to a Dart, to a C-Max were unloaded from trucks and placed inside the South Towne Expo Center for the auto expo that officially begins Friday morning.

The display of the cars is very detailed and appears like a carefully-choreographed dance.

"It's very scripted," said New Car Dealers of Utah executive director, Craig Bickmore. "They come in early and they mark the floor so everything's measured."

The Kia goes in one place while the Dodge Ram squeezes in to another. With 400 vehicles of various sizes and shapes, it can be quite a challenge.

"And there's move-in times," Bickmore said. "They send out notifications to the different dealers and they say this is your move-in time."

On Thusday morning, the showroom at South Towne Expo Center came alive with forklifts and workers with ladders. Utah's auto expo has been around about for three decades. It is owned and operated by the New Car Dealers Association, and produced by Motor Trend, which puts on 22 such shows across the country each year.

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"This is a nice big regional show," said Motor Trend Auto Shows representative, Deedee Taft. "That has great manufacturer support and dealership support as well."

Nearly every automobile manufacturer will be represented, and they'll have the latest models from inexpensive to luxury, crossover, all-electric. Attendees at the expo will not only be able to sit in the driver's seat and play with all the gadgets, but they will aslo be able to test drive 50 different vehicles.

"And we're seeing this trend across the country," Taft said. "More and more manufacturers are taking the auto show experience to the next level. So not only can you check the cars out on the inside, but you can also go outside and take them for a test drive."

But before that happens, there's still more automobile choreography taking place on Thursday night at South Towne. All the details of the cars are taken care of right down to jacking up the car and spinning the wheel to make sure the logo is right-side-up.

The show begins Friday at 11 a.m. and runs until Monday night.


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Keith McCord

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