Auto Expo in full swing

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The Utah International Auto Expo is in full swing in Sandy this weekend. The annual show is always a popular event, drawing tens of thousands of people who are interested in seeing what's new, and this year there's plenty!

The new must-see vehicles fill the 300,000-square feet of the South Towne Expo Center. But if vintage is more your thing, there's a room full of old Mustangs; next to that is a room full of Corvettes. And down the hall is a blast from the past from the Utah Highway Patrol with a restored 1950 Ford sedan turning a lot of heads.

The Utah International Auto Expo is one of many shows going on around the country right now.

Marty Meecham, event manager of Motor Trend Auto Shows, said, "This is a good show. It's a very strong market. We always like coming out to this area, the crowds are always good."

Tens of thousands will visit during the next four days, and many of them will get the bug to go out and purchase a vehicle in the near future. Utah dealers say they always see an increase in customers following this show each year.

Brent Brown, president of Brent Brown Auto Group, said, "In general, from a time a person looks at a car for the first time when they're out shopping until they actually purchase is usually about 72 hours. So you can imagine what juices get flowing when everybody sees all these cars. It's kind of exciting."

There are nearly 400 vehicles at this show to get up close to. Something new at the show this year is called the "Green Trail"; you'll see the signs as you walk along the carpeted "highway."

Craig Bickmore, executive director of New Car Dealers of Utah, said, "That leads the public to those vehicles that are hybrids or have special efficiencies, so they can see those cars that have been designed specifically for an more economically friendly situation."

The Green Trail is a direct result of last summer's fuel spike and customer demand for more fuel efficient vehicles in all shapes and sizes.

"Of the hybrid vehicles at this show, we're approaching about 20 percent of the vehicles in this show will be hybrids. So the manufacturers are catching up with what the public is demanding," Meecham said.

The Auto Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow and Monday at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.


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Keith McCord


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