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January 17 - 20, 2008

The Dow Arena


2008 North American International Auto Show to Feature Dynamic Lineup of Design Events


DETROIT -- The 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will once again showcase some of the automotive industry's most significant and trend-setting vehicle design and technology debuts. NAIAS serves as a platform for major international design events, including the EyesOn Design awards, AutoWeek Design Forum, the Michelin Challenge Design, the "My Other Car Is ... " student project and the PPG Design Challenge awards. The NAIAS will welcome hundreds of acclaimed designers from around the globe, celebrating the best in innovative design and technology.

"The NAIAS continues to excel in featuring world-class automotive design and technology," said Carl Galeana, senior co-chairman. "Design is vital in this industry. Not only does it drive excitement among consumers, but it also serves as a prelude to where the industry is headed in the future. The events we have planned at NAIAS 2008 will be sure to excite, inspire and astound."

The third annual EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS 2008 will be hosted by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology (DIO) on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. The Aesthetics and Innovation, Concept Implementation, Functionality and Spirit of Industrial Design awards recognize the innovation and creativity of vehicle designs on display at the NAIAS.

The awards will serve as an extension of the DIO's annual EyesOn Design car show held each June to honor and celebrate the past, present and future of automotive design. In addition to recognizing major design achievement in the automotive industry, funds raised by both EyesOn Design events support the DIO's mission to assist and educate the visually impaired, help preserve vision by public and professional education and support research related to the eye.

The 2007 EyesOn Design award winners included the Chrysler Nassau for Aesthetics and Innovation, the Cadillac CTS for Concept Implementation, the Kia Kue for Functionality and the Jeep Trailhawk received the Spirit of Industrial Design award.

The lighter side of design, in the automotive and consumer arenas, will be featured at the 15th annual AutoWeek Design Forum, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 in the Riverview Ballroom of Cobo Center.

"Designed for Fun" is the theme of the day-long forum that celebrates design as the ultimate differentiating factor between products, the catalyst of passion, and the primary force that drives consumers' interest and purchase decisions. The event, which brings together more than 700 students, car design professionals and allied designers, features an outstanding lineup of speakers, a tour of the NAIAS show floor three days before it opens to the public, along with the Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice Awards.

Design leaders from the entire auto industry will take part in the event to share their passion for their craft. Featured speakers include, Paul Kolada, founder and principal, Priority Design; Aaron Pizzuti, design manager, Chrysler LLC; and Franz von Holzhausen, design manager, Mazda North American Operations.

The AutoWeek Editors' Choice Awards, presented annually during the Design Forum dinner program, will once again recognize the Best in Show, Most Fun, Most Significant and Best Concept vehicles of NAIAS 2008.
Advance registration for the day-long program - which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, NAIAS tour, reception and dinner - is $275 for professionals and $125 for students. Advance tickets for full-day or dinner program only are $225 and $175 each, respectively. Deadline for online registration is Friday, Jan. 11. Limited on-site registration will be available during the Design Forum at $325 for full-day and $225 for dinner only attendance.

Visit for additional information and to register online. Information is also available by contacting Kathy Sovoda at (313) 446-6041 or

NAIAS 2008 marks the seventh year of the Michelin Challenge Design competition with a record 272 individual designers, teams, studios, and companies from over 50 countries submitting full-size vehicles, scale models and/or computer-generated renderings in support of the central theme, "Safer. Smaller. Better."

Candidates of this annual international design competition were presented with the challenge of creating enhanced safety through design innovations in areas such as accident avoidance, enhanced driver controls, survivability and visibility. Designers were encouraged to "throw away the book" and to consider designs that present innovative approaches to vehicle ingress and egress, side impact protection, occupant protection volume, seating arrangement, vehicle dimensions and proportions. Designers were asked to recognize those concerns and through design concepts, provide an enhanced "feeling" of security in smaller vehicles.

Top international designers comprise the jury for the 2008 Michelin Challenge Design competition including representatives from the automakers, independent and academic design communities. Luigi Colani (Legendary Industrial Designer); Geza Loczi (Director of Design at Volvo Monitoring Concept Center); Victor Nacif (Vice President, Design Business Aspect at Nissan Design America, Inc.); Dave Rand (Executive Director, Global Advanced Design at General Motors); Stewart Reed (Michelin Challenge Design Jury Chairman); Frank Saucedo (Director of Advanced Design at General Motors in Los Angeles); Freeman Thomas (Strategic Design Director at Ford Motor Company); and Geoff Wardle (Associate Chair, Art Center College of Design, Transportation Design Department) will serve as judges.

"My other car is ... " is an event allowing design students from Detroit's College for Creative Studies (CCS) and engineering students from the University of Michigan (U-M) to showcase their summer projects at NAIAS 2008. The students will display models of these "other car" concepts that show off their steel skeletal structures rather than cover them with skin in Michigan Hall.

The student designs were created during the 19th annual American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) summer automotive design internship. Students of CCS joined engineering students from U-M to produce exhilarating concept vehicles that targeted Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Millennial generation. These concept vehicles embody leading-edge steel technology utilizing a flexible platform.

For the eighth year, PPG Industries will present the PPG Design Challenge Awards to the winner of its auto glass design competition at NAIAS 2008. The annual contest was established to provide transportation design students at Detroit's College for Creative Studies with real-life experience designing automotive concepts showing innovative glass applications. Three awards are given with scholarships of $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.

Winners of the 2007 PPG Design Challenge will be announced at 10 a.m. Jan. 10, 2008, during the NAIAS Industry Preview. All contestants receive a free pass to visit the auto show that day.

J.D. Power and Associates has collaborated with PPG since the contest's inception. Each year J.D. Power and Associates' automotive industry experts define the design parameters. This year's competition challenged students to develop the concept for a premium midsize multi-activity vehicle to meet the needs of a target consumer named Matt, a young, educated male starting his career who relies heavily on his vehicle for work. This consumer wants trouble-free luxury with a host of advanced technologies and creature comforts, so the concept must capture his desire for image-enhancing, unique styling.

Students present their completed designs to the judges with sketches, renderings and clay models. The professionalism of the students' presentations as well as their sketch work and idea generation are also considered in determining the contest winners.

NAIAS 2008 Official Dates

Press Preview will be held Sunday, Jan. 13 through Tuesday, Jan. 15. Industry Preview will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 16 and Thursday, Jan. 17. The annual black-tie Charity Preview will be held Friday evening, Jan. 18. Public Days will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 27.

Source: North American International Auto Show

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January 17 - 20, 2008

The Dow Arena

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