The MAIN Event kicks off the auto show season in Detroit

Paul Silver accepts the Industry Innovator of the Year award on behalf of Franz von Holzhausen from Tesla

DETROIT — The MAIN Event for 2019 was held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.  This is the one of the first events to kick off the North American International Auto Show preview week.  

At this annual event, the main focus is on transportation design.  These creative talents design projects with the understanding of engineering and manufacturing technology.  The theme for this year is “Sustainability and Electrification.”

Huel Perkins, Fox 2 News Anchor, served as the Master of Ceremonies.  He says the MAIN Event focuses on people BEHIND the vehicle and design innovation.  “It can be miraculous and magnificent but also frightening. Ready or not, here we come,” added Perkins.

Phil Borchard, Dassault Systèmes, spoke about the future is here today in three words:  Electrification, Mobility and Autonomous.  

“Tesla, led by Elon Musk, leads in electrification.  The most interesting thing for Tesla is that it is the new normal.  Elon and his team has shown that the future is here and now.  He is currently building up their production volume,” says Borchard.

Mobility is headed by Toyota Connected.  They want to make technologies (not technology) so it’s easy to use.  Partnered with Microsoft, connectivity gives you the ability to find a Chinese or Mexican Restaurant or even a parking space.  This is happening today.

Autonomous equals Smart 360.  You can feel the 360 degree view of the world so that driving is not a distraction.

Larry Erickson, Magna Exteriors, says Henry Ford had a great solution.  He grew up on a farm and said “I gotta get out of here.”  Going from Henry’s solution to today is remarkable.  

“I work in the exteriors department.  There are three students who did exceptional exterior design.  Part of what they did bring to the table is not a lack of imagination.” added Erickson.

Keith Nagara, Even Chair, showed us a brief video on the design and fabrication of the MAIN Event Trophy.

Last but not least, Nagara surprised Huel Perkins with the Industry Anchor Host of the Year Award.  Huel said “Hey, that’s not in the script,” as the audience laughed.


Tom McDonald accepts the 2019 Global Industry Executive of the Year award on behalf of Akira Marumoto from Mazda. (Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)
Student winners sponsored by the Society of Plastic Engineers. (Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)
From left to right: Gordon Platto from Ford, Crystal VanHouten and Steve VanLoozen from the Society of Plastic Engineers. (Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)
Emcee Huel Perkins was honored with the Industry Anchor Host of the Year award. (Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

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