[dropcap]P[/dropcap]resident Barack Obama visited the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Thursday and saw a show floor filled with innovation in transportation technology – technology that will help drive the future of the global automotive industry.
In his first-ever visit to NAIAS, President Obama toured the show with 2016 NAIAS Chairman Paul Sabatini and UAW President Dennis Williams, making stops at several exhibits, including Chevrolet, FCA, Ford and ZF. Prior to his tour, President Obama met privately with Sabatini, NAIAS Co-Chair Sam Slaughter and the auto show’s Executive Director Rod Alberts.
“NAIAS is honored to have President Obama visit our great city and our international show,” Sabatini said. “His presence here underscores the importance of NAIAS and highlights the vehicles and technologies on display that made their world debut last week at Press Preview.”
Alberts added, “The announcements coming out of NAIAS not only impact the automotive community, but are also relevant to the U.S. and world economy. We’re privileged to have the President visit today as NAIAS continues to draw the attention of government leaders and officials across the globe.”
As he toured the show floor, President Obama reviewed a sampling of autonomous vehicles and advanced powertrain technologies on display, as well as a number of the new production and concept vehicles unveiled at NAIAS.
In announcing his visit to NAIAS, President Obama said, “I believe that every American should be proud of what our most iconic industry has done.” He also noted that he wanted to see the industry’s progress “firsthand.”
President Obama is one of three U.S. Presidents to visit the auto show in Detroit. President Bill Clinton visited NAIAS in 1999 and President Dwight Eisenhower toured the then-Detroit Auto Show in 1960. Over the years, a long list of distinguished government officials from White House Cabinet members and U.S. Congressional members to United Nations delegates and top officials from nations around the world have attended NAIAS.