Bigger is better in 2016 NAIAS - WNEM TV 5

Bigger is better in 2016 NAIAS

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The bigger, the better at the North American International Auto Show.

“There's definitely an emphasis on larger vehicles now because of low gas prices,” said Joe Wisenfelder.

Wisenfelder is the executive editor of He said the times are changing when it comes to what people want.

“SUVs and pickups are on a big rebound so the auto makers can pay attention to that,” Wisenfelder said.

The Michigan average is around $1.85 for a gallon of unleaded. That is expected to go down even more, which will only help sell larger vehicles according to Wisenfelder.

“You see a lot of manufactures introducing new stuff, varied stuff. The mood is very good,” Wisenfelder said.

Wisenfelder said low gas prices and record sales bolster everything at the show, from the size of the cars to the displays. As auto show chairman Paul Sabatini said, the show has really grown.

“The manufacturers and OEMs have spent over $200 million in displays this year,” Sabatini said. “We haven't had that kind of spending in one year, since I can remember.”

Automakers have kicked up their investment in technology too. Sen. Gary Peters said that's something we can all benefit from.

“It’s estimated that some of these new technologies that are coming out will in the next few years the eliminate 80 percent of all car crashes – which is a really big deal,” Peters said.

With the economic climate in Michigan, experts said that bigger cars are not going anywhere.

“One thing we do extremely well is make trucks and SUVs. And those vehicles are selling at record amounts,” Peters said.

The North American International Auto Show will open to the public from Jan. 16-24.

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