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Detroit motor show fades as Asian, European automakers pull out

Costly in-person events questioned in wake of pandemic

Visitors look over a 2024 Ford Mustang at the North American International Auto Show on Sept. 14 in Detroit.   © AP

DETROIT, U.S. -- Thousands of fans of the Mustang, a storied American "muscle car," stampeded into downtown Detroit, invited by its manufacturer, Ford, to see the unveiling of the new, 2024 Mustang sports coupe. The "Mustang Stampede" was easily the highlight of what was a decidedly low-key North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held in Detroit on Sept. 14-25.

Pre-pandemic, the annual Motor City event was one of the world's most important auto shows. But, to listen to critics, it is now fighting for survival, with organizers struggling to avoid the fate faced by shows like those in Frankfurt, Geneva and Tokyo, which have either been sharply scaled back or shuttered entirely.

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