DETROIT, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Attendance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit was well above expectations, the event's chairman said.
The attendance record is more than 800,000, set in 2003, said event chairman Bill Perkins, who also owns several auto dealerships.
The Detroit News reported Monday that this year it was predicted that 725,000 people would attend during the nine-day run that is open to the public.
Instead, 770,932 showed up, Perkins said.
"People want to feel good again about the industry, which is now obviously in a better place than it was a few years ago," he said.
"A lot of people counted Detroit down and out, but it has been a major year for the auto industry and our show," Perkins said.
Perkins said the show's economic impact was "huge … better than the Super Bowl."
The show, which draws visitors from near and far, has an estimated $400 million impact on southeastern Michigan, the newspaper said.