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THOUSANDS ATTEND 'WHEELS OF MICHIGAN' AUTOMOTIVE VEHICLE EXHIBIT

 THOUSANDS ATTEND 'WHEELS OF MICHIGAN' AUTOMOTIVE VEHICLE EXHIBIT
 DETROIT, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of Michigan residents expressed their pride in automotive products built in the state at the "Wheels of Michigan" car and truck exhibit May 1-3; and most attendees said they would consider buying or leasing a car made in Michigan. Forty-four car and truck models assembled in the state by Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Mazda were on display at the innovative event held in downtown Detroit.
 Show Attendees Support Michigan-Made Vehicles
 A survey conducted during the "Wheels of Michigan" vehicle exhibit indicated that 85 percent of those who attended would now consider buying or leasing a vehicle made in Michigan. The results are based on an initial sampling of 500 or 4,900 total surveys returned. Of the 500, 431 indicated that they would consider a vehicle assembled in Michigan before they make their next new car purchase or leasing agreement.
 "We're very pleased that 'Wheels of Michigan' brought out so many strong state supporters," said Richard Whitmer, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, one of the event's sponsors. "Michigan residents are proud of the vehicles they build -- and it's time that those cars and trucks received the recognition they deserve. By educating the public about the products made right here in this state, we are encouraging them to consider those vehicles when they are ready to make a new car purchase."
 Royal Oak Resident Wins One Month's Use of Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
 During the "Wheels of Michigan" event, Helen Keeler of Royal Oak won the opportunity to "test drive" a luxury sedan made in Michigan for one month. As the winner of the "Wheels of Michigan" grand prize drawing, Keeler will be awarded the use of an Oldsmobile Ninety Eight for one month with unlimited mileage, provided by AAA Auto Club Leasing. Other "Wheels of Michigan" attendees won artwork created by members of the Guild of Michigan artists and artisans.
 Additional event highlights included a special edition vehicle display featuring the first production Dodge Viper sports car, the Mazda MX-6 sports car, and the Jack Nicklaus Lincoln Town Car and Cadillac Seville STS luxury sedans. The Jack Rausch Trans Am race car, sponsored by Whistler, and a General Motors concept car, sponsored by the UAW, were also featured.
 Originally developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan to encourage its own employees to know and buy the cars and trucks designed by their friends and neighbors, the "Wheels of Michigan" event gained momentum and grew into a statewide effort with support from community and industry leaders, local automakers, the United Auto Workers and the Michigan Manufacturers Association.
 "More than 200 people were involved in organizing this successful event," said Whitmer. "It was well worth the effort. It is our hope that 'Wheels' will contribute to revving up Michigan's economy."
 -0- 5/8/92
 /NOTE: Detroit-area media are invited to examine the results of a survey conducted during last weekend's "Wheels of Michigan" exhibit, indicating that 85 percent of those who attended would consider buying or leasing a Michigan-made vehicle.
 Approximately, 4,900 surveys were collected during the event. The results were based on an initial sampling of 500.
 The surveys will be available through Tuesday, May 12, at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan headquarters, 600 Lafayette East, in the Corporate Communication Division on the 21st floor. Contact Blues Media Relations Department at 313-225-8114.
 CONTACT: Brendy Barr, 313-567-5016, or Karen Martin, 313-225-8121, for Wheels of Michigan/ CO: ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


SB-ML -- DE030 -- 8191 05/08/92 15:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 8, 1992
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