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DETROIT CELEBRATES MICHIGAN-MADE CARS ON DOWNTOWN STREETS

 DETROIT CELEBRATES MICHIGAN-MADE CARS ON DOWNTOWN STREETS
 DETROIT, May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 150,000 persons are expected to crowd a two-block area of downtown Detroit this weekend to celebrate Michigan's role as the leading auto manufacturing state in the nation.
 Called "Wheels of Michigan," it's an exhibition of the 44 new car and truck models assembled in the state. More than 2.7 million vehicles were produced in Michigan last year -- the most in any state, and nearly one of every three made in the nation.
 The free, open-air exhibit includes special automotive industry displays and live entertainment. It is being held on three street-level parking lots adjacent to a four-block-wide, weekend street art fair in the historic Greektown section of the city. The art fair features the work of 150 nationally known artists.
 Among the cars on display for the three-day program is the first production model of the new Dodge Viper -- owned by Lee A. Iacocca, chairman of Chrysler Corp., the Jack Nicklaus model of the Lincoln Town Car, the new 1993 model of the Mazda MX-6, and the "car of the year," Cadillac STS Seville.
 The 44 models in the show were assembled in 15 different plants across the state, including three Chrysler plants in Detroit, and one in Sterling Heights; two Ford plants in Wayne, one in Wixom and one in Dearborn; General Motors plants in Flint, Hamtramck, Lake Orion, Lansing, Pontiac and Ypsilanti; and the Mazda plant in Flat Rock.
 Media support for the program has been strong. The Detroit Free Press said in an editorial: "With only a touch of chauvinism -- and none of the xenophobia that sometimes surrounds auto industry competition -- this exhibit offers a testament to Michigan's special role in automobile manufacturing worldwide."
 The Wheels of Michigan exhibition is co-sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan -- which created the concept and arranged for the space; the Michigan Manufacturers Association; WDIV-TV Channel 4, Detroit; and WWJ Newsradio 95, Detroit.
 In addition, Crain's Detroit Business and five radio stations are actively promoting the event. Crain's published a special insert on the program, and the radio stations have scheduled live broadcasts from the site of the Wheels exhibition.
 The Greektown Art Fair is sponsored by the Greektown Merchants and the Michigan Art Guild of Ann Arbor.
 The Blues in Michigan have been the guiding force behind the Wheels of Michigan program to promote downtown Detroit and the state's role as the auto industry leader.
 The company's headquarters is adjacent to the Greektown area, and it administers health care benefits for approximately 430,000 workers at the 15 state auto assembly plants.
 Richard E. Whitmer, president and CEO of the Blues in Michigan, said: "Our feeling is that working people are healthy people. If we can promote car sales within the state, that will keep people working, and hopefully create more jobs for others."
 -0- 5/1/92
 /CONTACT: Rude Difazio of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, 313-225-8113, or 313-546-6663 (home)/ CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG-SB -- DE022 -- 5541 05/01/92 14:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 1, 1992
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