At the recent North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, Macs had a surprisingly strong presence.
Bill Stewart of the Erie Apple Crunchers MUG (Mac user group) was at the show and found that each GM brand display, from Saab to GMC trucks, had four Macs with LCD screens linked to their Web site. Buick was encouraging folks to e-mail pictures of golf great, Tiger Woods, with their new cars.
“I spoke to the GM computer tech,” Stewart told MacCentral. “He had wired the show and set up an NT proxy server, but had no Mac experience. And none of the GM presenters had received any training on the computers.”
What’s more, Mercury had some iMacs set up for visitors to access their Web site. Ford used Macs in a splashy introduction of their new Thunderbird. On a special mezzanine, they had a “photography studio” set up where they would take your picture in a T-Bird and edit it on one of six iMacs, said Stewart. While the actual T-Bird was red, with the iMacs you could choose your own color for your picture and a variety of backgrounds. Several Apple Cinema Displays showed the various results.
“Between GM and Ford, probably half the computers were Macs,” Stewart said. “However, there were a variety of PCs, even notebooks. Polk, the folks that do all those satisfaction surveys for the car and PC business, had several kiosks with Silicon Graphics machines running Unix.”
NAIAS, owned and operated by an association of Detroit area auto dealers, celebrated its thirteenth year as an international event at the Jan. 7-10 event. Each year, more than 40 auto manufacturers exhibit over 700 cars and trucks at the show. The NAIAS 2001 is the eighty-fifth show in Detroit, making it one of the longest running auto shows in the United States.