(10/05/12) - A sign the economy is improving can be found in Midland this weekend at the Northwood University International Auto Show.
It's billed as the largest outdoor auto show in the world, but in recent years, the size of the show has been getting smaller - but not this year. In the past, it's been a little difficult getting manufacturers to send their cars to the auto show.
More than 600 Northwood University students run the auto show in every aspect, and this year, Northwood's Michigan Campus President Bill Bateman says students did a great job in bringing in a wide variety of autos.
"This is absolutely a student-run auto show," Bateman said. "We have some new manufacturers. We are standing outside the Lotus Morgan display and that's a new entry for us."
The economy may be making it a bit easier for the students as the auto industry continues to see sales climb.
"The ones that left during the recession in 2008, are now starting to come back to the show, which is great," said Patrick Faber, the auto show chairperson.
Dave Miller is the show's vice chairperson. His dad Jim had a similar role in the auto show when he graduated in 1980.
Thirty-two years later, Jim Miller says the auto show experience has helped him in his automotive career.
"Not only the automotive end, but the free markets and the education you get on the economics and how the world really works," Jim Miller said.
More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the three-day event, and the students who watch over the exhibits will not get any rest from answering questions this weekend.
"We just actually got asked tow-wise, how much can the Evo tow, the capabilities on that, prices, mileage, everything. You have to know a lot about cars," said student Carrie Endres.
It's a big weekend in Midland. Northwood is also hosting SVSU in football on Saturday.
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