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Published: Saturday, 1/28/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Toledo Auto Show-goers looking with buys in mind

Organizers voice satisfaction with turnout, sales potential

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Ken Klear, left, and Ralph Zychowicz look over a Ford Fiesta during the auto show in SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo. Ken Klear, left, and Ralph Zychowicz look over a Ford Fiesta during the auto show in SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.
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For 30 years Floyd King worked at the Jeep assembly plant in Toledo, test-driving models as they rolled off the line.

Friday, the retired Toledoan was back giving Chrysler products a once-over at the Toledo Auto Show.

"It's very good," Mr. King said. "I'm not surprised. Before I left we had a tremendous line of cars, and the quality had gotten to be extremely good out at Jeep."

IF YOU GO

When: Saturday and Sunday

Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: SeaGate Convention Centre, downtown Toledo. 

Parking: The Port Lawrence Garage at Jefferson and St. Clair streets is free for showgoers. Several other garages and surface lots are within walking distance.

Cost: $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. Tickets available at www.Toledo-AutoShow.org.

The Toledo Auto Show, in the SeaGate Convention Centre downtown, was in its second day Friday. Organizers said they were pleased with attendance so far. They said the crowd seemed a bit more serious.

"I think a lot of people are actually looking to buy a car. I think the attitude has shifted," said Nikki Bragg, of the Toledo Automobile Dealers Association. "We had people before who were just coming to look. Now they're looking more 'what can I buy.' It's not just something to do. There are serious buyers."

The Toledo Automobile Dealers Association is host for the show.

Ralph Zychowicz wasn't in the market to buy a vehicle Friday but said the Toledo show changed his mind on what car to buy two years ago. The Toledoan was planning on a Honda Crosstour after the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Then he went to Toledo's.

"I looked at the [Acura] RDX up at Detroit and I just went through it quickly because there's so much up there," Mr. Zychowicz said. "When I got here, I just had enough time to look at a little more and I said, 'How did I miss this in Detroit?' It was just what I wanted."

The Toledo show features about 175 vehicles from brands the world over.

Ron and Judy Gerschultz were looking at minivans and sport utility vehicles as they begin a search for a new vehicle.

"It's just a nice place to come see them all in one spot -- get in and out," Mrs. Gerschultz said.

Mr. King, who put in a total of 40 years at Chrysler, was also looking at minivans.

"We're looking," he said. "We don't know exactly whether we're going to get one just yet, but that's our interest."

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.



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