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Record Crowds Open Annual South Florida Auto Show

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Nov. 10, 2003 -- This year's South Florida International Auto Show set a new opening weekend attendance mark with an estimated attendance of 278,000 visitors, compared to the previous high of 268,000 in 2001.

"It's great to see that people are getting out and enjoying themselves at our show," said Loren Sheffer, president of the South Florida Auto-Truck Dealers Association, the group that presents the annual event. "Since we're the first major show of the season, auto manufacturers are once again looking at how South Florida embraces its newest vehicles."

The auto show, which continues through Sunday, November 16 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, showcases the industry's newest cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and accessories. Popular displays such as Memory Lane, Million Dollar Alley and Car Boutique help fill the nearly one million square- feet of exhibit space.

BMW, Volkswagen, Kia, Ford, Bentley, Dodge and Maserati each unveiled new models at press conferences held on Friday. Concept cars at this year's show include the Chevrolet Cheyenne Pickup, Dodge Kahuna and Magnum SRT-8, and the Ford Freestyle.

Visitors to the show can register to win a 2004 Volvo XC 90. Volvo's first SUV offers a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine with 208 horsepower. It also includes an optional forward-facing third row of seats and separate controls for the rear air conditioning unit and audio system.

Discount tickets to the show are available at participating new car and truck dealerships, McDonald's restaurants, Walgreens stores and online at Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $3 for children, 6-12.

The South Florida Auto-Truck Dealers Association comprises more than 220 dealers in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. For more information on the auto show, visit the show's web site CLICK4MIAMI AUTO SHOW.