“It gives people a chance to check out a wide range of cars all under one roof,” said Jack Perkins, executive director of the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association.


More than 250 new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and alternative fuel vehicles will be on display at the Northeast International Auto Show at the Rhode Island Convention Center next weekend.

“It gives people a chance to check out a wide range of cars all under one roof,” said Jack Perkins, executive director of the Rhode Island Automobile Dealers Association. The range includes the Chevrolet Bolt, an all-electric 4-door hatchback with a range of 238 miles which has been named North American Car of the Year, the Best Car by Green Car Reports and Motor Trend Car of the Year.

“2016 was a good year for car sales nationally,” Perkins added, noting overall sales of 17.5 million vehicles. “I think there were expectations that sales might dip, but December sales were very strong. Incentives were pretty strong toward the end of the year and look at the economy doing pretty well across the board with unemployment down and wages rising.”

For classic car and exotic auto enthusiasts, all three show days will feature exotic and classic cars courtesy of “duPont Registry: A Buyers Gallery of Fine Automobiles,” a monthly classified advertising publication based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport. They include a customized 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, a 1957 Jaguar Convertible, a 2016 Ferrari California T and a 2017 Maserati Levante. 

Attendees will also be able to test drive select vehicles. On Sabin Street, the Toyota Test Drive Center offers the Prius Prime, Camry, Highlander Hybrid, and RAV4. On West Exchange Street, Drive FCA offers the latest Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep and Ram models.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is offering eligible visitors the opportunity to win a 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited (grand prize) or a $500 Best Buy Gift Card (one winner). For more information, go to: 2017autoshowsweepstakes.com.

And Sunday, Jan. 29, is Family Day with children’s activities including face painting, balloon art, and more.

“Everyone has come roaring back across the board,” said Perkins of the auto industry with sales recovering from around 10 million in 2009.  “We were in a financial meltdown.”

The show at the Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence, runs Friday, Jan. 27, noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 28, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for adults age 13 and over, $9 for seniors age 62 and over, and $8 for students (under 21 with student ID). Children age 12 and under are free. Tickets can be bought in advance at providenceautoshow.com. Parking is $15. In addition, every attendee can sign up to receive a free 12-month subscription to Motor Trend.

Visit the show on Facebook and follow it on Twitter @NEAutoShow.

For more information, call 458-6000 or go to providenceautoshow.com

— pelswort@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7403

On Twitter:@peterelsworth