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Steve Murray

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“The auto show is a great deal for these islands,” he says. “It brings everyone under one roof; you get to see everyone’s products, and it’s a noncompetitive spirit. I think the auto show is one of the best things we do in this state.”

This year’s theme is Dream Cars, and the auto show is full of them. It needs more than a few because everyone’s dream car is different. The theme is a departure from the past few years, when mileage and electric vehicles were the topics of choice.

“It’s definitely more fun,” says Mike Niethammer, president of King Windward Nissan and Infiniti of Honolulu about the switch from mileage to muscle. “The dream cars are filled with new technologies, and it’s a great way to see the cutting edge of what is coming.”

Niethammer is in his final year as president of Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. He turns over that title to van den Hurk next year. “It’s fun, as a dealer, to see what the competition is like, and for the car fan, it’s great to see what’s new,” says Niethammer of the show. He adds that 2013 was a good sales year for the auto industry in Hawaii, and he’s expecting an even better 2014.

How big of a jump may depend on how many people attend the auto show. Last year, more than 50,000 walked through the big doors, which led the nation in per capita attendance.

If that continues, 2014 may be a great year for car sales and the state’s economy.

First Hawaiian International Auto Show

The First Hawaiian International Auto Show lights the tires March 14-16 at Honolulu Convention Center.

This year’s “Get into Your Dream Car at the Auto Show” features more than 30 domestic and import manufacturers showcasing their latest models – and even pre-production models, including the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan, 2-15 Ford Mustang, brand-new Kia K900, 2015 Subaru WRX and others. Brand-new or redesigns include the BMW 4 Series, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-Benz S550, Nissan Rogue, Toyota Corolla and more.

Motor Trend‘s Car, Truck and SUV “of the Year” winners will be there, along with exotic vehicles including Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati on display.

Visit iTunes or Google Play to download the free mobile app for the iPhone or Android. Use the app to buy tickets, map your route, view participating manufacturers and get vehicle information at a glance.

Show-goers will receive a free one-year subscription to Motor Trend magazine just for attending.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 military, $7 seniors and are free to children 12 and under.

To get a discount:

* Purchase an adult ticket at HiAutoShow.com and save $1.

* Visit participating First Hawaiian Bank branches on Oahu to pick up a special VIP pass valid for one free adult admission before 6 p.m. Friday, while supplies last. Present the pass after 6 p.m. Friday or anytime Saturday or Sunday to purchase up to two discounted $8 tickets.

* Get $2 off one adult ticket by visiting participating new-car dealers, while supplies last.

* Bring your Ala Moana Center receipt from any merchant and get $2 off one adult admission. Valid all show days.

* Military Two-Fer Day, Saturday, March 15: Members of the military can buy one $8 military admission ticket with a valid DOD ID and get one free admission for a second member of the military (w/ID). Cannot be combined with any other offers. Open to all retired and reserve military with valid ID.

Hours are Friday, noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

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