The Detroit Auto Dealers Association and its Executive Board, organisers of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held annually in Detroit, Michigan, USA, have announced that as of 2020, the show will be moved from its January dates to June, beginning the week of June 8. The move will reposition the show, typically held indoors at Detroit’s Cobo Center, to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by Michigan’s summer climate, such as outdoor exhibits, vehicle demonstrations and experiential opportunities for attendees including ride and drives.
“Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades,” stated Rod Alberts, Executive Director, NAIAS. “Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.”
It is expected that the 2020 show and subsequent events will see the exhibit extended throughout downtown Detroit, including at some of its most popular tourist locations such as Hart Plaza, Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Grand Circus Park, offering companies greater public exposure. Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, stated, “Detroit now has the opportunity to showcase our riverfront and our revitalised downtown during our beautiful summer months and creatively use the exterior of Cobo to launch new products that will transform Detroit into an exciting autocentric environment.”
As well as offering new exhibit opportunities, the move to June is expected to offer substantial cost savings for exhibitors. By eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in, exhibitors could see reduced overtime labour costs for builds. The show will also have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks, significantly reduced from the current eight week average move-in time.
NAIAS is said to be one of the most influential global auto events, touching on all facets of the industry and attracting a high concentration of the world’s top industry leaders – from automakers and suppliers, to tech startups and venture capitalists, to universities and policymakers. The January 2018 event is reported to have hosted more than three-quarters of a million visitors.
Speaking on the decision to move NAIAS from January to June, Mark Truby, Vice President, Communications, Ford Motor Company, commented, “Reinventing NAIAS as a summertime festival of design, speed and innovation is incredibly exciting. It will showcase the best of our industry and the best of Detroit, and should become a can’t miss event on the calendar for global automakers and media.”
Tony Cervone, Senior Vice President, Global Communications, General Motors Company, added, “We applaud the DADA for thinking big and really taking advantage of this opportunity to reimagine the auto show and position Detroit in the best light. We’re excited to be a part of a festival-like series of events that showcase all the great things that are happening in both the auto industry and Detroit.”