Warmer weather means more opportunities
Although the Detroit auto show hosts some of the biggest vehicle debuts in the U.S. every year, the timing is less than ideal. Showgoers face the threat of sub-zero temperatures in January, and it also butts heads with the Consumer Electronics Show, which has become a popular venue for unveiling new cars. In an effort to reinvent the show, organizers have decided to move the event to June starting in 2020.
Automakers are slowly disengaging from the traditional auto show cycle, often preferring to debut vehicles at their own special events. According to Automotive News, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz will skip the 2019 Detroit auto show, which will still be held in January. Just as automakers are adapting the ways they show vehicles, the Detroit auto show is looking to break from the mold.
Holding the auto show in a warmer month will make way for new outdoor opportunities that can expand the show beyond the walls of the Cobo Center. Organizers say that new events could include ride and drives, off-road challenges, automated driving opportunities, or dynamic vehicle debuts. Events could spill out through downtown Detroit, including landmarks such as the Detroit RiverWalk, Hart Plaza, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue, and Grand Circus Park.
“The potential to create a month long automotive festival in Detroit starting with the Detroit Grand Prix, going through our show and concluding with the nationally-celebrated fireworks on the river, will provide an unmatched festival-like experience for all attendees,” said Rod Alberts, executive director of the show, in a statement.
The new timing should also help exhibitors cut costs, organizers say. Since the show will no longer hover around the holiday months, there will be reduced overtime labor costs for exhibit builds. Also expect a shorter move-in schedule of around three weeks, compared to eight weeks when the show was held in January.
“June provides us with exciting new opportunities that January just didn’t afford,” said Alberts. “We strongly believe we can continue to deliver a significant economic impact for our great city, and offer an event unlike anything anyone has ever experienced.”
Although auto show trends are changing, the Detroit show continues to attract plenty of people to the city. This January, NAIAS drew in more than three quarters of a million people and injected $480 million USD into the regional economy. For 2019, the Detroit auto show will run from January 12-27, with public days held from January 19-27. Then in 2020, the show will start in the second week of June.
Source: North American International Auto Show