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Detroit show shifts to June
North American International Auto Show moves from January to June from 2020
23 Jul 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
THE North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit will officially move from its early-January date to June from 2020, giving space between the flagship US motor show and the increasingly relevant tech-focused Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held around the same time.
The move comes after the big three premium German brands – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – opted to skip the 2019 NAIAS (the last to be held in January), while marques including Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Mazda have passed over the Detroit auto show in recent years.
All brands have cited product timing or motor show attendance re-evaluation as reasons for their absence.
This year’s NAIAS saw over 806,554 public attendees at the show, but numbers have dipped as low as 650,517 in 2010 after a circa-838,000 record in 2003.
For comparison, the aforementioned 2018 CES held in Las Vegas also in early January attracted just over 180,000 guests with car-makers such as Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Ford and Jeep among the exhibitors.
Shifting to June means the NAIAS will be given clear space from other motor shows including the Los Angeles motor show in late November/early December, the Chicago motor show in early February, the Geneva motor show in March and the New York motor show in early April, as well as China’s alternating Beijing and Shanghai shows that are usually held in late April.
The back half of the year will host the alternating motor shows held in Frankfurt (September) and Paris (October), and biennial Toyko motor show (late October).
Motor show attendances have been decreasing in recent years with the advent of the internet as brands opt to live stream new model reveals at special events.
Manufacturers have also taken to non-automotive events for unveilings. Porsche used last year’s E3 gaming expo to show off its 911 GT2 RS on the Microsoft stage with the announcement of the Forza Motorsport 7 video game.
NAIAS executive director Rod Alberts said: “Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Michigan governor Rick Snyder said that “moving the show to the summer opens up new opportunities for companies as well as creating new experiences for attendees”.
Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) president Doug North said the change will make the show more appealing for guests and exhibitors.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide an experience and opportunity for participating companies and attendees, that only Detroit can offer,” he said.
“June will allow us to better showcase the automotive leadership, development and heritage our great city and region holds.
“As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season. The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry.”
Promising “greater ROI (return on investment) through reduced costs and dynamic opportunities”, the new format NAIAS will be held at the Cobo Center and “sets the stage for exhibitors to conduct dynamic outdoor experiential brand activations”.
The shift away from the end-of-year/New Year holiday period is also set to reduce costs for exhibitors who have to set-up stands and ship vehicles from overseas.
Brands including Ford, GAC Motor, General Motors, Hyundai and Toyota have already praised the move to June in separate statements.
Next year’s NAIAS will kick off from January 14-27, while the 2020 show will be held from June 8.
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