Detroit makes official move to host summer auto show in 2020


  • Photo courtesy of NAIAS

After 30 years of hosting the North American International Auto Show in the winter, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association has officially announced a change of dates.

Slated for 2020, the auto show will be switching up seasons with its first-ever summer special. In addition to a change of date, the auto show will also be moving outside as part of a broader integration with the downtown community. Starting the week of June 8, organizers hope that warmer weather will allow for more brand activations focused on experiential marketing like autonomous and automated driving demonstrations, off-road challenges, dynamic vehicle debuts, and more.

For organizers, this is an opportunity to take the auto show from its long-time home at Cobo Hall and restructure the event akin to a large-scale festival.

“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,” says NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts in a press release.

Video renderings of the proposed site layout see the auto show setting up activities in Hart Plaza, the Detroit River Walk, Campus Martius, and Grand Circus Park. The event hopes that downtown integration will allow for greater cross-marketing and drive more economic impact.

“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,” Alberts says.

The 2019 show, however, will remain in Cobo Hall and will be open to the public between Jan. 19 and 27.

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