Detroit's North American International Auto Show moved to 2022


The North American International Auto Show will move to 2022 after being previously postponed to fall 2021. - COURTESY OF NAIAS
  • Courtesy of NAIAS
  • The North American International Auto Show will move to 2022 after being previously postponed to fall 2021.

Organizers of Detroit's biggest car event have, once again, pumped the brakes on a 2021 iteration.

On Thursday, the head of the North American International Auto Show revealed that Detroit's massive showcase of automotive innovation will officially return to downtown Detroit in 2022 and that attendees can expect some format changes, Associated Press reports.

The news follows what was essentially a tough year for NAIAS. In 2020, it had plotted a move from its longtime slot in January to what was going to be a new reimagined and expanded summertime event. Those plans, however, were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention that the event's longtime host, TCF Center (formerly known as Cobo Center) had been transformed into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients, though, it never reached capacity and closed soon after opening.

Then, the organizers of the Los Angeles auto show announced it was also moving from its usual slot, which would have taken place during both the New York and Detroit shows.

NAIS then announced that it would move from 2020 to the fall of this year.

Per Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the 2022 event will feature smaller indoor displays and will focus on moving the majority of vehicle and technology exhibits outdoors. The proposed vision for next year's auto show is a walkable event that sprawls throughout the entire downtown area and would, as previously planned, take place in more accessible, warmer months.

There may be additional changes in terms of how automakers unveil their latest models, which, in the past, has been through massive and expensive displays and presentations many of which steal the thunder from other brands' reveals. Many brands have pivoted to virtual debuts and have experienced the same amount of exposure and, according to Alberts, may continue to do so in the future.

This year's auto show has been replaced with the Motor Bella at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, which will take place Sep. 21-26. The auto-centric Motor Bella is described as being a "multi-sensory" event and will allow automakers to showcase their vehicles in an outdoor setting.

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