The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is switching from a winter event to a summer one starting in 2020. The show will remain in Detroit. The idea is to provide more opportunities for the event — which will start the week of June 8, 2020 — to host exhibits and experiences outside of the Cobo Center.
While the foundation of the show would remain inside Cobo, branding and event opportunities could take place at multiple venues throughout the city and region, such as the Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Belle Isle. This would include dynamic vehicle debuts, ride-and-drive events, autonomous and automated driving demonstrations, and off-road challenges.
“As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season,” Detroit Auto Dealers Association president Doug North said. “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.”
Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, commented: “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.”
The move to June is anticipated to save costs for exhibitors by eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation. According to event organizers, exhibitors would see reduced overtime labor costs for builds. And, the June show would have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks — down from the current eight-week average.