For months, organizers of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) have hinted at a move from the traditional frigid January to the much warmer, more inviting June. Today they announced their plans for the big move in 2020, which will include much more interactive elements for visitors.
Organizers say that a move to better weather will allow for exhibits outside the building, and outside the scope of Cobo Center. It would also bring different brand activation and opportunities, and offer people hands-on experiences with the automobiles. According to a press release, this could include,
- Dynamic Vehicle Debuts
- Ride and Drives
- Autonomous/Automated Driving
- Off-Road Challenges
The auto show, which would take place right after the Grand Prix, would be able to spread out into more downtown locations, including Campus Martius, Hart Plaza, Grand Circus Park, the Riverwalk, and Woodward Avenue. They could even move out into locations further from downtown, including historic auto locations and Belle Isle. Water taxi, anyone?
“Detroit now has the opportunity to showcase our riverfront and our revitalized downtown during our beautiful summer months and creatively use the exterior of Cobo to launch new products that will transform Detroit into an exciting auto-centric environment,” said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
This means Detroit will run three major events right in a row as summer begins: Movement on Memorial Day Weekend to the Grand Prix the following weekend right into the Auto Show, scheduled to start June 8.
Organizers say that this year’s event brought in three quarters of a million people to the city.
We have a lot of questions as this starts to take shape. Does Detroit have enough hotel space? If the Grand Prix stays on Belle Isle, can it tear down its structures quick enough? What would an auto show exhibit look like on the island park? How soon can we hail a water taxi? Can we get a ferry to Windsor while we’re at it?
The 2019 NAIAS will take place in January, leaving 17 months to plan for this bigger show.