Detroit auto show moving to June in 2020

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Update: The North American International Auto Show has confirmed what had been reported for weeks: the annual Detroit auto show will move from its traditional January slot to June beginning in 2020.

According to the NAIAS, the show will begin the week of June 8. Officials say the reason for the move is so that “participating brands can deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities outside of the show’s four walls.”

“The North American International Auto Show is an amazing exhibition that showcases the most innovative and creative automotive companies around the world,” said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “Moving the show to the summer opens up new opportunities for companies as well as creating new experiences for attendees.”

Possible outdoor activities include, vehicle debuts, ride and drives, autonomous/automated driving, and off-road challenges.

Officials envision that activation sites will be located throughout downtown Detroit, including at some of the city’s jewels such as Hart Plaza, Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue, and Grand Circus Park. Locations might even extend beyond the downtown area to historic automotive sites or Belle Isle.

Read the full press release here.

According to multiple media outlets, the Detroit North American International Auto Show—a January staple for years—will move to June beginning in 2020.

The NAIAS has long served as the highly anticipated kickoff to the automotive season, with carmakers unveiling new models and prototypes. But with a number of German companies saying they won’t be back in 2019, show organizers began looking for ways to get the luster back.

According to The Detroit News, the move to June also comes with the desire to change the format to resemble the popular Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is being held in the UK this weekend. With encouragement from automakers and the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, a summertime NAIAS would be part of a larger celebration that includes other downtown events.

Organizers seemed to favor a move to October, as reported by The Wall Street Journal in March. But the switch was made to June after officials considered the potential of what GM Senior Vice President of Global Communications Tony Cervone called a “massive festival of automotive,” according to The Detroit News. The Detroit Grand Prix is also held in June, as is a fireworks festival.

The Detroit auto show’s roots date to December 1907, when the first DADA-sponsored event was held. International automakers began displaying their vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show in 1957, and the event moved to its present location at Cobo Hall in 1965.

The next Detroit North American International Auto Show is scheduled for January 14–27, 2019.

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