The North American International Auto Show is Shifting Gears in 2020

North American International Auto Show is Shifting Gears in 2020

For the first time in decades, The 2020 North American International Auto Show will be moving from its traditional January event to June.  And the date isn’t the only thing that’s changing.

TCF Center (formerly Cobo Center) will still have vehicle exhibits indoors,  but the displays will extend into Downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza.  This will add 14 acres of outdoor space,  allowing car companies to feature more dynamic demos,  such as autonomous cars and other live technology.

What Prompted the Change?

In 2019,  the auto show saw three German car manufacturers pull out of the event.  In 2018,  several luxury automakers declined,  including Porsche,  Jaguar,  Land Rover and Volvo.

Thanks to the increase in live streaming and the decrease in reveals,  many global manufacturers simply weren’t seeing their return on investment by attending the event.

Also,  with today’s technology,  consumers are interested in more than just engine power and design.  As vehicles continue to evolve with smart technology,  a new landscape is required for car companies to reveal their products.

North American International Auto Show Chairman,  Doug North,  said that trends had been indicating the need for change.

“The old style,  static auto show clearly was failing in that regard,”  North said,  referring to the needs of both consumers and manufacturers.

“Consumers want more dynamic interaction.  Manufacturers want to be able to show their product in different lights,  and not just parked,  with the doors locked,  on the carpet,  under lights.”

These changes bring good news to Downtown Detroit.  The show has doubled in size for 2020, with consumers nearly filling the TCF Center and the newly added outdoor space in Hart Plaza.

“Both the main show floor and Hart Plaza are nearing capacity,”  North said. “There will be more automotive technology exhibits and startups on display than we’ve ever seen before.”

Motown Will Host Several Events This Summer

Moving the Auto Show to June should create a festive atmosphere in Motown for the whole month.

“Given you have the Grand Prix in early June, the show would be in mid June,”  says North. “Then we have the fireworks. The whole month of June would be more of a downtown festival – an automotive type of festival.”

The 2020 Detroit auto show will also feature a prelude event,  Motor Bella,  June 5th-8th which will take place on Broadway Street,  next to the Detroit Opera House.   The weekend festival will feature Italian and British supercars as well as European food and culture.

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