Organizers of the Detroit Auto Show just announced the show would return in full bloom in mid-September.
The show, which hasn’t been held in full since 2019, will be held at Huntington Place — once known as Cobo Hall — in downtown Detroit. The show was going to switch from January to June 2020, but the COVID pandemic hit casting it and other shows into disarray.
“We are proud to return to downtown Detroit and to work with Mayor Duggan and the city of Detroit again,” said Rod Alberts, executive director, DADA. “Capitalizing on everything we’ve learned over the past two and a half years, we are uniquely positioned to bring a dynamic, engaging, experiential show to Detroit in 2022.”
The new show will run Sept. 12-25 and will “highlight a wide range of vehicles, the technology enabling global mobility and electrification race and Michigan’s position as a mobility and technology incubator,” according to organizers.
Auto shows are back – maybe
The return of the Detroit show, formally the North American International Auto Show, marks the third North American event to land on the 2022 calendar.
The Chicago Auto Show is the first full-fledged car show on the 2022 calendar, starting with media days on Feb. 10. Officials are running a full 10-day show this year. Last year’s event was held in July after several delays and was just four days with reduced capacity.
“While there were many wonderful aspects of our summertime ‘special edition’ show, we’re excited to return to February as it’s historically been an ideal time for consumers to get out and beat the winter doldrums by experiencing the industry’s latest cars, trucks and SUVs,” said Chicago Auto Show Chairman Bill Haggerty.
“Plus, the show helps to drive consumer interest in new vehicles, and it effectively kicks off the dealers’ spring selling season, solidifying that February is the right time for the show. That said, we learned a lot from the July 2021 event that we plan to implement in February. The show will also feature popular exhibits like Camp Jeep and Ram Truck Territory indoor test tracks and outdoor test drives on city streets.”
Safety concerns regarding COVID variants
Haggerty’s reference to learning “a lot” is something that other shows continue to draw from. The LA Auto Show, which took place last November, was the first full-fledged auto show in more than a year due to the pandemic — and it had restrictions, including mask requirements and proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of attendance.
The New York International Auto Show, which was scuttled last year after attempting to reschedule a couple of time, is still set to run from April 15-24. Its website offers no real details about the upcoming event, although the line-up of automakers is a who’s who of mainstream, electric and specialty brands.
Not every show has returned as the annual Geneva Motor Show cancelled its 2022 event, well in advance of the show. The 2021 Detroit show was an abbreviated event called Motor Bella aimed at keeping interest in the show high — or at least on the radar.
The Detroit show’s been in a state of flux, but with this year’s event at Cobo, er, Huntington Place, it’s come full circle. Tired of increasing numbers of complaints and fewer automakers attending due to the often uncooperative winter weather, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association elected to move the show and create a massive outdoor experience. However, COVID hit forcing the show into hiatus. Cobo