The Detroit Auto Show is back for another mid-September run and gotten commitments from the Detroit Three automakers to appear in full force.
Formally the North American International Auto Show, organizers have been working to bring the event back to its former glory in the wake of a 2.5-year hiatus that essentially ended last year with the return to Detroit. In 2021, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association held a smaller event dubbed Motor Bella in Pontiac, Michigan designed to keep the show in people’s minds.
The move came due to a plan to shift the event from January to the summer. Then the pandemic hit and shows around the world attempted to reschedule or simply cancelled. Last year’s event in downtown Detroit wasn’t quite the spectacular show organizers hoped for, but it was an improvement from the Motor Bella.
Now the show looks to expand its offerings and, perhaps more importantly, the exhibitors. This year’s NAIAS secured commitments from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis to bring full displays to the event. Additionally, Toyota plans to return as well.
The show is expected to feature a new EV Experience indoor track, added street course ride-and-drives and an inaugural, content-rich Mobility Global Forum, organizers noted. They also suggested there would be some new wrinkles at this year’s event, but plan to reveal those closer to the show.
Held at Huntington Place in Detroit, the show kicks off with Media Day on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Technology Days/AutoMobili-D and the Mobility Global Forum are slated for Wednesday, Sept. 13 – Thursday, Sept. 14, and the signature Charity Preview event is Friday, Sept. 15. The show is open to the public Saturday, Sept. 16 – Sunday, Sept. 24.
The indoor tracks from Jeep, Ram and Ford will return, along with new “experiential activations,” officials noted. Multiple vehicle debuts have been confirmed for the show, which will be a substantive upgrade from last year’s event.
In addition to the Detroit Three and Toyota, there will be increased representation from a number of brands. Show officials expect double the number of participating brands.
“This year’s show represents the next step in its evolution and in the evolution of the industry itself,” said Detroit Auto Show Chairman Thad Szott.
“Automotive technology is changing so rapidly; how do we make people comfortable with it? We’re planning for a show that not only embraces and educates about this new technology but offers an immersion into it. And with twice the number of brands participating, there’ll be no shortage of engaging with it.”
Now we’ll just have to wait and see if President Joe Biden makes another appearance.