The last Detroit Auto Show (officially North American International Auto Show) took place back in January 2019. At that time, the organizers announced that the event would be postponed to June of the following year. There were many good reasons for this decision, but one of them obviously wasn’t the coming pandemic. A show that according to the old calendar could have taken place in January 2020 simply couldn’t go on in June, in the middle of the pandemic that turned 2020 upside down.
However, the organizers had already announced in early 2019 that some outdoor activities would take place. It looks like this will be emphasized even more when the show returns in 2022.
See also: Detroit Auto Show canceled for 2021
Now officials have confirmed that the event will return next year, but with smaller indoor exhibits and a stronger focus on giving visitors an outdoor experience to discover new vehicles and technology.
Rod Alberts, director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, says the show will be held in downtown Detroit in 2022. He also explains that the show needs to change from the past, partly because automakers don’t want to spend as much on elaborate and expensive displays to showcase their key new models. The trend is towards virtual unveilings outside of auto shows, which are relatively inexpensive and offer good visibility as you don’t have to compete for attention with other automakers at an auto show.
Keep in mind that some manufacturers pulled out of the Detroit Show and other automotive events long before the pandemic.
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Alberts believes Detroit and other shows need to change to appeal more to millennials who like to experience things rather than just being spectators.
He envisions a mainly outdoor, mostly walk-in event that uses the entire city center. Smaller exhibits, indoor electric model tests and hands-on experiences will be part of the mix. And because the show takes place in June instead of January, everyone can take advantage of the good weather.
“You can’t do the same things over and over,” said Rod Alberts of the Automotive Press Association of Detroit.
Whatever the event, the announcement that the Detroit Auto Show will take place in 2022 (if things keep getting better, of course) is great news. All over the industry and around the world, automotive events are coming back to life.
Last month, the Chicago Auto Show announced it would be returning to downtown in July. The New York International Auto Show takes place at the Javits Convention Center from August 20-29, while the Los Angeles Auto Show takes place at the city’s Convention Center from November 19-28.