Detroit Auto Show officially moves to June in 2020

The 2020 North American International Auto Show will be held the week of June 8th.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
2 min read
North American International Auto Show

Well, it's official: Starting in 2020, the Detroit Auto Show will take place in June instead of January.

Rumors of this shift to summer have been circulating for some time, with early reports even suggesting a potential move to October. Detroit Auto Show organizers are calling this a "transformational move," as it allows the participating companies "to deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities outside of the show's four walls."

The 2020 Detroit Auto Show will be held the week of June 8th. Check out the show's promotional video below to see sketches of how automotive exhibits could utilize space outside of Cobo Center.

It's no secret that the North American International Auto Show has suffered in recent years, especially as more and more automakers look to individual, offsite events, or schedule their big reveals for auto shows in larger, more important car-buying markets.

"As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season," Doug North, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, said in an official statement. "The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry."

A lofty statement, sure. But a move to June could very well convince some automakers to return to Detroit.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have already decided to pass on the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, which will still take place in January. Other brands like Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi and a number of high-end luxury and exotic automakers like Bentley have not had an official Detroit Auto Show presence for years.

Furthermore, holding the show the week of June 8th allows NAIAS to piggyback on the annual Detroit Grand Prix, hosted on the city's Belle Isle park.

"The potential to create a month long automotive festival in Detroit starting with the Detroit Grand Prix, going through our show and concluding with the nationally-celebrated fireworks on the river, will provide an unmatched festival-like experience for all attendees," Detroit Auto Show executive director Rod Alberts said in a press release. "June provides us with exciting new opportunities that January just didn't afford."