Ah, Detroit in January. As a former resident, I can confirm: It's not a super appealing time of year. But the Detroit Auto Show isn't just moving to new dates because of the lousy weather. The North American International Auto Show needs a revitalization, and the show's organizers believe it could find greater success if it was held during the summer.
That's why, according to the Detroit Free Press, NAIAS is likely moving to June, beginning in 2020. This will not only give the show a more prominent slot on the calendar -- auto show season currently runs from fall through spring -- but will allow organizers to utilize outdoor space near Cobo Hall to showcase things like off-road or autonomous driving demonstrations.
suggested the Detroit Auto Show could also move to October. "Ongoing discussions are under way with key stakeholders around the world," a show spokesperson told Roadshow back in March. A final announcement is expected later this month.
It's no secret that major auto shows are losing prominence in modern times. They're still super important for consumers and enthusiasts, but they're incredibly costly for automakers. As a media event, many companies are finding better returns on off-site reveals not tied to a specific location or auto show.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have already confirmed they will pass on the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. Other automakers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi and several luxury and exotic brands, have not had an official, OEM-backed presence at the January event for years.