The Detroit Auto Show Could Be Moving To October

The North American International Auto Show has been a January tradition for decades but it appears the show’s organizers are considering a switch to October.

According to Crain’s Detroit, auto show officials have been considering the idea for more than a year and have been in talks with automakers, suppliers and city officials. No decision has been made at this point but even if everyone can agree to an October switch, it reportedly would not happen until 2020.

Officials believe moving the show to October would bring several benefits including giving automakers the opportunity to showcase new products and technologies – such as autonomous driving systems – outside the confines of Cobo Hall. The average high temperature in Detroit in January is a chilly 32° F (0° C) while October temps are much more subtle for outdoor exhibits as the average high is 60° F (15.5° C) according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The switch to October would also help distance the Detroit Auto Show from the Consumer Electrics Show which also takes place in January. It has grown in importance over the past few years and a number of automakers have used CES to introduce models such as the Chrysler Portal concept.

While this sounds like a win-win situation, there are still a number of downsides. Moving the show to October would put it right behind the massive Frankfurt and Paris motor shows which trade off every September. The show would also come shortly ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show which usually kicks off in late November.

Besides having to play second fiddle to the Frankfurt and Paris juggernauts, an October move would require the North American International Auto Show to renegotiate its contract with Cobo Hall as the current agreement runs through 2025.

  • Six Thousand Times

    A much better idea than Detroit in January – right after CES.

    • That would be even worse, manufacturer would still busy from CES and they can’t afford having 2 major events at short span.

      • Six Thousand Times

        That’s what’s happening now. Detroit is the week after CES.

  • Six_Tymes

    smart, should always be that way. show off next years goods at the proper time. this makes much sense for many reasons. i’m surprised it took them this long to think of the schedule change

    • Rocket

      Yep, they keep losing automakers, so they have to do something.

  • Clashing with LAAS means someone would have take the bullet. And regarding Frankfurt/Paris. Those two shows has been declining as most European manufacturer imposed a limit on events to go. So I don’t see much problem with those.

    • Rocket

      It wouldn’t clash with LA any more than it currently interferes with Chicago.

    • 2sfhim

      You can be assured that German manufacturers will never skip the Frankfurt motor show and that French car manufacturers will never skip the Paris motor show. These shows are still much more important than Detroit. More visitors and/or bigger.

      • They can’t survived with other brands outside their respective countries, and maybe German will still show their cars at Frankfurt but Paris is under a big threat, I remember PSA boss said that they want to save money and focus more on launching event online or outside car show.

  • Farhan Vladimir Lorenzo-Krause

    Oh come on, it was perfectly fine that way! -_-

    …is changing an already appropriate schedule for one of the most anticipated auto shows really at all necessary?


    how about LA shows? it was held every november

  • Nordschleife

    I personally don’t think that Detroit should have to change as it was one of the first auto shows and by moving it to October it will be a month before LA. I get it will be warmer in October but I guess Detroit in January was a staple and the first major auto show of the new year. I guess if they make the change then we’ll have to wait until New York because they treat Chicago like a OEM SEMA which I dislike as well.

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