The North American International Auto Show has been a January tradition for decades but, in the face increased competition from the Consumer Electronics Show and declining automaker participation, the show is officially moving to June.
The change will take place in 2020, when the show will kick off during the week of June 8th. The move has been under discussion for over a year and previous reports have suggested General Motors was pushing for the show to be held in June.
While the first summer time event is nearly two years away, the show is already hinting at what to expect. According to show’s organizers, the main event will continue to take place inside Cobo Center as various vehicles and technology exhibits will be on display. However, there will now be outdoor events which are envisioned to include dynamic vehicle debuts, consumer ride and drives, autonomous driving demonstrations and an off-road driving course.
The show suggests these events could take place at nearby Hart Plaza and the Detroit RiverWalk. The show also suggested additional events could take place at Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Grand Circus Park as well as Belle Isle.
In essence, the city and the show’s organizers want to June into a “month long automotive festival.” Things would kick off with the Detroit Grand Prix, which would then be followed by the North American International Auto Show. To cap things off, the Ford Fireworks come at the end of the June as an early kick off to the fourth of July.
The change to June is expected to make the show more appealing to automakers as it promises lower costs. As the show explained, “By eliminating November, December and January holidays from the move-in equation, exhibitors will see reduced overtime labor costs for builds. Additionally, the show will have a shorter move-in schedule of three weeks, significantly reduced from the current eight weeks – on average – it takes for move-in.” Unfortunately, this shortened time frame will have some downsides as automaker exhibits will be “simplified and less custom-built for Detroit.”
In a statement, the executive director of the North American International Auto Show, Rod Alberts, said “Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.” He added, “June provides us with exciting new opportunities that January just didn’t afford.”