Reports in The Detroit News and Free Press follow the release last month of a teaser video clip from DADA that showed an outdoor hill test-driving course, rooftop driving track and other outdoor amenities along Cobo Center’s international riverfront perch. The News, citing unnamed sources, says officials are also vetting about a dozen new names, suggesting that next year’s North American International Auto Show, which will take place in January, may be the last with that name and date.
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association plans an official announcement July 24. The group has also been considering dates in October.
DADA has reportedly been lobbying automakers and other stakeholders to support the June move, touting advantages such as outdoor attractions, showing off the city’s revitalizing downtown and slotting in after the New York Auto Show in April. A June date would add up to a busy month in the city, kicking off with the Belle Isle Grand Prix and including the city’s traditional international fireworks celebration with neighboring Windsor, Ontario. In a new twist, Ford is reportedly urging organizers to emulate the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which includes a hill climb, supercar runs and a moving auto show.
Officials rebranded the Detroit Auto Show to the North American International Auto Show in 1989 in a bid to lure more unveilings from international automakers. But like other auto shows, NAIAS has suffered a string of defections in recent years. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have all said they plan to skip next year’s show in January.