The organisers of the re-imagined Detroit Show appear to have erred on the side of caution with the latest timing shift

The organisers of the 're-imagined' Detroit Show appear to have erred on the side of caution with the latest timing shift

The organisers of the Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS) have announced it will move the next event, originally planned for summer 2021, to September 28 – October 9, 2021.

The event was traditionally held in Detroit in early January, but competition from automotive stands heading to Las Vegas for the CES at the same time of the year caused it to be planned for a summer slot (June) instead. This year's inaugural June 're-imagined' event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but next year's was still on until this latest announcement.

One factor that may have pushed the organisers to change the date is the decision by the organisers of the  LA Show (originally planned for this November) to postpone till next May, setting up a bunching of North American shows in the April-June period (New York show takes place in April).

NAIAS officials say the show is now teed up to be a 'global powerhouse of current product and next-generation mobility combined with immersive brand activations and product engagement for both the international media and the public'.

"We have talked with many of our partners, particularly the OEMs, and they are fully on board and excited about the date change," NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said.

NAIAS will remain an autumn (fall) show going forward after the inaugural event in September 2021. Show dates have already been secured with TCF Center (formerly known as the Cobo) for the next three years.

In terms of global exhibitors, the event now sits just a few weeks after the IAA event in Munich, meaning it potentially loses out on world premieres to the earlier event, a big one for Europe but also for global reveals. However, the organisers say they have taken into account the German show. NAIAS organisers said they secured dates towards the end of the month, 'in part, to be mindful of the new IAA in Munich, which is scheduled for the first full week in September'.

"Our responsibility as an auto show is to host a global stage for current products as well as mobility innovations of tomorrow," Alberts said. "September is an excellent time of year for new product, and at the same time, alleviates the challenges a now crowded spring auto show calendar presents for auto show stakeholders."

"Spreading out major auto shows is a win for everyone, particularly our partners. It gives auto companies an opportunity to give it their best at each and every show, which creates excitement for those who attend, too," Alberts said.

NAIAS officials also plan to expand the show's marketing reach, drawing additional show visitors from beyond the region and state. The campaign will emphasise that consumers can preview all of the latest new cars and trucks headed to dealership showrooms while also enjoying Detroit and Michigan in the fall.

"With seasonable autumn temperatures and technology and experiential activations positioned throughout the city, show visitors will be able to enjoy fall in a walkable, vibrant Motor City while embracing the future of the industry right before their eyes," 2021 NAIAS Chairman Doug North said.

North said the September 2021 show will include the same product experiences that were originally planned for the June show, including dynamic displays and experiential ride-and-drives. The NAIAS campus will include product and technology activations both inside TCF Center and throughout the city.

Additionally, NAIAS is launching a new virtual thought leadership series, Q'd Up Mobility. The monthly series will provide a glimpse into what the 2021 show has queued up for guests.

NAIAS organisers says it is the only event of its kind to present seven unique shows in one, including: Motor Bella, celebrating British and Italian luxury car brands; The Gallery, an ultra-luxury automotive event; AutoMobili-D, an inside look at future mobility platforms; Press Preview, an opportunity for automakers to debut new products and technology; Industry Preview, a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity; Charity Preview, the largest single-night fundraiser across the globe; and then concluding with an eight-day Public Show. 

The 2021 show dates are:

  • Motor Bella: Sept. 24-26
  • The Gallery: Sept. 26
  • Press Preview: Sept. 28-29
  • AutoMobili-D: Sept. 28-30 
  • Industry Preview: Sept. 29-30
  • Charity Preview: Oct. 1
  • Public Show: Oct. 2-9

See also: LA Auto Show postponed till May