Jan 14-27, 2019: Detroit auto show opens for the last time in the cold
UNITED STATES - The North American International Auto Show (NAIA) in Detroit opens in the dead of a Michigan winter for the last time in 2019. It moves to a summer slot in 2020, betting that an auto outdoor gala atmosphere will reverse the exhibition’s flagging fortunes.
The winter staging of the Detroit auto show traditionally limits outdoor exhibits and demonstrations. The move to a date later in the year is part of an effort to give carmakers a chance to move exhibits and activities outside the walls of Detroit’s Cobo Center and into locations around the city and beyond.
Automakers – including Germany’s Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – do not plan to exhibit at the 2019 show. Other carmakers have skipped the past couple of shows. All might be persuaded to return in 2020.
Reuters notes that many of the traditional industry gatherings have registered a drop in visitor numbers since 2000, a reason for carmakers to rethink how they spend their marketing budgets. The news service explains that the digital landscape is changing the auto show, giving automakers new opportunities to connect with customers and fans alike.
Europe’s largest automotive group, Volkswagen, has scaled back brand presentations at traditional car shows, including Detroit and Frankfurt, as a cost-cutting measure in the aftermath of the 2015 VW emissions scandal.