Last cold Auto Show in Detroit

Mayor Mike Duggan took a tour of the NAIAS showroom Monday morning.(Photo By: michronicleonline.com)
Mayor Mike Duggan took a tour of the NAIAS showroom Monday morning.(Photo By: michronicleonline.com)

By Branden Hunter

The 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will make its final appearance during the winter season in Detroit, January 14-27. In 2020, the show will shift to June, a development that Mayor Mike Duggan praised on Monday during a tour of the showroom, predicting the warmer weather will draw “thousands” of people on the streets of Detroit.

“Years from now, when people are coming to the June auto show, they are going to say to their kids, ‘I remember when we used to come down in January when it was freezing’”, said Duggan.

The venue was still under construction, but Duggan stopped by to check out the progress. He was joined by auto show chairman Bill Golling and vice chairman Doug North, as well as a posse of media members as he walked around the floor of the Cobo Center convention hall.

Duggan pointed out the economic impact the auto show has on the region already and how that will be amplified now that it will be during the summer months next year.

“By and large, people come to the auto show during the cold and go home,” he said. “I think, when you look at June of 2020, you’re going to see thousands of people on the streets of Detroit. And, of course, by then, you’ll have Ford well on their way into the train station, you’ll have the high-rising Hudson’s coming out of the ground, and the beautiful riverfront. So, I totally support what they are doing. For those of us that grew up here, this is going to be a little bit of nostalgia, the last show.”

The annual North American International Auto Show gets underway with a media preview January 14. It is open to the public from January 19-27. More than 800,000 people attended the event’s public days a year ago.

And while the summer auto show is still 17 months away, it was the talk of the preview, tossing around all of the possibilities that may come with it. Of course, the main plus will be the warmer temperatures and access to open space in downtown Detroit.

“We need all of you to pray for good weather in 2020,” North said jokingly to the media. He will take over as chairman in 2020. “Outside, we will have 14 additional acres, including Hart Plaza, which gives us the opportunity to put on a great show. We are already in the planning stages, and our goal is to have displays both inside and outside. You might be able to ride in a car outside or inside and you’ll see some more of the motorsport and racing type activities, something we aren’t able to do as much inside.”

The hosts of the NAIAS estimate there to be about 30 product reveals at the auto show. This is a massive decrease from the 69 reveals that took place at the 2018 auto show. Another dying trend for the 2019 NAIAS is the fact that there is only one press conference schedule for the weekend leading into the press preview days.

“Obviously, with a few less participants, it’s going to make a difference,” said Golling. “They don’t tell us everything that is going to be going on, but the 30 reveals is still a great number for us.”

The charity event is January 18 and Golling said it is the largest charity event in the country. They raised $1.5 million for Detroit-area children’s charities and $112 million has been raised since 1976. Tickets are $400 each, $390 of which is tax deductible.

The NAIAS show is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, except Sunday, Jan. 27 where it is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $14 per person, $7 for seniors 65 and older and $7 for children 7-12 years old. Children 6 and under are free with a parent or guardian.

This article originally appeared in the Michigan Chronicle. 

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