Detroit Auto Show Pushes September 2024 Event to January 2025
Originally contracted for Sept. 16-24, 2024 at Detroit’s Huntington Place, the annual Detroit Auto Show will move to Jan. 10-20, 2025. Following a three-year hiatus, the show was held in September in 2022 and 2023, but it will move back to its January timeframe and not be held in 2024.The Detroit Auto Show was launched in 1899 and held in January through 2019.
“Our primary goal is to create an impactful auto show and showcase our great city and industry,” said Detroit Auto Show and Detroit Auto Dealers Association Executive Director Rod Alberts in a post on LinkedIn.
He continued, “After discussions with numerous partners, we believe a January date absolutely makes the most sense. In a constantly changing global automotive landscape, this update reflects our efforts to continue to reimagine the Detroit Auto Show while keeping an eye on what matters most – getting people excited about cars.”
Why it matters: The Detroit Auto Show, one of the most influential annual automotive events in the world, features brand-defining vehicles, product ride-and-drives and dynamic experiential activations. The event includes: Media Day; Technology Days; Mobility Global Forum, a two-day symposium on mobility trends and new technologies; AutoMobili-D, an inside look at future mobility platforms; Charity Preview, a fundraising gala for children’s charities; and the Public Show, a nine-day mobility and community celebration.
Looking back: In 2023, the Detroit Auto Show featured a number of new activations during the public show days. For example, the Powering Michigan EV Experience indoor track provided show-goers with an experience in multiple EV brands on a serpentine track featuring a 300-foot acceleration lane. The ride-along activation was sponsored by the Powering Michigan team of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 58 and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
Looking ahead: The Mobility Global Forum will be held concurrently with Media and Technology Days at the 2025 Detroit Auto Show. The Charity Preview will be held on Fri., Jan. 10. Public days will be Jan. 11-20.
We caught up with Visit Detroit President & CEO Claude Molinari, who has worked on the auto show for 13 years as General Manager of Huntington Place and in his current role, to get his take on the move.
What do you think is important for our trade show audience to know? The auto industry is going through a tremendous disruption. With EV sales slowing down, there is still a great deal of uncertainty and that translates into OEM (original equipment manufacturer) participation in auto shows. I think manufacturers will still use auto shows as a platform to bring vehicles to market, but that participation will be uneven until a clear path forward has been established.
What was the economic impact in 2023? We found this report from last year that estimated the economic impact to be $1 billion. Did it pan out to be $1 billion?
Certainly, in the hundreds of million dollars, but not something I would be able to confirm. (We did reach out to the Detroit Auto Show but have not received a response yet.)
How many years have you worked on this show? Any perspective you want to share?
I’ve been working with the Detroit Auto Show for 13 years, and I believe that it is the most important auto show in the world. With three of the largest OEMs located in Detroit, the home teams have always shown up and shown out! The event may not be as impactful as it once was, but it is still a vital economic driver for the Detroit region. Our hospitality community is thrilled to host it.
How will the move from September to January impact the city?
Detroit has had great success attracting citywide conventions to September. January is certainly a more challenging time of year to book major events, so our entire hospitality community is thrilled to see the Auto Show return to that month where they will see a big boost in revenue.