This year, the North American International Auto Show was supposed to emerge in Detroit in June as a revamped and reimagined event. Organizers ended up cancelling this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
From 2021 and beyond, the NAIAS announced Monday it would host the Detroit Auto Show in September, rather than June. As a result, 2021’s event has been moved to September 28, and will run until October 9, 2021.
“NAIAS will remain a fall show going forward after the inaugural event in September 2021. Show dates have already been secured with TCF Center for the next three years.” The announcement also mentions being mindful of the German IAA show, which itself will take place during the first week of September. That event is also seeing some seismic changes, as it’s moving from Frankfurt to Munich.
Today’s announcement did not mention COVID-19 as the motivating factor for the move. Instead, the show’s Executive Director Rod Alberts said, “September is an excellent time of year for new product, and at the same time, alleviates the challenges a new crowded spring auto show calendar presents for auto show stakeholders.”
How the auto show calendar looks now
Keep in mind, the Los Angeles International Auto Show that was due for November 2020 is now happening in May. If the Detroit Auto Show went on in June, it would be sandwiched between the Chicago, New York and LA Auto Shows in the U.S., as well as IAA in Munich and the Paris Motor Show in fall, among other minor shows.
Now, with this move Detroit could position itself at the front of a new wave of car reveals. Automakers do tend to reveal large waves of product in the fall, and NAIAS in September may appeal to manufacturers as a venue to show their products.
Currently, the 2021 U.S. auto show calendar will kick off with Chicago in February. New York will follow that in April, Los Angeles in May, then Detroit in September. As for international shows, Geneva may happen in March. The German IAA show will currently go on in September, followed by Paris in October.
The North American International Auto Show is a huge event, as its an opportunity for all Big Three companies to show what they have on their home turf. While it looks like it won’t happen for another full year, we will have to wait and see how its revamped format plays out.