Going Home Again: Detroit Auto Show Returns to January


going home again detroit auto show returns to january

After a brief flirtation with warmer-weather months, the North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show, is returning to a January date.

This will start in 2025, with the charity preview taking place on January 10th next year and the show closing to the public on Jan. 20. Based on that timing, I expect the media days to take place on the 8th and 9th.

It’s unclear if there will still be a 2024 show during the late summer. Our guess would be that there won’t be — budgets and planning will simply shift towards 2025. It doesn’t seem realistic to expect a show in September and another show following so soon.

The move to summer was initially meant to take advantage of outdoor spaces in downtown Detroit. In fact, the plan to move outside was announced well before COVID impacted large events, with a target month of June. The pandemic forced some bouncing around, including a one-time move to the suburbs.

There is an advantage to hosting the show during warm weather — it’s easier to do test drives without dealing with slushy roads, and spaces like Hart Plaza can be used for vehicle unveils against a scenic skyline backdrop. Oh, and sun-tanned Californians with large platforms won’t complain about the cold — and to be fair, us Midwesterners who drive over won’t kvetch about navigating 94 during snow storms.

On the flip side, summer is a time when there are a lot more entertainment options, so it can be harder to convince the paying public to head to the convention center.

And it’s the paying public that matters. The Detroit Area Dealer Association isn’t putting on the show solely for the media, and the automakers aren’t spending millions so us keyboard warriors can cover the event. The public days matter the most, the media days just follow.

Either way, we hope to be there to bring you all the news next January.

[Image: North American International Auto Show]

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