Hagerty Canceling Detroit Concours d’Elegance for 2024


hagerty canceling detroit concours d elegance for 2024

The annual Detroit Concours d’Elegance is being canceled this year so Hagerty can reassess the event. While the company has stated that it remains committed to the Concours, the messaging was mixed enough to leave doubts about whether there will actually be another one.

“It’s been a privilege to unite car lovers in the heart of the Motor City at the Detroit Concours,” the organizers explained on the event website. “Thanks for riding with us. While we are still working to develop what the future of the Detroit Concours may look like, we’re sad to announce that we won’t be hosting the event this year.”

“Detroit is a special automotive city, full of very special car lovers. Our commitment to fueling the city’s car culture remains as strong as ever. For starters: We hope you’ll join us at RADwood on September 14, 2024 at Hart Plaza to celebrate ’80s and ‘90s vehicles and the iconic music and fashion that surrounded them.”

hagerty canceling detroit concours d elegance for 2024

As with other automotive shows that share its name, the event caters primarily to high-end vintage automobiles in exceptional condition. But Detroit hasn’t been considered “The Paris of the Midwest” in generations. Truth be told, France’s capital has likewise seen better days — perhaps suggesting that now isn’t the time for there to be a surplus of car-themed events aimed at people who’ve spent more on classic cars than you’ll earn over your entire lifespan.

While still an automotive hub for the United States, the Concours d’Elegance always felt a little stuffy for the Motor City. While you do see some truly spectacular classics from just about everywhere, anyone who has ever visited the Woodward Dream Cruise knows that the locals trend more toward built American muscle cars and tuned imports manufactured from the 1960s onward.

Crain’s Detroit Business noted that the event had only spent two years in Detroit after the Traverse City-based specialty auto insurance company moved it there as part of planned revival. Additionally, it speculated that Hagerty was worried about finances after prioritizing growth. The company had laid off roughly 10 percent of its workforce in 2023 and announced $105 million in a capital raise over the summer. But things have been looking up since then and the brand has been narrowing its operations losses.

hagerty canceling detroit concours d elegance for 2024

Still, it may not have been a risk the company wanted to take after the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was moved back to its usual winter timeslot. Likewise scheduled for September, the 2022 Detroit Concours d’Elegance was clearly trying to ride the momentum of the trade show after it was pitched into being a fall event. But that is no longer the case, perhaps encouraging Hagerty to pass.

From Crain’s Detroit Business:

The Detroit Concours d’Elegance debuted in the Motor City in 2022 after more than 40 years in the suburbs — Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills originally, before moving to the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth in 2011.

The show’s core is a design competition between dozens of vintage vehicles throughout the Midwest. Once a staple for car enthusiasts, the show had been on life support for several years due to a lack of sponsor support under the ownership of the Concours d’Elegance of America.

Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty saw the event as an irresistible business opportunity in his home state and the mecca of automobiles. So the insurance company, which produces similar shows throughout the country, purchased the show from Concours d’Elegance of America in March 2021.

“We said, you know, the biggest missing piece here is to celebrate this incredible renaissance here in Detroit,” the CEO told Crain’s in 2022. “It also needed a little more financial horsepower that we could bring, too.”

hagerty canceling detroit concours d elegance for 2024

Without the additional draw of the North American International Auto Show, which seems to be struggling like most other industry trade shows, it sounds like Hagerty may have lost faith in Concours being financially viable. With that in mind, one wonders what the future of the event will even be. It’s not like a car show that’s focused on displaying one-of-a-kind automobiles outdoors can just pivot to the dead of winter and continue chasing NAIAS. 

“We’re proud of Hagerty’s stewardship of the Detroit Concours the last two years and look forward to bringing enthusiasts an event that aligns with the energy and identity of downtown Detroit that local enthusiasts are looking for,” organizers told Crain’s Business. “We are grateful to the attendees, sponsors, partners, and participants for their support and contribution, their involvement has been invaluable.”

hagerty canceling detroit concours d elegance for 2024

[Images: Hagerty]

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