Detroit Auto Show Allegedly Happening This Year

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The North American International Auto Show is reportedly back on schedule, with NAIAS organizers announcing that the Detroit-based event will be returning on September 14th, 2022.

But we’ve been burned before. A central theme of the last two years has been the announcement of trade events before their subsequent cancellation or transition into a virtual approximation of the real thing where out-of-touch CEOs read things in front of poorly rendered backdrops.

Fortunately, there’s reason to hope this year will be different. Last year, the canceled 2021 Detroit Auto Show managed to get rejiggered into the smaller and largely outdoor Motor Bella event held in Pontiac, Michigan. That would seem to indicate there are people who actually want to look at automobiles in person and still a few manufacturers that are still willing to make that happen.

Automotive News has likewise reported Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) and the NAIAS, as recently confirming the dates during the 2022 North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards presentation (Ed. note — He did. I caught it right as I tuned in for the award presentation. I made note of it, but this is our deeper look at NAIAS 2022). He reiterated the promise in a formal announcement on the NAIAS homepage.

“We are proud to return to downtown Detroit and to work with Mayor Duggan and the city of Detroit again,” Alberts said. “Capitalizing on everything we’ve learned over the past two and a half years, we are uniquely positioned to bring a dynamic, engaging, experiential show to Detroit in 2022.”

The event will be hosted at the Huntington Place (formerly TCF) Convention Center with press/tech days running from September 14th to the 15th. September 16th is reserved for the annual Charity Preview, limiting attendance to highfalutin types in exchange for millions of dollars intended for Detroit-area nonprofits.

The remaining days (ending Sept. 25th) will be focused on catering to the public. Organizers are planning a mix of indoor and outdoor booths with more activities than in previous years. NAIAS officials have also stated that 2022 will focus on “the technology enabling global mobility and electrification race and Michigan’s position as a mobility and technology incubator.”

We’re giving 50/50 odds that it’ll be canceled. (Ed. here again — Chicago is full-go, with proof of vax and a mask requirement, and that’s indoors in February. So I’m a bit more optimistic for NAIAS. Then again, Chicago could get binned, so who knows?)


Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Jan 13, 2022

    I hope they come back but living in a Dim controlled state I'm not holding my breath Buffalo will allow it. If it were in Niagara county maybe but the convention center is in Downtown buffalo and its a race between the County Dimwit and the Mayor Dimwit to constrict business as much as possible. The buffalo show was always pretty much just a mass dealership display of existing vehicles (very few truly new models on display) but it was still a convenient way to look a lots of cars in one setting. It's nice when you can go back and forth from two or three competing models without running all over town repeatedly. I've never been to a real auto show where I could look at cool concepts and actually sit in new models soon to be in dealers so I'm pulling for Detroit.

  • Detroit-X Detroit-X on Jan 13, 2022

    So this is what used to be called Cobo Hall. Downtown Detroit is truly rebounding. You have many blocks to walk and see the cool architecture (I recommend looking inside the buildings too, when allowed). There is a "beach bar" in the downtown, with bar, sand, chairs. Events will surely go on. The riverfront is right there, and you can walk up and down it a long ways. There are boat rides that go up, then down, the river, which is nice (cash bar). Canada is over there too, eh. The sports stadiums are downtown too. A drive up Woodward to Pontiac and the racetrack would take to to any "Motor Bella" events (hopefully they will have a renaming contest this year). Finally the weather should be nice in timeframe.

  • Leonard Ostrander We own a 2017 Buick Envision built in China. It has been very reliable and meets our needs perfectly. Of course Henry Ford was a fervent anti-semite and staunch nazi sympathizer so that rules out Ford products.
  • Ravenuer I would not.
  • V8fairy Absolutely no, for the same reasons I would not have bought a German car in the late 1930's, and I am glad to see a number of other posters here share my moral scruples. Like EBFlex I try to avoid Chinese made goods as much as possible. The quality may also be iffy, but that is not my primary concern
  • Tsarcasm No, Japan only. Life costs by Rank:#1 - House (150k+)#2 - Education (30k+)#3 - Automobile (30k+) why waste hard earned money in inferior crap => Korean, Chinese, and American cars are trash. a toyota or honda will last twice as long.
  • Tassos In the 90s we hired a former PhD student and friend of mine, who 'worked' at GM "Research" labs, to come work for us as a 'temp' lecturer and get paid extra. He had no objection from GM, came during the day (around 2 PM), two hours drive round trip, plus the 1.5 hour lecture, twice weekly. (basically he goofed off two entire afternoons out of the five) He told me they gave him a different model new car every month, everything (even gas) paid. Instead of him paying parking, I told him to give me the cars and I drove them for those 90 mins, did my shopping etc. Almost ALL sucked, except the Eldo coupe with the Northstar. That was a nice engine with plenty of power (by 90s standards). One time they gave him the accursed Caddy Catera, which was as fun driving as having sex with a fish, AND to make it worse, the driver's door handle broke and my friend told me GM had to pay an arm and a leg to fix it, needed to replace almost the whole damned door!