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.
The Detroit Auto Dealers’ Association recently got some good news. Michigan lawmakers have decided to give them a $9 million grant to put on a Detroit Auto Show — the first since 2019 — and effectively “reopen” one of the world’s biggest auto shows. And, while it’s good for the dealers, I have to admit that the news has left me angry with rage.
But why? I’m a car person, so I should be happy, right? After all, Detroit is a major show, packed with cool concept cars and big, international reveals. That stuff’s exciting, who wouldn’t want more of that!? But, sitting here and facing down the start of 2022, I can’t get past the feeling that the traditional auto show is dead — and should stay dead.
The North American International Auto Show, aka Detroit Auto Show, can’t catch a break.
Organizers decided to move the show to summer and the outdoors for 2020, and boom, COVID comes along and cancels it. They rebrand, move it to late summer and outdoors — at a different site — and boom, Mother Nature decides to assert herself with a day and a half of deluge. So much water fell from the sky that the second day was canceled.
North American International Auto Show organizers broke with tradition this year by moving the premier trade event, for decades held in January, to a more pleasant and marketable June date. Now they’ve broken with tradition again — by scrapping the thing altogether.
The reason behind it is so glaringly obvious it hardly needs to be stated, but the specific, logistical reason is even more grim: the show’s venue, Detroit’s TCF Center (née Cobo Center), is turning into a field hospital.
When Hyundai announced an “N Line” trim level to complement its N performance sub-brand, we initially presumed it would akin to Chevrolet’s Redline vehicles or Volkswagen’s R-Line. If you’re unfamiliar with these vehicles, they can be summed up by the classic idiom “all show and no go,” and are only a small sample of a broader trend sweeping the industry.
Fortunately, it turns out Hyundai cares about more than just looking good. While we can’t speak for the upcoming wave of N Line products the Korean automaker has in store, we can discuss the Elantra GT N Line — the first of these mid-range performance models, revealed Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The N Line replaces the existing Elantra GT Sport as the sportiest variant of Hyundai’s compact hatch and introduces some assertive styling choices borrowed from the Veloster and Europe-only i30 N.
Volkswagen introduced the new 2020 Passat at the Detroit auto show on Monday, but calling it “new” might not be entirely fair. While the midsize sedan has undergone a complete visual overhaul and received some new technology in the process, its mechanical bits have gone mostly unchanged versus last year’s model.
For 2020, Volkswagen modernized the Passat’s image by stretching the grille and adopting smaller headlamps. The prominent crease seen on the Jetta runs from stem to stern. That means some will continue confusing the two models well into the next decade but, for those who appreciate reserved styling and have a keen eye, the Passat is the more dapper of the pair. Still, like we said, this is pretty much the same car VW has been slinging for the last eight years — just newer looking.
Things are starting to get truly ugly between Canada’s Unifor and General Motors. On Friday, the union held a rally in Windsor, Ontario, with that automaker’s headquarters just a river away. During the event, Unifor President Jerry Dias expressed his annoyance with the automaker’s restructuring plan and promised to bring the noise to GM’s front door during the North American International Auto Show this week.
Friday’s gathering, which Unifor and the Windsor and District Labour Council claimed drew around 2,000 people despite its brevity, focused primarily on the company’s decision to shift more of its North American production to Mexico and the shuttering of Oshawa Assembly and the end of this year. Dias said he wants the union to work with the automaker to keep Canadian jobs and avoid a potential boycott. Though that might be just around the corner, as the UAW has already issued a boycott of its own within the United States.
Infiniti will unveil a new concept previewing its first electric car at the North American International Auto Show next month. On Friday, Nissan’s luxury division released a digitally shrouded image of the model to help build anticipation.
While Infiniti spent much of the past year showcasing interesting concept vehicles, precious few have a snowball’s chance in hell of reaching production. Instead, the autos served as an opportunity for Infiniti to dabble in a new design language while simultaneously proving that it hasn’t forgotten about electrification. Last January, the company showcased the Q Inspiration, announcing it would electrify its entire portfolio from 2021 onward, using either e-Power or pure EV powertrains. Seven months later, it unveiled the Prototype 10 at Monterey Car Week — which it said solidified the look of upcoming models, especially those of the electric persuasion.
While this upcoming crossover appears to do much of the same, there’s a chance it might be a precursor for a vehicle that might someday reach the showroom.
Not to be outdone by Toyota’s announcement of an all-wheel drive Prius at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford issued a teaser promoting the most capable variant of one of its own iconic models — the Mustang Shelby GT500.
However, the car isn’t coming to LA. According to Ford’s social media accounts and a new display in California, the vehicle won’t be on display until January 14th of 2019. As you might have guessed, that’s in the midst of the North American International Auto Show.
The North American International Auto Show, held in mid-January since there were starting handles on the front of cars, may be jumping halfway across the calendar to the month of June.
Facing a declining level of participation, the show has been looking for ways to reinvent itself in a bid to remain relevant and continue grabbing headlines during a time of year when digital ink is easily slurped up by news from other events.
There’s only one more North American International Auto Show to go before America’s premier automotive event trades its bitter winter winds for temperate climes.
After months of rumor and speculation, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association — the organization behind the show — declared Thursday that it will no longer hold the event in January. After the 2019 show, journalists will no longer be able to watch icebergs form on the Detroit River.
The 2019 North American International Auto Show will be decidedly less Germanic than in years past. On Thursday, Audi announced plans to ditch the upcoming Detroit show, joining its two premium German rivals in steering clear of the wintry venue.
It’s the latest blow for a marquee auto show currently in the process of reinventing itself amid declining relevance and automaker interest.
The ratio of Detroit iron to imports stands to rise at the next North American International Auto Show, following BMW’s decision to withdraw from the event. On Friday, the German automaker announced it will join a growing list of automakers — including rival Mercedes-Benz — that don’t have time for the Detroit show.
It’s the latest blow for an event struggling to maintain its relevance in an age of off-site reveals, tech-focused consumer shows, and global online audiences.
Anyone living north of, let’s be generous, the Mason-Dixon line or Ohio River, knows that January is probably the worst month in which to enjoy anything related to automobiles. Driving them, repairing them, and even travelling long distances to look at them.
Now, let’s say there was a car-filled extravaganza that occurred every winter in a northern city located next to a number of very large lakes and along a well-defined storm track. Surely, this could not only impede the enjoyment (and perhaps forward momentum) of said cars, but it could make getting to said northern city a challenge.
Suffice it to say, Detroit in January isn’t the most pleasant of environs, and the North American International Auto Show’s organizers know it. As concerns about the show’s waning appeal grow, sources claim the event is prepared to set up shop in a warmer month.
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- El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.
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