Detroit Auto Show Moves to September 2021 and Beyond

The North American International Auto Show has announced it will move its reimagined indoor and outdoor show to the fall of 2021 at TCF Center and in various downtown parks, closed streets, and parking lots.
NAIAS 2021 map
The reimagined North American International Auto Show will move to the fall of 2021. // Image courtesy of NAIAS

The North American International Auto Show has announced it will move its reimagined indoor and outdoor show to the fall of 2021 at TCF Center and in various downtown parks, closed streets, and parking lots.

Originally scheduled to debut last June, the new-format NAIAS was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rescheduled for the summer of 2021. Now, the show will take place Sept. 28-Oct. 9, 2021.

The move comes after the Los Angeles Auto Show recently rescheduled its usual November event for May 2021, between the New York International Auto Show in April, and the planned Detroit show in June. Had the Detroit show held fast to its original dates, automakers and vendors would have had a logistical challenge to set up shows in three cities across the country in a limited time.

“We have talked with many of our partners, particularly the OEMs, and they are fully on board and excited about the date change,” says Rod Alberts, executive director of the NAIAS. The new dates also means business leaders and families will be in town for the show, as it follows the summer vacation season.

NAIAS says the Detroit show will remain a fall show going forward after the inaugural event in September 2021. Show dates already have been secured with TCF Center for the next three years. NAIAS organizers secured dates toward the end of the month, in part, to be mindful of the new IAA in Munich, which is scheduled for the first full week in September.

“Our responsibility as an auto show is to host a global stage for current products as well as mobility innovations of tomorrow,” Alberts says. “September is an excellent time of year for new product, and at the same time, alleviates the challenges a now crowded spring auto show calendar presents for auto show stakeholders.

“Spreading out major auto shows is a win for everyone, particularly our partners. It gives auto companies an opportunity to give it their best at each and every show, which creates excitement for those who attend, too.”

NAIAS officials also say they plan to expand the show’s marketing reach, drawing additional show visitors from beyond the region and state. The campaign will emphasize that consumers can preview all of the latest new cars and trucks headed to dealership showrooms while also enjoying Detroit and Michigan in the fall.

“With seasonable autumn temperatures and technology and experiential activations positioned throughout the city, show visitors will be able to enjoy fall in a walkable, vibrant Motor City while embracing the future of the industry right before their eyes,” says Doug North, chairman of the 2021 NAIAS.

North says the September 2021 show will include the same product experiences that were originally planned for the June show, including dynamic displays and experiential ride-and-drives. The NAIAS campus will include product and technology activations both inside TCF Center and throughout the city.

NAIAS will continue to host seven shows in one: Motor Bella, The Gallery, Press Preview, AutoMobili-D, Industry Preview, Charity Preview, and Public Show.

Additionally, NAIAS is launching a new virtual thought leadership series, Q’d Up Mobility, that kicked off this morning. The monthly series will provide a glimpse into what the 2021 show has queued up for guests — an idea that was born out of tremendous interest and support after the cancelation of the 2020 show. For more information about Q’d Up Mobility, visit here.

Now in its 32nd year as an international event, the NAIAS is one of the most influential annual automotive events in the world.

The 2021 show dates are:

Motor Bella:  Sept. 24-26
The Gallery:  Sept. 26
Press Preview:  Sept. 28-29
AutoMobili-D:  Sept. 28-30
Industry Preview:  Sept. 29-30
Charity Preview:  Oct. 1
Public Show:  Oct. 2-9

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