You may fondly remember when your dad or mom took you to downtown Detroit every January to see the Auto Show. You rode the People Mover. You joined the throngs of Detroiters catching a glimpse of the new Mustang, the array of Jeeps, or the sleek Buick concept. This was your annual day with them in downtown Detroit. You will always remember it.
Years later armed with camera or cell phone, curiosity, and competitive juices, you were now one of the mass of engineers, communications professionals, industry leaders, and global journalists there for the latest unveil and to poke, prod, measure, and take in the latest technology that just might be visible on the show floor.
Every year for decades, it has been our auto show. Time marched on. The industry ebbed and flowed, leaders changed political offices, and C-suites and Detroit maintained their love affair with cars.
Michigan remained a global epicenter for the automotive industry.
Come 2020, absolutely everything changed. The world stopped. Our world stopped. And of course, we did not have a show in 2020 or 2021. But we will this year and for years to come.
Amid so much change and challenge, one thing remains – our place as the leader in automotive and mobility research, design, testing, engineering, and advanced manufacturing. There are other centers of excellence in the world, but only one possesses the unique concentration of 26 global OEMS, suppliers of all sizes, automated and connected test facilities and deployments, and research institutions.
As we strive to continue this legacy while also evolving with the industry, it is evident that the “traditional” auto show is a thing of the past.
Today, global vehicle companies can launch a new product on social media, and they can host a mass of select global journalists for a ride-and-drive anywhere in the world. Budgets are tight. The chip crisis, supply chain snarls, and inflation and labor demands have made the last couple of years exceedingly difficult. But what is also different is the way our industry is led and run. There is discipline and focus that one could argue did not exist in previous times. This means the 2022 Auto Show will be different too. It is going to be increasingly about the experience and a look at the technology that will be part of Detroit’s continuing evolution.
So what will you see at this year’s auto show? It will still be about vehicles, but it will also be about culture, music, food, and people connecting during one of Pure Michigan’s most beautiful months. It will be experiential inside Huntington Place, outside in Hart Plaza, and can tie into all our cultural institutions like the DIA and the Motown Museum. There will also be activity on the river and in restaurants, clubs, and parks.
What will it be? It will be ours.
Just like it was 30 years ago, just different. Because things do not stay the same forever. When times of impact and change occur, there are only two paths that can be taken: growth or decline. The auto show is on a new course for growth. Enjoy the Camp Jeep, Bronco Mountain, the new Mustang, the drones, the music, the Charity Preview, and most of all enjoy the experience with your children, your family, and your colleagues. It will be about Detroit and our future. And it will always be ours.
Check out our website at http://www.michauto.org/!