The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), or the Detroit Auto Show as it’s known in industry circles, has historically been one of the largest showcases for unveiling the latest vehicle offerings from all of the major automakers. However, the iconic event appears to have hit two major obstacles: it’s held in Detroit. In January.
Recently, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz all announced that they'd be taking a pass on the show in 2019. The biggest issue the show faces is the timing. January is not only one of the worst weather months for Detroit, but the Los Angeles International Auto Show takes place in November and has become a more glamorous venue for vehicle introductions.
The Detroit show has also begun to compete with the Consumer Electronics Show held in the much more attractive location of Las Vegas at the same time. Not only is Vegas a stronger draw from a destination perspective, but the tie-ins with autonomous technology, home automation, and expanded device connectivity have automotive OEMs investing more time and energy in the desert.
The show is somewhat of a microcosm of the U.S. auto industry. The vested parties seem to be seeking a new approach, but that means moving away from how things have always been done.
To their credit, the folks at NAIAS are considering a move to mid-October.