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.
“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?)
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