The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) was historically held in January and was supposed to take place in June of this year for the first time ever as a totally revamped event, but the show has now moved to September 2021. This time, the new date is not COVID-related; show organizers seem to be making the change to steal the best spot of the year back from the Los Angeles show.
The NAIAS, usually called the Detroit auto show because of its location, has been held in early January for decades. Organizers realized that the dead of winter in Michigan wasn't the most ideal time to hold an event and the show was also competing for the spotlight with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which happens around the same time. Before COVID struck, show organizers were planning a totally reimagined show for June 2020, which would have let the event become bigger, combining the Detroit Indycar race and allowing more opportunities for customers to see vehicles outside in pleasant weather.
Not surprisingly, instead of having a show in June of this year, the event was cancelled. The event centre where the show was held was converted into an emergency field hospital to help with the pandemic. The NAIAS was bumped to June 2021.
Now, show organizers have announced a new date that it hopes will be permanent. Los Angeles, which normally has a show in November, had a big hold on fall reveals, being the only late-year major U.S. auto show. But over COVID-19 concerns, L.A. moved its show from November 2020 to May 2021, and it wasn't clear if L.A. would hold a second show in the usual November 2021 slot.
Grabbing the opportunity and realizing that early-fall Detroit is still pleasant, NAIAS organizers have announced that the show would be held from September 28 to October 9, 2021, and that change would be a permanent one. The show will be in late September going forward.
“Our responsibility as an auto show is to host a global stage for current products as well as mobility innovations of tomorrow,” NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a press release. “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,” Alberts said.