Automakers talk benefits, challenges of moving NAIAS to June

Posted at 4:47 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 08:03:29-04

The North American International Auto Show is planning to undergo major changes after decades inside of the COBO Center. But with those changes come excitement as well as challenges. 

A change in schedule means going from a winter event to a summer event, which will not just be limited to COBO Hall, but all extending throughout downtown Detroit. 

"I want to get more butts in the seats of our cars," said Max Muncey, with NAIAS.  

It's the evolution of an auto show known for making global history. Starting in 2020, the NAIAS will move from January to June, creating a more festival-like atmosphere no longer limited to an indoor space. 

"We want to tie in new partners and experiences unlike anything else they've experienced in the world," Muncey said.

A lot of automakers, including Ford and General Motors, have expressed excitement over the chance to start the week on June 8. This gives them the chance to move some exhibits and activities such as self-driving demonstrations outside of the walls of COBO.

Security will also be a huge part of the event, with additional resources involved. 

Event organizers say it's a way to incorporate more of downtown, such as Campus Martius, Hart Plaza and Belle Isle and the entire riverfront for things like concerts and displays. It's also part of an effort to re-invent the show after some German automakers chose to back out. 

“They already have a seat at the table. Although they may not be physically in Detroit now, the goal is to win them back in 2020,” Muncey said.