Detroit Auto Show Will Officially Move To June Starting In 2020

Industry News

Goodbye frigid cold January. Hello sunny summertime June.

We’ve known for a few months now that the organizers of the Detroit Auto Show wanted to move the event from January to either October or June. Today, we have our official answer. Organizers have announced a “transformational move” to June starting in 2020 (October still leaves open the possibility for bad weather). Specifically, the 2020 Detroit Auto Show will get underway the week of June 8th.

The reason for the date change was simple: it’s freaking freezing outside in Detroit in January. That alone does not allow any sort of outdoor exhibits and/or demonstrations of, for example, future mobility technologies.

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Detroit is also in the process of turning itself into a transportation technology hub, and being able to demonstrate that in June makes complete sense. “Our show is undergoing its most significant transformation in the last three decades,” said Rod Alberts, Executive Director, NAIAS.

“Detroit will continue to be a global stage for some of the world’s most significant and iconic vehicle reveals and host an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.” Show organizers have also released several rendered images showing what the 2020 event could look like. Another reason for the date change was due to a drop in automaker exhibits.

For example, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have all opted out of Detroit 2019, which will be the last time the show is held in January. Other brands, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, and Porsche have not displayed at Detroit for the past few years. Hopefully that’ll soon change. The summertime date makes the show more attractive and, just as important, enables automakers to produce off-site events instead of being located solely inside Cobo Hall. Even the Detroit Auto Dealers Association is fully behind the date change. "As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season," Doug North, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, said in an official statement.

"The new direction and focus of the show will disrupt the normal cadence of traditional shows and create a new event unparalleled in the industry.” Another added bonus to the June date is the Detroit Grand Prix. “The potential to create a month long automotive festival in Detroit starting with the Detroit Grand Prix, going through our show and concluding with the nationally-celebrated fireworks on the river, will provide an unmatched festival-like experience for all attendees,” added Alberts. "June provides us with exciting new opportunities that January just didn't afford."

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