They want to see the show return after a 44-month hiatus.
We miss car shows. We're all for the joys brought about by a digital society, but as the recent LA Auto Show showed, there's nothing quite like being in a massive convention center with thousands of likeminded individuals poring over the intricate details of new cars, concepts, and technology from the world's leading automakers. But some shows are historically better than others, and one such automotive nirvana is the Detroit Auto Show. While it was replaced this year by Motor Bella, which was admittedly a lot of fun, the show itself has now been on a 44-month Covid-induced hiatus. However, that may change, as Detroit lawmakers are trying to push through a $9 million one-time grant for the 2022 edition of the show. This is according to Automotive News, which discovered the $9 million grant in the Legislature's $795 million spending bill.
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association responsible for organizing the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), canceled the show in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic but is planning on reviving the show next September at Huntington Place, formerly known as Detroit's riverfront convention center, TCF center, and Cobo Center. The $9 million will go a long way towards restarting the famed show, which is entirely the purpose of the fund. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Thomas Albert, R-Lowell told Crain's Detroit Business that the money was "just to help them get back, get them up and running again," citing that it's "really important for the state of Michigan."
The last time the show was hosted was in January of 2019 when the Mustang Shelby GT500 was revealed. Rod Alberts, executive director of the DADA explains that in previous years, each show funds the next, but cites that the nearly three-year void meant that a direct support request from the state of Michigan had to be made. "This one-time funding will help put the show back on strong financial footing and go toward making a 2022 show the best one yet - showcasing all things Michigan has to offer on the automotive front," said Alberts.
Hopefully, with more recent variants of the virus showing less severe infections, and vaccine roll-out at an all-time high, the funding will enable the show to get back on its feet and reestablish its rhythm like it did in years gone by.