Why the Detroit auto show is changing dates, again

DETROIT — The Detroit auto show is changing dates — again.

After reimagining the Detroit show as a summertime indoor/outdoor event, originally scheduled for June 2020 but postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, show organizers said Monday the event would take place Sept. 28 to Oct. 9, 2021, and would remain in the fall moving forward.

The change comes weeks after organizers for the Los Angeles Auto Show said they would move the 2020 show from November to May 2021, wedging itself in between the New York and Detroit shows. And in Europe, the Geneva auto show is considering a March 2021 date.

“Our responsibility as an auto show is to host a global stage for current products as well as mobility innovations of tomorrow,” North American International Auto Show Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a statement. “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.”

After spending the past year touting the advantages of warm weather, organizers are now looking forward to cooler air.  

“With seasonable autumn temperatures and technology and experiential activations positioned throughout the city, show visitors will be able to enjoy fall in a walkable, vibrant Motor City while embracing the future of the industry right before their eyes,” 2021 NAIAS Chairman Doug North said in a statement.

North said the show will include the same features planned for the summer event, including outdoor displays as well as ride-and-drives. There were even plans for a German Haus near the convention center that would feature an outdoor biergarten.

Among the new additions that will carry over will be Motor Bella, a three-day weekend kickoff to the show featuring Italian and British supercars that will now take place Sept. 24-26.

For the original June date, organizers wanted to stage vehicles in parking lots across from the Detroit Athletic Club and Detroit Opera House, as well as along a stretch of Broadway Street. Italian eateries were expected to set up tents along the boulevard.

It will be followed by The Gallery on Sept. 26; press preview days Sept. 28-29; Automobili-D Sept. 28-30; Industry Preview Sept. 29-30; Charity Preview Oct. 1 and public days Oct. 2-9.

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