IndyCar to tie its Detroit races in with Detroit Auto Show (2nd Update)

Will IndyCar adjust it's schedule so the Detroit Races can piggyback on the Detroit Auto Show - they can both help each other.....or will they be asleep at the wheel again?
Will IndyCar adjust it's schedule so the Detroit Races can kickoff or end the Detroit Auto Show – they can both help each other with fantastic co-events…..or will they be asleep at the wheel again and miss a golden opportunity?

UPDATE In today's press conference it was mentioned that there was a desire to not hold the race and the Auto Show at the same time, but tying them together in some way probably makes a lot of sense. For example – have the Detroit GP winner and his car at the Auto Show, or if the Auto Show is first, have a race display and drivers at the show meeting and greeting people.

07/23/18 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced that starting in 2020 the show would make a transformational move to June and will start the week of June 8th. The ability for participating brands to deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities outside of the show’s four walls for attending journalists, industry members and consumers, will provide new avenues to showcase the products and technologies on display. Delivering greater ROI through reduced costs and dynamic opportunities will be a key aspect of the future show.

“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."

NAIAS is one of the most influential global auto events, touching all facets of the industry and attracting the largest concentration of the world’s top industry leaders – from automakers and suppliers, to tech startups and venture capitalists, to universities and policymakers.

“The North American International Auto Show is an amazing exhibition that showcases the most innovative and creative automotive companies around the world," said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. “Moving the show to the summer opens up new opportunities for companies as well as creating new experiences for attendees."

The show is run by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and its Executive Board. As part of the DADA and Board’s due diligence in exploring new opportunities for the show, hundreds of meetings and
conversations with key stakeholders – automakers, suppliers and sponsors, as well as industry and government leaders – were had around the world.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide an experience and opportunity for participating companies and attendees, that only Detroit can offer," said Doug North, DADA President. “June will allow us to better
showcase the automotive leadership, development and heritage our great city and region holds."

Embracing the Industry’s Change
Auto show dynamics are changing globally as the auto industry undergoes its biggest shift in more than a century. With this, automakers are seeking out increasingly creative ways to debut vehicles and engage with consumers. Plans have been underway for over a year as NAIAS stands ready to embrace this evolution with its move to June and provide a fresh international platform for hundreds of brands to highlight their innovations.

“As we look to break out of the traditional auto show model, there is not a need to follow the normal show season," added North. “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."

Endless Opportunities for Brand Activations
The reimagined show will undergo an evolution that will take the show from inside Cobo Center to a canvas of unlimited brand activation and engagement opportunities – a canvas only limited by exhibitor creativity and imagination. While the successful foundation of the show inside Cobo Center will continue with vehicles and innovative mobility technologies being showcased, transformation plans call for growth in both branding and event opportunities at multiple venues throughout Detroit, and perhaps, beyond.

“Detroit now has the opportunity to showcase our riverfront and our revitalized downtown during our beautiful summer months and creatively use the exterior of Cobo to launch new products that will transform Detroit into an exciting auto-centric environment," said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Hosting the show in June sets the stage for exhibitors to conduct dynamic outdoor experiential brand activations, immersing and engaging the media and consumers in memorable product experiences. A sampling of outdoor experiential activities might include:

  • Dynamic Vehicle Debuts
  • Ride and Drives
  • Autonomous/Automated Driving
  • Off-Road Challenges

It’s envisioned that activation sites will be located throughout downtown Detroit, including at some of the city’s jewels such as Hart Plaza, Detroit RiverWalk, Campus Martius, Woodward Avenue and Grand Circus Park. Activation spots might even extend beyond the downtown area to historic automotive locations or state parks such as Belle Isle.

“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.

07/11/18 The Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which organizes the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit, is preparing to shift the annual show to June, The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News reported Monday.

After months of deliberations, show organizers are finalizing a plan to move the annual show from its longtime January date to June in 2020, with an announcement expected July 24, the News said, citing industry sources close to the situation.

The June date would be "the cornerstone of an outdoor automotive celebration around Cobo Center and other downtown landmarks," the News said.

Downtown Detroit has seen a revival in recent years, with new stores, hotels, galleries, and restaurants and sports venues.

The Free Press reported show organizers are eager to offer outdoor events that include vehicle test drives and demos of technologies on the rooftop parking lot of Cobo Center, where the show has been staged for years, as well as nearby public streets.

A major goal of the new date "is to provide a vibrant new stage to demonstrate new vehicles and technologies like self-driving cars," the Free Press said.

A promotional video from organizers shows vehicles being driven around a track on the roof of Cobo Center and an off-road course for SUVs in front of the city's convention center.

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