NAIAS: Blending rich heritage with transformational future

This story was originally posted in the January issue of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroiter magazine. Read more at
Soon the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will open the doors on its final January show, a Detroit event that has drawn an unparalleled international audience of media, key industry influencers and hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts every icy-cold winter for the past three decades.

The show is a reflection of the world’s automotive community and will continue to be as we embark on one of the most exciting times in the history of our industry and our show. The 2019 NAIAS will again celebrate the global automotive industry, showcasing the latest in mobility innovations, new product reveals and industry-shaping announcements.

The upcoming show will also serve as a world stage for the industry transformation underway, a transformation that has encouraged automakers to seek out increasingly creative ways to debut vehicles and engage customers.

NAIAS has embraced this industry evolution with the announcement earlier this year of its move to June 2020. It’s a transformational move that will allow participating brands to deliver dynamic exhibits and experiential opportunities beyond the show’s four walls – all taking place in the summer sunshine in a revitalized and re-energized Detroit.

The 2019 NAIAS will provide an exciting glimpse of what’s to come in 2020 and beyond with a sampling of engaging hands-on activations for media and show visitors to experience. There will also be more than 750 vehicles on the show floor, plenty of conversation on an autonomous future, and an array of brand-defining products and technologies.

Building upon the success of the past two years, AutoMobili-D, a 150,000-square-foot mobility exposition, returns to the NAIAS featuring more than 218 brands, ranging from automakers to suppliers to tech startups. These game-changing companies will demonstrate and debut technologies on future mobility and transportation platforms, with a powerful list of mobility experts, innovators and C-suite executives participating in symposiums on the Cobo Atrium Stage.

Besides being a springboard for industry-shaping news and mobility innovation debuts, NAIAS touches the very heart of the Motor City, impacting Detroit and the region.

Again in 2019, Charity Preview will rally around the most vulnerable within our community, raising monies for a wide range of children’s charities. Started in 1976 by a group of local Detroit automotive dealers, Charity Preview is the world’s largest annual single-night fundraiser, generating nearly $5.1 million in 2018 alone.

NAIAS is also an economic engine for our region – drawing over three-quarters of a million people to the city with an estimated economic impact of $480 million. That’s equivalent to holding nearly two NFL Super Bowls a year in Detroit.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate our final auto show in the month of January – a show whose significant and iconic reveals over the past 30 years have laid the foundation for our show into the future. A show where the industry excitement of the present merges with the rich history of the past and the promise of the future.

Rod Alberts is the executive director of the North American International Auto Show.
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