The Detroit auto show is changing. Only three automakers are planning press conferences, and only 5 automakers are sponsoring Huntington Place (nee Cobo Hall). Politicians could be even more appealing to journalists than autos or executives.
From Detroit to Tokyo to Hamburg, the emphasis is now on general public days with fun activities for teens of all ages. People can see the “Flintstones 1994” movie in Detroit. They can ride on SUVs that barely scrape the roof and a large rubber ducky.
As I stated previously, 2016 was the year that the actual international auto show began. GM revealed the Chevy Bolt at CES the week before Detroit. Then, Motor City hosted a technical briefing about the electric automobile. This was also the year Ford CEO Mark Fields wanted to announce a deal for the Google car. He was unable to reach him in time so he was left on stage at Cobo Hall extolling the promise of a cappuccino coupon that would be delivered to your car, which was tracking all the things you do.
Each ruse was noticed by the press. Detroit was dead, and every other once-international automobile is now a shadow of its former self.
NAIAS held press conferences in 2016 with four main manufacturers, Acura, Lincoln and GMC, and earlier than the conferences with analysts and the Automotive News World Congress. This compares to three press conferences held on the same media day as this year’s present.
Ground maps tell the story just as objectively. Brands used to compete for space, and organizers today must allocate ground area according to market share in order to show their equity. Harbinger, a startup that makes electric-powered chassis taxis, may have a larger area. footage at Huntington Place like Lincoln.
If I am wrong, however, at this level, CES in Las Vegas is the most important international auto show — the only place where one could see CEOs of automakers from a variety of continents — and the preeminent international auto event.
Many of us, especially journalists, want it to be the best. This is why we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on extravagant reveals and international gatherings for executives, journalists, and others in this wonderful trade.
All of us should live on the planet as it is right now — that means resegregated market, newfound money self-discipline among document earnings, and a brand new deal avec the patron expertise. At the same time, autos become ever more accessible to the common client.
They’ll at least go to see them in people, such as a flying bike or a huge rubber duck.