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Let Us All Go To The Auto Show!

Aug 28, 2007
Coming on the heels of New Year's Eve, the North American International Auto Show is one of the hottest tickets in Detroit during the month of January. It draws hundreds of thousands of auto enthusiasts from around the Detroit suburbs, with some people coming from out of state, if not out of the country.

For many, it's the first time they will see a new model from their favorite automobile company. For others, they come to see the concepts cars. Some concepts almost production ready; others, an automotive designer's vision of the future. This popular event always draws a crowd each day it's doors open. So it might be best to go by luxury sedan or limo and get dropped off or picked up right at the door.

The Detroit Auto Show is usually the first public exhibition of current automobile models, debuts, concept cars, or out-of-production classics. It is commonly attended by automobile manufacturers, and of course, the press and hundred of thousands of auto enthusiasts. Most auto shows in Europe occur once or twice a year. In the United States, most large cities host one throughout the year. They are vital to car manufacturers and local dealers as a public relations exercise, for advertising products, and for increasing publicity. The North American International Auto Show (previously called the Detroit Auto Show and often abbreviated NAIAS) is the annual automobile show (or auto show) that occurs every year in Detroit, Michigan.

The first auto show occurred in Detroit in 1907 at Beller's Beer Garden at Riverside Park and was held there every year except 1943-1952. It was renamed the North American International Auto Show in 1989. Since 1961, it has been held at Cobo Center where it occupies 1 million square feet (93,000 meters squared) of floor space. The show is particularly important because the Metro Detroit area is the location of the headquarters of the Big Three American automakers, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.

The show begins with press preview days, industry preview days and a charity preview event. The charity preview raises money for local children's charities. In 2004 and 2005, the charity preview attracted 17,500 people at $400 a ticket and raised $7 million in total.

This charity event is usually televised live for the Detroit public, then repackaged and sold to smaller markets, like Cleveland, whose auto show won't match the grandeur of Detroit's show. 2006 was the sixth consecutive year the charity preview event raised over $6 million. 35,711 tickets were sold for the industry preview representing people from 24 countries in 2005 and 6,897 credentialed press from 63 countries. Over 800,000 attended during the days the show was open to the general public in 2004. It is estimated that the show provides over $500 million to the local economy.

For the longest time, the NAIAS the only auto show in the United States sanctioned by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, however since 2006 the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show was recognized and, starting in 2007, the Chicago Auto Show will be as well.
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