The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is back in Detroit after almost three years. The annual exhibition brings new models, market trends, new technologies and industry innovations to audiences and industry professionals.
Since 1899, Detroit was home to this world famous auto show. However, the pandemic has not only impacted the industry itself by delaying vehicle production and launches, but also major events like the NAIAS.
After the 2020 show was moved to the spring season to bypass winter restrictions, it was forced to be canceled due to the spread of COVID-19. Since then, NAIAS could only return in 2022 after most health restrictions were eased.
Much can be unpacked from NAIAS. The event consists of three phases dedicated to different objectives.
September 14th and 15th marked the first days of the fair. These days, dubbed “Tech Days,” were dedicated to welcoming industry experts and networking opportunities.
This year, the first Tech Day welcomed President Joe Biden. Corresponding New York TimesMr. Biden is a “car dude” and a Corvette owner – although his fondness for cars has nothing to do with his attendance at NAIAS.
Touring the show, Biden announced the approval of a Investment in the millions to initiate the construction of e-charging stations on many federal highways. The investment is intended to help the US achieve its goal 50 percent of new cars will be electric in 2030 compared to six percent today.
The second phase of NAIAS – the Gala Charity Preview – took place on September 16 and welcomed donations for over 10,000 children.
“OOver the past 25 years, Charity Preview has raised more than $100 million for charities in Southeast Michigan.” WXYZ Detroit published last week.
The final phase is the September 17-24 public days – but just as many companies have suffered from the effects of the pandemic, as has the NAIAS. Since day one, the media has been releasing a contrast of expectations and waiting for the audience surprise with this year’s show.
“[…] TThe exhibition space was in a more depressing state than ever,” wrote Lalita Chemello for jalopnik.com
Chemello’s comment relates to all the missing marks and empty space that she and many other journalists and auto pundits found at NAIAS this year. The show has been suffering from the effects of changes in the industry since 2018.
However, the shutdown era and all the events that have been canceled for so long have changed the way companies market their product launches.
“[…] CManufacturers switched – first to online live streams for new vehicle debuts, then to privately hosted events,” explained Chemello. She pointed out that the Reasons Reasons for this change in strategy are cost reduction and a preference for a less competitive environment.
Amidst all the pundits’ frustrations regarding the NAIAS 2022, the public can still have fun Sightseeing features and nice cars to look at.
Stellantis, ford, Lincoln, GMToyota and Subaru New models launched and classics revised. jeep marked his presence with his “duck‘ movement and their 61-foot long inflatable rubber duck – “the world’s largest rubber duck” – on Jefferson Avenue.
The event also includes outdoor activities, drones, dinosaurs, virtual simulators and many test drives. Jeep and Ford have set up test tracks so the public can take a look at several of their cars’ off-road features.
In summary, if you’ve been part of the public who have attended NAIAS in the past, you’ll need to adjust your expectations as the show is vastly different from what it once was — making the show’s future difficult to predict . However, if you are just getting into the automotive world, getting into new cars and exploring new industry trends can still be a fun experience.
If you’re curious to attend NAIAS, remember you have until September 25 to be at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit.