organizers consider moving the auto show from January to October,
new data on media coverage suggests the old format ain’t dead yet.
American International Show generated far more press coverage around
the world than any other U.S. auto show or Las Vegas’s trendy CES
electronics show, and nearly as much as the traditional 500-pound
gorilla, the Frankfurt auto show in Germany.
future faces plenty of questions, but the figures underscore why the
Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which runs the show, is not
rushing into a decision to abandon the traditional January dates.
only change if we can create more engagement with people for the
vehicles and technologies at the show," show executive director
Rod Alberts said.
decision has been made yet. We’re continuing to look at it. We’re
not going to act suddenly."
during media days rose 46 percent this year from 2017. That’s a
stunning result for a show that was widely panned as having a few
highlights but a shallow overall field of news and new-vehicle
debuts. News reports from Detroit during the press days reached 584
million people around the world, compared with 285 million for the
Los Angeles auto show, which took place shortly after Thanksgiving.
important as Detroit jockeys for position as the year’s first
primo place to introduce new vehicles and technology, the audience
for coverage of automotive events at the CES electronics show in
Vegas declined 23 percent from 2017 to 161 million, according to
don’t include the recent New York auto show. New York was a very
strong show this year, but it’ll be a surprise if it topped
Detroit or LA, which traditionally surpass it handily.
DADA paid for
the research, which uses data that automakers, suppliers and other
auto shows use to evaluate locations for future events.
matters to leading auto shows because it drives automakers’
decisions about where to stage splashy introductions of new
vehicles. Those events can draw thousands of people from around the
world and pump large sums into the local economy.
still a great platform for media coming from around the world,"
David Sowerby estimates that NAIAS 2018 generated $480 million for
southeast Michigan. That includes everything from ticket sales and
money paid to construct elaborate displays to hotels and restaurants
for visiting executives, journalists and show goers. Sowerby’s
firm, Ancora Advisors, evaluated the show’s impact for DADA.
like that you might think DADA’s decision was simple: Leave the
show in January.
versus other traditional auto shows isn’t the only consideration,
show also competes with spring shows in Beijing and Shanghai, not to
mention vehicle unveilings on social media and at standalone events,
as Volvo and Mercedes recently did with the V60 station wagon and
Wish as its
organizers may, DADA can’t make Beijing and Shanghai go away —
but Detroit scored notable success on social media this year.
other auto shows for social media reach, impressions and
engagements, according to a survey DADA commissioned. CES has more
followers, as you’d expect from a show with its roots in consumer
electronics, but NAIAS added new followers at a faster rate this
have to change to maximize the experience for consumers and
automakers, Alberts said. "We’re excited about social media.
It’s a big part of the picture."
A key argument
for moving the show to October is the opportunity for attendees to
test drive new vehicles and high-tech features, something that’s
harder to do in deep winter.
always evolving," Alberts said. "We don’t want to leave
anything on the table for how manufacturers can present their