A big complaint you'll hear from journalists covering the Detroit Auto Show is the month that it is held. January is a miserable time in the north with cold temperatures and endless amounts of snow. But there could be some relief coming.
The Wall Street Journal has learned from various sources that organizers of the show are considering moving the show from January to October. Crain's Detroit Business adds that show officials have been floating this idea for more than a year with automakers, city officials, and Cobo Center. Both say the show's leadership team has yet to make the final decision and could happen as early as 2020.
A spokesman for the Detroit Auto Show comfirmed to the Wall Street Journal that a change is being considered, saying organizers are “exploring opportunities to better leverage the how and the region.”
“I would love to see it in October,” said Wes Lutz, Owner of Extreme Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Trucks in Jackson, MI.
“I think we’d get even better attendance.”
Moving the show to October would not only provide better weather, but also give some breathing room between it and the Consumer Electronics Show, which occurs the week before Detroit. CES has become a prime place for automakers to showcase new technologies and make vehicle debuts - Chevrolet Bolt comes to mind. It also might stem the loss of automakers from the show. Auto companies such as Mazda, Volvo, Porsche, Jaguar, and Land Rover were no-shows at this year's show. Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will be skipping the 2019 show.
But there are some issues with this move. Crain notes that show officials signed a new $11.8 million contract with Cobo Center back in July to keep the show there and in January. Moving it to October will likely require a new contract. It would also require shorter setup schedule for the show. Currently, work begins in October as workers build up the various exhibits that make up the show.