Detroit auto show skips 2024, returns to January slot in 2025

Organizers of the Detroit auto show have confirmed the normally annual event won’t take place in 2024.

The cause is a decision to move the show back to its traditional January slot, starting in 2025, instead of the September slot the show has enjoyed the past two years. The move will provide a boost to the city’s amenities, such as restaurants and hotels, during a traditionally quiet period of the year.

“After discussions with numerous partners, we believe a January date absolutely makes the most sense,” the show’s organizers, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, said in a statement released on Thursday.

Auto shows have been falling out of favor, with automakers and the public alike, due to many new vehicles being introduced online, a trend that was accelerated during the pandemic. However, the Detroit auto show already saw dwindling interest well before the pandemic put a hiatus on virtually all auto shows across the globe.

Detroit auto show logo

In an attempt to shake things up, the organizers as early as 2018 announced a change to a festival-style format to be held during a warmer part of the year. The change was to take place in 2020 but the pandemic threw a spanner in the works, pushing it back to Sept. 2022. Last year also saw the Detroit auto show run in the month of September.

The Detroit auto show isn’t the only major auto show to experience a lack of interest. Germany’s top auto show was given a revamp in 2021, including being hosted in Munich for the first time instead of the traditional home of Frankfurt. The revamped show also placed a greater emphasis on urban and sustainable mobility solutions, as opposed to the luxury and high-performance cars that have traditionally dominated the show.

The annual auto show in Geneva was also affected by the pandemic, with a number of shows canceled. This led the organizer in 2021 to strike a deal with Qatar’s tourism board to split hosting of the show between Qatar and the traditional home of Switzerland.

The news of the Detroit auto show comes just weeks after Stellantis announced it will skip the 2024 Chicago auto show to save cash. The automaker also skipped the SEMA and Los Angeles shows last year, and a spokesman has said the automaker will determine its presence at future shows on a case-by-case basis.

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