After a Prolonged Absence, the Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) Returns September 2022

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), also known as the Detroit Auto Show, is slated to return in September 2022. After a near four-year absence, the popular show will rejoin the auto show circuit with a 12-day event held at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit. Backed by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA), the 2022 NAIAS features a revised format, including citywide activities.

Pandemic-related disruptions did in the show in 2020 and 2021, although DADA managed to put together a smaller “Motor Bella” event last year. The most recent show was in Jan. 2019, which was the last time the show was scheduled for the winter months. The decision to move the show to June followed the growth of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a Las Vegas event held just ahead of the NAIAS. That show supplanted the NAIAS in popularity and increasingly became the venue for automakers to introduce new technologies, especially electric vehicles.

Media, Charity, and Public Shows

The schedule for 2022 launches with a two-day Media/Tech event on Sept. 14 and 15, followed by a Charity Preview on Sept. 16. The show opens to the general public on Sept. 17 and runs through Sept. 25.

Huntington Place, formerly the TCF Center (and before that Cobo Hall) is the main venue for the auto show. Other events will be held throughout the downtown, with a more festival vibe expected.

Details about the show are few at the moment, but we do know that the event will “celebrate mobility,” which likely includes multiple test drive opportunities inside the center, but also outside. Getting potential buyers behind the wheel of a new vehicle remains an important selling point, something that the show’s organizers will likely leverage. And with the show in the backyard of GM, Ford, and Stellantis (Chrysler Group), America’s top players have an important venue to showcase their current and future models.

Visiting Detroit

Visiting Detroit in September is far different than January when frigid temperatures and snow limit outside activities.

In warmer weather, touring the Detroit waterfront supplies beautiful views of both the U.S. and Canada. With the towering Renaissance Center (RenCen) in the background, the city of Windsor, Ontario, lies due south of the city across the Detroit River. The RenCen, by the way, is the global headquarters of GM. Ford’s headquarters are in Dearborn, while Stellantis is in Auburn. However, all three have a significant presence within the city proper, including manufacturing plants and office buildings.

Recommended Destinations

Among the many local places of interest in Detroit are the following, including a few destinations we’ve visited.

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

461 Piquette Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202

Phone: (313) 872-8759


Significance: Built in 1904, the Piquette Avenue plant built the Ford Model T. In 1911, Ford sold the plant to Studebaker who continued to build cars there until 1933. The plant changed hands two more times, then sold to restorers to serve in its present capacity as a museum.

General Motors Renaissance Center (GM RenCen)

Detroit, MI 48243

Phone: (313) 567-3126


Significance: Built in 1977, the Renaissance Center and its towers are the tallest buildings in all of Michigan. The 73-story complex includes a hotel, numerous tenants, and more than two dozen restaurants. The 44,000-square-foot GM World exhibit features a display of new and specialty vehicles.

National Automotive History Collection, Skillman Branch

121 Gratiot Ave #2203
Detroit, MI 48226

Phone: (313) 481-1862


Significance: The National Automotive History Collection is considered the country’s foremost public automotive collection detailing the history and progress of the automobile and other wheeled land transport.

See You in Detroit?

Auto Trends will have more information about the 2022 NAIAS when it becomes known. In the meantime, start searching for places to stay because we think this year’s show will be its best.

Photo Attribution

Featured photo copyright

Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Matthew Keegan
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