"The days of 60 reveals happening at our show are probably behind us," Thad Szott, president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which runs the show, told Automotive News. "This is a complete reboot. This is not the cars-on-carpet show you've been to in the past. It's a completely different, re-imagined show."
To be sure, this year's event — the first since January 2019, after the coronavirus pandemic prompted cancellations in 2020 and 2021 — will generate some headlines. Ford Motor Co. plans to reveal the seventh-generation Mustang, and President Joe Biden is expected to tour the show alongside local officials.
The show floor, however, will look vastly different.
While some automakers, including the Detroit 3 and Toyota, will have prominent indoor displays, a large chunk of the square footage inside the Huntington Place convention center will be dedicated to five indoor track experiences, including courses for the Ford F-150 Lightning, Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500.
Companies that do have large exhibits are expected to showcase recently revealed products that the public hasn't had a chance to see in person.
Chevrolet will feature the Silverado EV, Equinox EV and Blazer EV, all of which are due to reach dealerships in 2023. But rather than wait for its hometown auto show, Chevy unveiled the electric Equinox, which will start at about $30,000, on "CBS Mornings" last week.
Toyota, in its 18,000-square-foot display area, will feature the 2023 Toyota Crown — a Japan-built nameplate that hasn't been sold in the U.S. since 1972 but will replace the Avalon this fall. The high-roofed fastback four-door will offer a hybrid powertrain delivering up to 340 hp.
There will be 22 Toyota brand vehicles at the display, which also will feature racing simulators and exhibits about Toyota's North American manufacturing.
Lincoln's nearly 10,000-square-foot display is expected to highlight its recently unveiled Star and Model L100 concepts. Cadillac's stand will feature its new Lyriq EV as well as the "Electriq Theatre," billed as an immersive experience that tells the story of the brand's history and previews its battery-powered future.