Next week is the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and by all accounts, after 30 years, it will be the last January motor show in this town.
Next year there are plans to move the show to June and turn it into a weeklong festival. We all look forward to its success.
This year, sadly, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche are not participating in the show. Volkswagen is taking part.
Still, plenty of car companies will be in Detroit for this transitional show — automakers willing to steal the hearts and pocketbooks of customers. The domestic companies will be front and center, along with a strong representation of Asian companies. General Motors will have its own controversies to deal with at the show. Chinese manufacturers will be on hand and also may be controversial as well given the current climate.
It appears the quiet environment of the auto industry has disappeared for the time being, if not forever. And the Detroit auto show will pack plenty of excitement and interest next week.
As always there will be thousands of members of the media recording the events of the day, more than have signed up for any other show in North America. For the press, it is still the place to be.
The North American International Auto Show has had a spectacular run since 1989. But there are many marketing folks who argue that auto shows must change as consumer technology changes.
Indeed, they are changing. What will become of the Detroit show is up to the press and customers.
Time will tell.
You may email Keith Crain