Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S., but its auto show has long lived in a shadow.
In 2020, the creator of that shadow — the North American International Auto Show in Detroit — is undergoing a transformation that will reshape the auto show slate.
Detroit's move from January to June leaves a major void in the heart of the annual auto show calendar that organizers in Houston, Chicago and other cities are hoping to use to their advantage. Some see the shift as an opportunity to attract more metal and headlines that are harder to come by in an era where automakers increasingly stage their own vehicle unveilings away from auto shows.
Detroit has long been a critical launching pad for new products early in the year. Now, automakers need a new plan for unveiling those vehicles because in many cases, the timing wouldn't work if they simply waited until June.
"We know you're going to need to move those vehicles somewhere and have plans for them. We would love for you to bring them to Houston," said RoShelle Salinas, executive vice president of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association. "We've yet to hear if that'll be taking place, but we're very optimistic about it."