Posted by Joe Gargiulo on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 @ 09:18 AM
Following the proverb “business before pleasure,” the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) offers a week of trade programming before opening its doors to the public. The event runs January 13 –28, 2018 at the Cobo Center along the banks of the Detroit River, a scenic international waterway bordering downtown Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. NAIAS is billed as “the largest concentration of the world’s top automotive and technology executives, designers, engineers and thought leaders” and “the global stage for companies to debut brand-defining vehicles and industry-shaping announcements.”
For auto dealers, the show provides visual confirmation of how their manufacturer will shape the future automotive landscape as well as its vision of future vehicles and technologies. “From muscle and electric cars, to high-performance supercars and full-size trucks, NAIAS has something for everyone to enjoy.”
It takes a special kind of venue to house such a titanic event, and the Cobo Center satisfies that demand with 2.4 million square feet of overall space, 723,000 square feet of exhibition space, 200,000 square feet of meeting space, a 40,000 square-foot ballroom, and a three-story, 30,000 square-foot glass atrium with views of the waterfront.
The Drive Home III: ‘Driving The Future’
If 16 days of programming weren’t enough, the show’s first event actually begins Jan. 3 in Boca Raton, Florida — over 1,300 miles away from Detroit. Now in its third year, The Drive Home is 10-day winter road rally (mostly vintage vehicles) celebrating America’s motoring legacy throughout the country culminating at the Cobo Center. This year’s contestants include a 1955 Chrysler C-300 Sports Coupe, 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, 1962 International Travelette, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Sport Coupe, 2014 Triumph Thruxton and 2018 GMC Terrain Support Vehicle.
The Gallery is the opening gala of the North American International Auto Show (Jan. 13) at the Cobo Center Atrium. Auto Dealers and other guests will experience fine food, exquisite art and a $10 million collection of the most acclaimed automobiles, including brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Rolls Royce.
Press Preview and Design Awards
The rubber meets the road at the Press Preview (Jan. 14 – 16) where the world’s biggest media skeptics and admirers gather for unimpeded access to new vehicle premiers as well as the industry’s top leaders and thinkers. In 2017, there were more than 5,100 journalists from 61 different countries at the Press Preview in the Michelin Media Center.
The EyesOn Design Awards (open to the public) will be held at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16 at the Cobo Center Atrium stage, honoring the best production and concept vehicles making their worldwide auto show debut in Detroit. Categories include Best Concept Vehicle, Best Production Vehicle, Best Designed Interior and Best Designed User Experience.
Acknowledging other accomplishments in automotive technology, AutoMobili-D features nearly 200 brands, ranging from automakers and suppliers and tech startups as well as universities and government organizations. AutoMobili-D is located in the Cobo Center Atrium.
The Industry Preview (Jan. 17 – 18) provides ample opportunity for auto dealers to connect with the key individuals responsible for the cutting-edge automotive products, technologies and services. The event features an international platform of nearly 40,000 automotive executives, engineers, developers, designers and analysts representing over 2,200 companies from around the world.
The Charity Preview (Jan. 19) is a high-profile event benefiting children of all ages from birth to 18. Proceeds provide support to a wide range of children's charities including Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund, Detroit Pal and March of Dimes Metro Detroit. Since 1976, the Charity Preview has raised more than $112 million for southeastern Michigan children's charities.
The Public Show (Jan. 20 – 28) enables the general public to experience innovation in the making and the opportunity to see the vehicles and technologies that will shape the future automotive landscape. Tickets are priced at $14 for adults, $7 for seniors (65 and older) and $7 for children (7 – 12). Children 6 and under are admitted free.
In addition to the EyesOn Design Awards, the public is invited to participate in Education Day and numerous daily activities.
Now in its fourteenth year, the 2018 NAIAS Education Day (NED) is open to school groups of all ages and is customized according to the class types and interests. Young minds may engage in pre-and post-show lesson plans, brief tours hosted by experts in their fields of interest, hands-on activities, and career based presentations throughout the day. NED participants enjoy a discounted school ticket price of $13 per person, including a lunch coupon for pizza, chips and soft drink.
Finally, the Public Show offers a wide variety of Daily Activities including an American Red Cross Blood Drive, Cars on Parade, the Detroit Tigers Winter Caravan, WXYZ Family Day and Sensory Friendly Day (where exhibitors greatly reduce flashing lights and sound volumes in their areas enabling new audiences to experience the show).
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