The city of Detroit has a long and noble history. One of the oldest cities in the US, founded in 1701, it is the epicenter of the American auto industry. It played at key role during WW2 building vehicles for the military and is commonly referred to as Motor City since it is home to many American auto makers. Despite all of this the city has been in decline—people and businesses moving out, misconduct and hardship moving in. Although efforts were made to avoid it, for various reasons the city was recently forced to file for bankruptcy. While some might see this as the end of the Detroit auto show, organizers say the show will go on.
While there are plenty of premiere auto shows in the US, the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit, is the most significant show in the country and features the unveiling of numerous new cars and trucks each year. It is an event that car enthusiasts around the nation and the world look forward to with great anticipation each January. Cobo Center, home of the auto show since 1965, is managed independently of the city and has been since 2009 when the Michigan state legislature transferred control from the city to a regional authority.
In preparation for the show Cobo Center is receiving a $299 million upgrade. This will include the addition of new meeting spaces as well as general improvements to the building. During the show the Auto Dealers Association, responsible for putting the show on, will hire and manage their own security force that will work in conjunction with other local agencies as well as the Detroit police.
Although Detroit is struggling right now many believe that this is what is best. While the auto industry has changed substantially over the decades and become much more global, for Detroit this may be just what they need to help give them a clean slate and get them back on the path of growth. Continuing the legacy that they have in the auto industry is a great place to start.
The North American International Auto Show will be held January 13-26, 2014 at the Cobo Center in Detroit. The Public Show begins January 18th.