Cobo Center Secures the North American International Auto Show for Eight More Years

July 12, 2017

Cobo Center has entered into an eight-year contract with the North American International Auto Show that will keep one of the U.S.’s largest and world’s most influential auto shows in downtown Detroit through 2025, according to Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center.

“With the leadership and work of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA), along with SMG, Cobo Center is truly a world-class venue,” said Rod Alberts, NAIAS executive director.

He continued, “The significant renovation (at Cobo Center) has allowed the auto show to expand our footprint and has provided us with the perfect facility to host thousands of international journalists, industry executives and over 800,000 public show attendees.”

The first multi-year agreement between Cobo and NAIAS was signed in 2012, a five-year agreement considered unprecedented at the time.

Prior to that, The Motor City was in danger of losing the massive, two-week-long auto show that takes up 1 million square feet at Cobo Center, has called the facility home since 1965 and is considered one of the region’s most valuable assets that brought in an estimated economic impact of $450 million to metro Detroit during its Jan. 9-22, 2017 event.

Since that time, Cobo Center has completed a $279 million renovation, SMG management has changed the facility’s business model, the center has been rebranded and advanced technology enhancements have transformed it into a state-of-the-art venue.

“The future is very bright for Cobo Center and we are thrilled to have the NAIAS here for years to come,” Molinari said.

He continued, “The DRCFA’s vision of a world-class convention center has been realized. Working together in cooperation with our regional partners, the DRCFA and SMG are committed to providing outstanding experiences for our guests.”

The contract also includes additional days to the NAIAS in Cobo Center for upcoming years.

Beginning next year, the auto show’s ultra-luxury event, The Gallery, will return to Cobo for the official kick off of the event, including a nearly $10 million collection of the world's luxury and supercar nameplates, along with an activity to benefit local children’s charities.

Additionally, the AutoMobili-D, a dedicated expo focused on the rapidly evolving global automotive and mobility landscape, will expand by 30,000 square-feet to encompass a total of 150,000 square feet and will run through the three-day Press Preview and two-day Industry Preview, as well as the first weekend of the Public Show.

The official dates for the 2018 NAIAS have yet to be announced.

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