Detroit in the heart of the city, the first place of the year, when the best days of the year.
In recent years, the North American International Auto Show has been overshadowed by the industry Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – an industry trade show held this week in Las Vegas. But as Detroit’s auto giants go to the Silicon Valley, analysts say its first auto show is here to stay.
“The narrative about Detroit is an easy one, but it’s not dying, it’s changing,” Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at IHS Markit, said. “It’s not just Detroit – other auto shows are facing the same issues – but I do not think auto shows are going anywhere. They’re changing and they are continuing to evolve. ”
CES has become an important event for automakers to showcase technological advances. But Brinley said this was a trade show aimed at industry insiders while Detroit, a public show, opened its doors to consumers. More than 800,000 people attended last year for a chance to kick this year and the show pumped year estimated $ 450m into the local economy.
Matt DeLorenzo, an editor at Kelley Blue Book, said: “They are really two different shows – one is a trade show with a consumer element while the other is a consumer show. “CES will win on advanced technology, but not necessarily on products that the consumer can buy.”
Most of the auto industry news out of THESE was big-picture – from Ford’s announcement that it would partner with a Silicon Valley.
Detroit will have more than its fair share of tech (hometown star General Motors, not Tesla or Google, will be the first to launch self-driving production vehicle with no steering wheel) new Chevrolet Silverado and a Chrysler Ram 1500, and cars that people will actually buy this year.
A roborace because on display at CES. Photograph: Blevi / ZUMA Wire / REX / Shutterstock Muncey said that, last year’s numbers, NAIAS still fared well among auto-related shows, ranking third in the world behind Shanghai (which is focused on the world’s largest automotive market) and Geneva. In an effort to avoid being left behind by these buzz, organizers of the Detroit show began hosting a tech-focused component last year called AutoMobili-D. Max Muncey, the public relations manager for NAIAS, said AutoMobili-D, which will include a kick-off keynote speech by US transportation secretary Elaine Chao, has been expanded this year to cover a 150,000 sq ft chunk of a million-square-foot show.
DeLorenzo, who looked askance at AutoMobili-D, said it was important to distinguish the shows from the industry. The new tech focus was, he said, a distraction from what Detroit does best – cars and trucks.
“Auto shows in general should stick to their knitting, and they’re more speculative tech,” he said. “I do not think Detroit will be remembered this year for any advances or big announcements on the autonomous front, and I can not think of any earth-shattering news coming out of CES, for that matter.”
Both Muncey and Brinley said that Detroit still stands as an important global auto-manufacturing hub – one that will maintain its role as an influence. As DeLorenzo, the driving force behind automotive technology between Detroit and Silicon Valley, DeLorenzo.
“Silicon Valley needs Detroit,” he said. “All the autonomous technology is worth nothing if it does not have a vehicle to pilot around. Detroit builds vehicles, hence, Silicon Valley needs Detroit more than Detroit needs Silicon Valley. ”
While still alive and artificial intelligence continues to dazzle and inspires visions of a future hi-tech, in chilly, snow-swept Detroit today’s reality will be on display.