The inaugural Detroit Auto Show was organized in December 1907 by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA). The city of Detroit was one of the first centers of the automotive industry in the United States. In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company headquartered in Detroit, helping establish the city’s status as the world’s automotive capital. So no wonder that one of the nation’s finest auto shows was founded here.
The Detroit Auto Show started as a regional event which was quite popular among local car manufacturers. It was held annually until 1941 when it was discontinued due to the outbreak of World War II. During wartime, all sales or delivery of new passenger cars and trucks were outlawed by the US government. The show was revived in 1953.
In 1957, the Detroit Auto Show featured international car manufacturers for the first time, along with domestic models from the Big Free (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler). The show moved to Cobo Center (then Cobo Hall) in 1965. In 1989, it was renamed to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). In 1995, the NAIAS committee introduced the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards.
The NAIAS is typically held in January and lasts for about two weeks. Its programming features exclusive industry events as well as a wide range of shows, exhibitions and other attractions for the general public. Every year the show features several dozen vehicle introductions, both production cars and concept cars, a majority of which are worldwide debuts. The NAIAS showcases cars produced by world renowned car brands including Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, etc.
The North American International Auto Show attracts over 800,000 attendees every year and more than 5,000 journalists from about 60 countries. The show’s program is typically divided into four parts which run consecutively. The first two days are dedicated to press preview, they are followed by a two-day industry preview and a one-day charity preview. The rest of the show is open to the general public.