This week all roads lead to Detroit Michigan for the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center. This is the Oscars for cars. Automakers, domestic and foreign ride the red carpet displaying what is, what is to come, and what is just a dream.
Press week kicks off with spectacular unveilings of the new line and concept cars. The preverbal walk down the crimson carpet, flanked by camera flashes from the press and probing questions from reporters on what’s new, what better and when we can see these wheels hit the streets. The security of every inch of the interior and the exterior, down to the unseen; if the car has Wi-Fi is put under a microscope. This week can be nail biting for designers and engineers. It’s a make or break moment. What auto industry professional writes about a particular car, concept, new line or automaker could directly affect the public’s opinion and contribute to sales or the lack thereof.
Take the unveiling of the MINI Cooper hardtop at the 2014 NAIAS. This car had already made a mark overseas but America’s big style, big personality was not interested in its miniature status. The unveiling was accompanied by an all-female glam punk bank with strobe lights as Pete Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s board member in charge of MINI, and Jochen Goller, the vice-president of MINI sales were introduced. (Burns, 2014 Detroit Auto Show). A conservative automobile brand breaking the rules and grabbing the attention of industry professionals, which in turn had an effect on sales. It’s reported, after the unveiling, over 66-thousand units were sold which was a new record.
Like award shows, the best and worst dressed will be unveiled at the 2016 North American Auto Show. To discover what’s new at the show log on to www.naias.com. Here you can virtually tour the exhibits, check out what the press is saying, plan your trip to Detroit and find ticket information. The Detroit North American International Auto Show, January 11-24, 2016.
Burns, G. (2014). 2014 Detroit Auto Show: Mini Unveils Cooper Hardtop, New Concept Plan to boost U.S. sales. Retrieved from http://www.mlive.com/naias/index.ssf/2014/01/2014_detroit_auto_show_mini_un.html