Buzz about the 2023 North American International Show in Detroit has been muted. The 2022 show — moved to September after a two-year COVID-related break — underwhelmed, with a limited number of new vehicle launches and far smaller crowds during the media and industry previews.
So when show organizers the Detroit Auto Dealers Association said that it would have double the number of brands participating during the 2023 show set for Sept. 13-24 at Huntington Place (formerly called Cobo Hall), it sounded like things were looking up.
But Jamie Butters, executive editor of our sister paper Automotive News, is out with a new column that throws cold water on those hopes. Several brands have already said they won't take part, including Volkswagen, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru and Honda.
"A big part of the problem is that Detroit is a very hard market for international brands to conquest sales. A lot of car consumers work for the Detroit automakers or their suppliers," Butters writes.
Low involvement isn't unique to Detroit, though, he continues.
"Auto shows have been struggling. Most of the once-global shows are now regional, or just national: Paris is mostly French brands; Munich (formerly in Frankfurt) is mostly German. Only Japanese brands exhibit in Tokyo," he says.