Suburban Collection Showplace plans January auto show

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Event planners at The Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi are planning their own winter auto show to fill the void left in January by the North American International Auto Show's 2020 move to June.

The Suburban Collection Showplace

The convention center is dedicating 220,000 square feet of space to the first-ever Southeast Michigan Auto Show, according to Blair Bowman, Suburban Collection Showplace president. The show is scheduled for Jan. 3-5.

"This was born of an effort to help support what is an extremely important economic engine for our area," Bowman said. "It will be a really high-quality regional auto show and consumer-focused event."

The Southeast Michigan Auto Show aims to be a consumer-focused event, much like what the Detroit auto show started as. Bowman said some dealerships and automakers have already committed to putting up stands at the January show.

The move follows the North American International Auto Show organizers' 2018 decision to pull their event from the January cold and opt for warmer weather in 2020. The Detroit show has for several years battled declining media and automaker attendance. The Detroit auto show occupies nearly 1 million square feet inside Cobo Center.

Show organizers opted to move to warmer months to generate better public attendance by better integrating the annual show into activities in downtown Detroit. The thinking goes that better weather would allow attendees more of a chance to walk around downtown and enjoy some of the new bars, restaurants and attractions downtown.

The show organizers hope that could attract automakers back to the show. The moves comes at a time when auto shows around the globe struggle to get automakers to attend the shows and unveil important products there. Some automakers have taken to unveiling new products at private events where they can have a captive audience instead of spending millions to participate in an auto show where they compete with other automakers for attention.

There will be no North American International International Auto show in January 2020. Instead, it will run from June 6-20, 2020. Events will take place at Cobo Center, but also expand outdoors to Hart Plaza, Cadillac Square, Campus Martius, and Grand Circus, Capitol and Beacon parks.

Plans for the Southeast Michigan Auto Show were first reported by Crain's Detroit Business. 

North American International International Auto organizers aren't planning to participate in the January event.

"The NAIAS and DADA are not involved in the upcoming Southeast Michigan Auto Show, a three-day local dealer event," NAIAS spokeswoman Amanda Niswonger said in an email. "We are focused on making the 2020 NAIAS the biggest and best event of its kind, creating more opportunities to engage industry, media and consumers from around the globe and showcasing the industries latest products and technology in the beautiful city of Detroit."

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau