The 2023 Detroit auto show will feature displays by twice as many brands as last year’s edition, and the debuts of multiple new vehicles, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association announced Wednesday in a news release.
The show will open to the public Sept. 16-24 at Huntington Place convention center on Detroit’s riverfront, with test drives and other attractions on surrounding streets. The Charity Preview, which has raised millions for metro Detroit children’s charities, is Sept 15. The press day for vehicle reveals and other news is Sept. 13. Professional days, including a new global mobility forum, are Sept. 13-14.
More brands and debuts will be welcome, but even doubling brands from 2022’s 13 participants is far short of the spectacle the show provided for years.
All auto shows have struggled to attract big displays and splashy unveilings by automakers since the pandemic virtually shut the car-show circuit down for a couple of years. Southeast Michigan auto dealers are grappling with the challenge of mounting an appealing show despite reduced participation by automakers, both the Detroit Three and brands based around the world.
The dramatic debut of the 2023 Ford Mustang — the last new Mustang before the legend’s inevitable conversion to electric power — was the only reveal that made headlines last year.
The show needs more participation by automakers to survive, well-placed sources say.
Guess who’s coming to dinner?
DADA promises “brands from inside and out of the Motor City,” but provided no details on which, if any, foreign-based brands will participate. The failure of automakers from other countries to help create news and appealing show-floor displays in 2022 was a sore point for their southeast Michigan dealers.
Among the announced attractions:
An indoor electric-vehicle track with a 300-foot straightaway to demonstrate EVs’ performance.
An EV learning center to demystify owning, driving and charging an electric vehicle.
Displays by every Detroit Three brand.
Brand-specific tracks by Ford, Jeep and Ram.
Test drives on a riverfront street course that will include part of the route of last week’s Detroit Grand Prix.
City-street experiences in electric and autonomous vehicles.
A stage for startups and policymakers
“Automotive technology is changing so rapidly; how do we make people comfortable with it?” show chairman Thad Szott asked. “We’re planning for a show that not only embraces and educates about this new technology, but offers an immersion in it. And with twice the number of brands participating, there’ll be no shortage of engaging with it.”
Before the show opens to the public, 150 startups are expected to showcase their ideas, along with displays of new features and technologies that are close to production, and with stands by at least 10 metro Detroit universities.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will keynote the Mobility Global Forum, featuring presentations, "fireside chats," and panels with other thought leaders.
Key dates: 2023 Detroit auto show
Media day: Wednesday, Sept. 13
Technology days and AutoMobili-D: Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Thursday, Sept. 14
Mobility Global Forum: Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Thursday, Sept. 14
Charity Preview: Friday, Sept. 15
Public show: Saturday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Sept. 24.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: 2023 Detroit auto show promises twice as many brands, EV education