Detroit has hosted an auto show for over a century. For the first several decades of its existence, however, the show’s focus was strictly regional. Then, in 1987, a visionary group of auto dealers within the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) asked a bold question: Why not make the event truly international in scope? Achieving this objective within only a few years’ time, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) pursues a vision of continually redefining what it means to be an indispensable international event. To achieve this goal, the NAIAS continually introduces bold new ways to enhance attendees’ experiences and deliver exceptional value to media, industry and the public.


The first Detroit Area Dealer Association (DADA)-managed Detroit Auto Show was held in December 1907, at Riverview Park after the formation of the DADA in the same year. Since then, the show has grown from a regional event with 17 exhibitors to a world-class showcase featuring more than 60 exhibitors. Read More


With the outbreak of World War II, the United States government outlawed all sales or delivery of new passenger cars and trucks.  Consequently, there were no DADA auto shows from 1941 - 1953. Read More


The first year international auto manufacturers displayed their vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show, Domestic models from the Big Three now shared floor space with Volvo, German Isetta, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Porsche. Read More


The Detroit Auto Show moved to its present location at Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center in downtown Detroit. Read More


When Detroit Auto Show management learned that Cobo Hall was in the process of a major expansion to double its size, they decided to expand the show, a decision that received virtually unanimous support from dealer members of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association.
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Ongoing discussions with exhibitors resulted in the creation of many versions of the floor plan as the auto show committee (comprised of new car dealer members of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association) worked toward accommodating each exhibitor’s needs while, at the same time, creating a final floor
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One of the first items on the agenda was the name of the show.  In 1989, it became the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The first NAIAS committee, consisting of two co-chairmen, an international advisor and committee members, accepted the task to elevate the Detroit Show to the level of
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NAIAS began offering satellite uplinks for press conferences and also established more extensive video services to extend the media reach of the show globally. Mercedes-Benz sent several Europeans to Detroit to build an exhibit that included parquet floors.
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Chrysler made page one news when its President, Bob Lutz, “crashed” a Jeep Grand Cherokee into Cobo Center, shattering through special plate glass. Reduced airfare rates were negotiated with Northwest Airlines for NAIAS visitors. The syndication of a one-hour special was developed that aired
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The official NAIAS ShowTalk newsletter began publication. Read More


Multi-level sponsorships were offered to companies ranging from $25,000 to $50,000. Crain Publications sponsored the Design Forum at NAIAS.  This endeavor was very successful toward initiating a closer relationship with designers and the design community in sharing current trends.
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NACTOY (North American Car and Truck of the Year) Awards debuted.  These awards are determined by an independent jury of top North American media. A VIP hospitality reception area was established, providing access to the main show floor.
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TIME Magazine, a major publication in North America, established a Time Quality Dealer Award (TMQDA) program throughout the United States, providing NAIAS with significant exposure in their publication. TIME Magazine provided the opportunity for TMQDA recipients to attend the show and also
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MSN CarPoint, Microsoft Corporation’s automotive website, began serving as the official web site for NAIAS, providing up-to-the minute coverage of the show’s press conferences and automobile industry events. A contract was negotiated with a WXYZ-TV/Channel 7, nationally syndicated, local television
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Volkswagen was located on the main show floor and Michigan Hall.  The escalator access to Michigan Hall became part of the Volkswagen display. Read More


The Ford exhibit integrated corporate identity under the Ford umbrella.
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The General Motors Corporation exhibit integrated corporate identity under the G.M. umbrella. A hotel room reservation program was established to assist NAIAS visitors.
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The Northwest World Club was provided a presence in the Cobo concourse, offering amenities to media and corporate executives attending NAIAS. Read More


In 2002, more than 6 million unique visitors visited for NAIAS CarPoint web site, creating unprecedented publicity for NAIAS worldwide.
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NAIAS 2003 final attendance (810,699) eclipsed the previous show’s high of 802,301, set in 2000. In addition to Public Days and Charity Preview attendees, the show attracted nearly 28,000 people from 1,800 companies to Industry Preview Days and more than 6,600 journalists to Press Preview Days.  Nearly 40 percent
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The 2004 show saw a record 79 new vehicle introductions, 55 of which were worldwide unveilings. NAIAS 2004 final attendance was 808,833 for public show. Read More


The NAIAS 2005 saw the introduction of 68 new vehicles. The NAIAS is a showcase for the world's vehicle introductions and has ushered in the debut of 924 total vehicles introductions since 1989. NBC produced a 2 hour special live from the show floor on the closing day of the show which attracted 8.8 million
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The NAIAS 2006 saw the introduction of 70 new vehicles including Geely, the first Chinese manufacturer to ever display in the United States. The NAIAS is a showcase for the world's vehicle introductions and has ushered in the debut of 994 total vehicles introductions since 1989. The NAIAS 2006 attracted
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NAIAS 2007 celebrated the centennial of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association's (DADA) successful association with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).  Since its inception in 1907, the show has grown from a regional event featuring 17 exhibitors to an internationally-sanctioned show
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NAIAS 2008 welcomed more than 700,000 attendees, over 6,000 international media from 63 countries along with a host of celebrities, and drew more than 37,000 industry insiders from 2,000 companies. Every year, the NAIAS welcomes more events, celebrity appearances and other attractions.  The NAIAS is
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Almost 7,000 guests attended the 2009 Charity Preview, raising over $2.6 million for Detroit-area childrens' charities. Attendees enjoyed a sneak peak at the world-class NAIAS and a special performance by the Doobie Brothers.
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The NAIAS 2010 took on the global economic challenges to do what Detroiters have always done: endure, excel and exceed expectation. The NAIAS committee was proud to once again host this world-class event for thousands of top media and industry executives and enthusiasts who are attracted by
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"The NAIAS 2011 validated all promises made by exhibitors in 2009 and 2010 as the product pipeline is full and vibrant," said NAIAS 2011 Chairman, Barron Meade. "The ability to rise up from the difficult economic times of the recent past in glowing fashion indicates a positive ripple effect for our local, national
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After a spectacular nine day run, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2012 is in the books. Bill Perkins, chairman, NAIAS, said the show lived up to its reputation of being one of the top in the world.
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NAIAS 2013 was a true celebration of the automobile and a demonstration of the strength and resiliency of the auto business. Nowhere was that more clearly seen than on the show floor where manufacturers unveiled over 60 of their most spectacular new vehicles, showcasing them before a global
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Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of NAIAS Since 1907, over a century ago, with the exception of the World War II years, Detroit has hosted an auto show: the Detroit Auto Show. Until 1989, the show’s focus was strictly regional.
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