The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today wrapped up a 16-day peek behind the curtain of the latest mobility innovations, including industry-shaping announcements and global reveals as well as policy and industry conversation on an autonomous future, all while welcoming hundreds of thousands of people from around the world who came to experience the new product and technology buzz.

The show wrapped up tonight with a strong finish of 100,605 attendees, bringing total ticketed attendance for 2018 NAIAS to 809,161. David Sowerby, CFA, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Ancora, reports the 2018 show has an estimated economic impact of $480 million to the regional economy. Sowerby notes that the impact of the entire show is equivalent to holding nearly two NFL Super Bowls a year in Detroit.

“Detroit experienced every facet of the mobility industry over the past two weeks,” said 2018 NAIAS Chairman Ryan LaFontaine. “From startups showcasing their innovative technologies to C-suite discussions on a driverless future to industry giants standing on the world stage revealing brand-defining products and technologies, NAIAS was an incredible platform for one of the most exciting times in the history of our industry.”

NAIAS – often considered six shows in one – opened with The Gallery, held for the first time in nearly a decade at Cobo Center and expanded into a public event. Marking its 12th year and attracting over 800 attendees, The Gallery featured a $10 million collection of some of the most exclusive automobiles in the world.

NAIAS Press Preview and AutoMobili-D kicked off with a keynote by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao who pledged to vigorously advance autonomous vehicles while ensuring safety. BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen was another notable keynote, unveiling a new software cybersecurity product targeted at the industry.

Building on its 2017 success, AutoMobili-D expanded with a nearly 40 percent increase in startup participants from around the world. The mobility showcase featured nearly 200 different brands with 57 startups, in addition to global automakers, suppliers, universities and government organizations. A powerful A-list, including some of the best minds from top universities such as MIT and Carnegie Mellon, participated in AutoMobili-D symposiums and panel discussions.

New this year were two NAIAS and Michigan Economic Development Corporation initiatives providing unparalleled opportunities in the growing mobility sector. Nearly 400 matchmaking business development meetings were coordinated for AutoMobili-D exhibitors, forging new business and industry connections – a first-ever at an auto show. In addition, the first-ever Future Automotive Career Exposition was held, connecting thousands of people interested in working in all aspects of the mobility industry with AutoMobili-D exhibiting companies.

“The biggest testament to the fact that the mobility industry is being redefined here in Detroit is best illustrated by the thousands of media that travel from across the globe to the Motor City so they can report on the industry-leading news being delivered by top executives at our show,” said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts. He noted the show draws an unparalleled international audience of media and key industry influencers.

Alberts reported the 2018 NAIAS drew over 5,078 journalists from 60 countries. Media in attendance saw 52 vehicles make their world debut, seven make their North American debut and 10 special one-of-a-kind vehicles make their first appearance at an auto show.

Following Press Preview, nearly 40,000 automotive and mobility experts and innovators from 2,002 companies engaged in emerging mobility technologies and trends at Industry Preview. AutoMobili-D symposiums continued through Industry Preview, helping set the framework for product benchmarking and technology immersion. NAIAS is the only show in North America with dedicated “industry” days.

While new products and technologies took center stage during Press Preview and Industry Preview, the heart of the Motor City was on display for the world to see at Charity Preview. Nearly $5.1 million was raised for children’s charities in Detroit. In all, nearly 13,000 people attended the black-tie gala, recognized as the largest annual single-night fundraiser in the world.

Charity Preview has raised nearly $118 million for southeastern Michigan children’s charities since the Detroit Auto Dealers Association established the gala 42 years ago.

The momentum that began during preview week continued throughout the Public Show generating large crowds at Cobo Center each day. The 700-plus vehicles on display under one roof and the many interactive displays served as a magnet for auto show visitors.

2018 NAIAS Highlights:

The Gallery
– The Gallery came to Cobo Center with a $10 million collection of the most acclaimed automobiles in the world, including the North American debut of the 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom.

AutoMobili-D
– An expanded AutoMobili-D exposition by 30,000 square feet – in total encompassed 150,000 square feet.
– 40 percent increase in startups participating from around the world.
– Startups from 11 countries around the world.
– Nearly 200 different brands with 57 startups, in addition to global automakers, suppliers, universities and government organizations, all showcasing and discussing future mobility platforms.
– Five days of mobility-themed content – topics ranging from suppliers driving mobility technology, V2I connectivity, urban mobility, smart cities, building a mobility workforce, ride sharing, cybersecurity and autonomous technologies.

Press Preview
– 5,078 journalists from 60 different countries.
– 52 vehicles made their world debut, 7 made their North American debut and 10 special one-of-a-kind vehicles made their first appearance at an auto show.

Industry Preview
– Only show in North America with dedicated “industry” days.
– Attracted nearly 40,000 auto and tech industry executives, designers, developers and analysts from 2,002 companies and 29 countries.

Charity Preview
– 12,714 people attended the world’s largest annual single-night fundraiser, generating nearly $5.1 million for children’s charities in Detroit.
– Nearly $118 million raised since 1976 when the Detroit Auto Dealers Association established Charity Preview.
– Special performance by Motown favorite, The Four Tops, on Cobo Center’s Atrium stage.

Total Ticketed Attendance
– 809,161 

Economic Impact
– Estimated economic impact of $480 million to the regional economy (per David Sowerby, CFA, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Ancora) up $30 million from the previous year.
– Equivalent to nearly two Super Bowls every year in Detroit.

About the North American International Auto Show Now in its 30th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place. Administered by executive director Rod Alberts, the NAIAS is one of the largest media events in North America, and the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. For more information, visit naias.com.

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