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Detroit could move auto show to October

Detroit could move auto show to October

by Ronan Glon

The organizers are feeling the pressure from CES.

For the past few years, the organizers of the Detroit Auto Show have competed with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the attention of automakers. The Motor City is losing the fight, so it's considering moving the event from January to October.

Sources close to the show organizers told The Wall Street Journal the first October show would most likely take place in 2020. They stressed a final decision hasn't been made yet, however.

As even native Detroiters point out, January isn't exactly the most comfortable time to stage an auto show in Michigan. Everything consequently happens inside the Cobo Center. Holding the show in October would allow auto-makers to take advantage of the milder climate and invest in outdoor events where the press and the public can get behind the wheel of some of the cars on display.

Sound familiar? That's what CES does in Las Vegas. This year, an array of companies ranging from the obscure to the well-known showed off self-driving prototypes in the massive, empty parking lot across from the convention center.

The announcement comes in the wake of a major blow. Mercedes-Benz recently confirmed it won't attend the 2019 edition of the Detroit show. Its decision reflects the broader trend of skipping the often expensive shows in favor of standalone, invite-only events.

Photo by Ronan Glon.