2018 NAIAS: Detroit’s International Car Show – Part One


The North American International Auto Show or 2018 NAIAS for those who don’t want a mouth full is an event that’s held in Detroit, Michigan every year.

It’s a sublime show.  Every year there are tons of releases and lots of press to go along with it.

This year (2018) was certainly something special.

I’ve been to this show nearly every year for the past ten years or so.  I think I can say that NAIAS was the birth place of my love for the automotive.

2018’s show was one of the best I’ve ever seen.  So, we’re going to explore the show in this multi-part series.  Enjoy.


Some Background:

The show became what it is in 1987 when DADA decided to go international.  Before that, however, Detroit hosted an auto show now for over 100 years.

Since it’s inception, the show has pooled in more money, more sponsorship and more visitors.

Attendance grew from half a million to today’s one million (roughly).

NAIAS has been located at the COBO Center in Detroit since 1965 (under a different name).  The show’s been a staple at the Center ever since and pretty much has it’s own heart beat now.

More and more manufactures headed to Detroit over the years.  Mercedes, BMW and other luxury makes built their presence for years and supported the growth of the show and in turn the growth of Detroit.

This Years Festivities:

I made my way to Downtown Detroit on a cold Michigan morning where I parked my car right at the incredible Renaissance Center.

This was the first time I ever laid foot in the Renaissance Center and it was absolutely magnificent.

The architecture was fantastic.  You almost get a sense that the building was designed to resemble an ant colony with the way that the walk ways are constructed around the center of the building.

Workers desks are suspended in the air connected to the main structure of the building which just looks too cool.

The whole complex was just monumental.  A true international headquarters.  It made for a perfect precursor to exploring 2018 NAIAS.

I hopped on the people mover and took a ride across the city to the Cobo Center.  It was avery interesting experience at 6:00 AM while the city was waking up.

There was plenty of construction across the city as we passed over it.  We got a wide shot of what the city was becoming, and it was humbling.

We arrived at the Cobo Center Station and hopped off the people mover then walked into one of the most prominent buildings in the city.

Even so early in the morning the place was busy with energy and the aurora of transportation innovation was strong.

After finding my way into the show in the early morning, the fun began.


First Impressions:

Even with an empty floor before the crowds came in, there was a great sense of untapped energy around Cobo Center.

There were some notable marques like Mazda missing from the show that raised my eyebrows, but other manufactures sure filled up the spaces.

Just on a first lap of the show floor, the manufactures present at the show brought out the big guns.  Concept cars, new directives and the latest in technology.

The future of transportation was a big subject this year.  Alternative propulsion and safety technology was flooding the floors of the first and second floors of the show, and that’s something we can continue to talk about.

In the following parts, I’ll share more of this incredible show with you.  It was energetic and impressive to say the least.  I do hope you enjoy as much as I have.

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