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International auto show returning to downtown Detroit this month after long hiatus

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After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) returns to downtown Detroit this month.

A change of seasons and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the annual auto industry showcase. The last NAIAS in Detroit was in January 2019. Organizers had planned to shift the annual celebration of the auto industry to summer 2020, but the pandemic intervened.

Thad Szott is the president of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and co-chair of NAIAS. He said the event that starts September 14 at Huntington Place, the former Cobo Hall, is going to be different than in past years.

Szott said the auto show will focus more on enhancing the public's experience and less on major auto industry reveals.

“You know people want to be engaged,” said Szott, “They don’t just want to walk around ... a convention center and look at vehicles parked on carpeting. They want to actually experience this new technology, and the manufacturers know that.”

The revamped NAIAS will feature indoor and outdoor activities, as well as more interactive experiences.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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