Having visited the North American International Auto Show in Detroit every year since I was about 5 years old, I can say first-hand that this year was a disappoint. The past few years have been interesting in their own ways, but with the lack of the three major German automakers (Audi, BMW, and Mercedes) and an unbelievable amount of dead space throughout the event this week, the air was heavy and excitement low.
A few quick thoughts are bulleted here. I will be writing more in depth for a trend report soon.
— In an age of newfound mobility and EV efforts, the amount of SUV and truck proposals were shocking; Kia and Ford were especially keen on their new large vehicles
— Unique colors (especially on exterior paint) ranged from antiqued gold to muted teal, hot orange, and pale lavender blue. Was impressed by the variation across most brands
— A trend I’m looking forward to keeping up on is the sensor dedication you see in the front and rear of vehicles particularly. Clever initiatives by brands like Hyundai saw sensors that were more aesthetically integrated than before
— Exhibit design has exploded in the past few years, and along with it the cost for a company to showcase vehicles at events like these. There have been rumors of hosting next year’s new time-slotted June show outside in the heart of the city. I am curious about how brands will demonstrate ideas in a new space, especially with the vast expanse of the streets at their fingertips
— Aggressive textures (featured prominently on off-road specific vehicles) were a major swing forward for CMF across many brands. From pick-up beds, to side steps, and more, it’s exciting to see the attention to detail and commitment
As another year has unfolded, though disappointing overall, Detroit has continued to be a main stage for innovation and automotive technology. I look forward to the new 2020 show in June of next year.