• Jun 26, 2008
Porsche and Suzuki rarely come up in the same breath, but here is something they both share: neither will be in Cobo Hall when the Detroit Auto Show opens in January. Joining the Stuttgart sportscar/SUV/SUS maker in skipping the show, Suzuki has said that they are pulling out for a slightly different reason. Whereas Porsche had said that Detroit wasn't a very important market for them, Suzuki is saying they didn't like the space they were offered. Here, Suzuki is hitting closer to what many people feel is the real problem with Cobo, there just isn't enough room. It's a fine hall with a storied past, and as a journalist it's nice to be able to get to any press conference within a minute from the media center, but it's not very big compared to the other halls around the world. With a name like "2009 North American International Auto Show" it needs more square-footage. It's still the most important auto show in the country, if not the world, and maybe losing Suzuki and Porsche don't hurt it too much, but this move by Suzuki could be marking a trend that can only be stopped with a major expansion. Back in January, we mentioned that a plan is being formulated to expand Cobo Hall, but the project is still in the financing stage as far as we know. Hopefully something can be done before long to save this great show's reputation.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 35 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I didn't get there this year. Were they downstairs with the other low volume brands, which have in past included Kia, VW and Saleen?
      • 6 Years Ago
      People need to read the facts about the Detroit show.

      The 2008 NAIAS had more world premiers than ANY other auto show except for Geneva. It had more than L.A. and Chicago combined with over 30 new vehicles and concepts and was the launch pad for some VERY significant vehicles like th Ford Verve/Fiesta, Honda Pilot, VW Passat CC, and Audi R8 TDI. So to say that Detroit is not relevant is a bit of a stretch.

      Detroit is also home to many parts suppliers both domestic and international. Comapanies like Yazaki, Aisin, and Continental all have a major presence in the Detroit area along with Delphi and Visteon. The area is also to home to Toyota's North American R&D center and Mitsubishi's North American R&D center along many engineering offices for other automakers.

      Yeah, the city of Detroit isn't as well off as other but don't pretend that LA or Chicago are good places to get lost in either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Also Nissan, Subaru, Denso, and Hyundai/Kia, not to mention Honda is within a few hours drive.

        Detroit is important to the auto industry and will always be that way, because that's where the largest concentration of engineers and automotive expects is.
      • 6 Years Ago
      First Porsche, now Suzuki. Detroit Auto Show is held in a dying city, no wonder why compaines are electing to not appear at that show. They can focus more on NY, LA, Chicago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I unfortunately attended last years show. I was born and grew up in detroit but moved South 10 years ago. I was sadly dissapointed and refused to attend this years show even though I happened to be in town to attend a funeral the weekend that the show was going on. I specifically flew up to Detroit to attend last years show. That show had nearly no concept vehicles and the few they had to look at, the models seemed to have attitudes when asked questions about them (Convertible Camaro Display). Many of the concept vehicles sat at ground level so it was nearly impossible to see the vehicles with 10 people deep surrounding them. People were trying to push Limo sized long baby strollers through the crowds which caused several people including myself to catch ourselves from nearly tripping and falling on someone's baby. The vehicle manufactures were all partitoined off with ceiling high partition walls so you needed a map to locate the manufacture that interest you because you could even see the manufactures upon entering the main exhibition hall in Cobo. Detroit police officers every where as if it were a Rap concert. The downstairs basement used to have countless Hod Rod vehicles but instead only had maybe 20 cars at best. None of the manufactures had any ellaborate displays as they did in years past only to "Roll out the red carpet" so to speak at the Chicago and LA shows with new concepts and displays-it was a disgrace to call this show the most important show in our country!!!!! I flew to the Chicago Show at Mc Cormick and was blown away that the Chicago Show was what Detroit Show used to be!!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I went to the the Detroit Auto Show for the first time in 2008, and I've been disapointed with the size of it. I don't think I'll go back there, the Montreal Auto Show does the same job, no matter if we have the concept cars one year later.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How can it be the most important car show if it doesn't give adequate space for vendors to operate?

      Detriot is not a hub for big consumers. We're not in the 70's or 80's anymore.

      Times have changed.

      In Southern California there are 4 auto shows in a year... San Diego, Anahiem, Inland Empire and Los Angeles. Michigan is just not that appealing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The OtherBob obviously like cold winter weather and high crime... keep driving that truck Bob...
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Michigan is just not that appealing."

        Have you been to Michigan? I would live anywhere in Michigan over your list of cities.

        http://michigan.org/
        • 6 Years Ago
        "The OtherBob obviously like cold winter weather and high crime... keep driving that truck Bob..."

        Actually its sunny and about 85 here today and I do drive a truck, although its a small, 2wd version and the crime in my area is nil.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Enjoy your arctic experience.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There's no doubt that Chicago is the number 1 auto show in north America and should be the real North American International Auto Show. There was once a time when most world debuts took place in Chicago. Forget Detroit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should just move the primary show over to being the Chicago autoshow, McCormick place definitly has the capabilities to take on a show of this size.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Neither is a big loss, to be honest.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The way things are going it's almost inevitable the Detroit show will no longer be the power it was, much like the city itself. I think the LA show is going to start getting more and more announcements made there and will become the most prominent North American Auto Show.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If COBO doesn't come up with a plan, quickly, they'll be droped down to the Philadelphia Auto Show ranks. Philly's is nice and all if you live here but its rare for any manufacturer to drop a new model there and press is limited to local media outlets.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The more smaller car companies that pull out, the more room it leaves for the bigger car companies.
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