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NAIAS’ Off to Fast Start

The 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) got off to a fast start this weekend as more than 500 people saw some of the world’s most exotic cars at The Gallery, four trucks completed a 10-day journey that ended in downtown Detroit and thousands of media, analysts and executives from around the world began arriving to attend the show.

The Gallery, now in its 13th year, welcomed luxury-car enthusiasts to MGM Grand in support of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Attendees saw a collection of some of the most exclusive and acclaimed automobiles in the world that were collectively valued at nearly $10 million. Brands present included: Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Ford, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Notable vehicles included: Rolls Royce Cullinan, Lamborghini SVJ, Bentley Bentayga, and the Jaguar F-Pace.

Meanwhile, four classic pickup trucks completed a 10-day, seven-state journey that began in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 3. The trucks—a 1955 Chevrolet 3600, 1965 Ford F100, 1962 International Travelette and 1957 Ford Ranchero Custom—made their final 19-mile trip down Woodward Avenue from Troy on Saturday morning to conclude “The Drive Home IV” in downtown Detroit’s Spirit Plaza. The Drive Home IV is an annual vintage vehicle winter road rally that celebrates America’s motoring legacy throughout the country in the days leading up to the world’s premier international auto show, NAIAS.

This year, the history and heritage of NAIAS will be on the minds of many as the show celebrates its 30th year since becoming an international auto show. NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts, who spoke Sunday to the Society of Automotive Analysts, said the 2019 show will also be unique because it will be the last held in January before the show moves to June in 2020.

“A core group of visionary dealers had a dream that became reality in 1989 and that dream helped to make NAIAS one of the world’s most influential auto events,” NAIAS executive director Alberts said when he spoke at the Society of Automotive Analysts Sunday afternoon. “We will celebrate that heritage this week as we prepare for the next 30 years.”

Cadillac capped off the day as it revealed the 2020 Cadillac XT6—an all-new nameplate for the luxury brand. The three-row crossover gives Cadillac an additional SUV that it can offer consumers at a time when sales in that category continue to climb. Cadillac will offer the XT6 in Premium Luxury and Sport models.

All of this is just a prelude for Monday, when eleven automakers plan to reveal their latest new cars and trucks and hundreds of the industry’s top executives gather to discuss the latest industry trends and new technology.

Here are some key events beyond and highlights to expect that are in addition to automaker press conferences:

• 8:00 a.m. – North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards—Atrium Stage. Chosen by a group of 54 independent jurors, these awards are closely followed by the industry.
• 3:20 p.m. – Roadshow by CNET Shift awards—Atrium Stage. These awards recognize the most innovative and important technology breakthroughs in the auto industry.
• 3:45 p.m. – Volvo Keynote delivered by Anders Gustafsson—Atrium Stage. Gustafsson will deliver keynote speech for AutoMobili-D—an exposition showcasing a global ecosystem of mobility-focused companies and organizations.
• 4:45 p.m. – Automotive Hall of Fame—Atrium Stage.
• 5:30 p.m. – Automotive Press Association Executive Networking Reception—Hall B. The Automotive Press Association will host an Executive Networking Reception for its members.
• AutoMobili-D – This mobility showcase will host more than 200 companies who will display technology across 150,000 square-feet of display space. It will also host panel discussions and keynote speakers from Jan. 14-17.

NAIAS is one of the world’s most influential auto events, touching all facets of the industry and attracting the largest concentration of the world’s top industry leaders—from automakers and suppliers, to tech startups and venture capitalists, to universities and policymakers. For more info, visit https://naias.com

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