Detroit Auto Show Indicates Acceleration of the City’s Economic Recovery

(Photo courtesy of auto
(Photo courtesy of

People call it a “21st century paradox” when they collectively discuss Detroit’s recent auto show with its bankruptcy. The bankruptcy involves more than $18 billion debts, and is the largest public case in US history, while the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit is estimated to generate near $400 million for the economy, more than the estimated benefits of a Super Bowl XL ($275 million).

The auto show is sure going to impact Detroit, but in what ways exactly? Let’s take look at some data:

  • 2014 NAIAS featured about 550 vehicles, displayed on about $200 million worth of sets.
  • It attracted 5,169 journalists from 60 countries and 39 states for 50 debuts from the automakers.
  • Ÿ Its attendance outnumbered each auto show since 2007, and reached a total number of 803,451 people.
  • Ÿ Downtown hotels reported Friday before the auto show that occupancy was at 85% during press days and about 70% during public days.

Recognition for the auto show brings opportunities for Detroit’s reconstruction. For example, a one-night event attracted 13,826 people to help raise $4.8 million for children’s charities. Accompanied with the auto show are more business opportunities for local restaurants, bars, hotels and transportation. The growth of the auto show is a strong indicator for the recovery of the auto industry from the recession over the past five years. This is great news for Detroit, famously known as the Motor City. In addition to financial gains, the people of Detroit see more hope in their city’s future and would become more confident when taking efforts to rebuild the city.

According to Michigan economist Patrick Anderson, “In order to build a world-class economic city, you need to have reasons for people to come every year. The auto show is a world-class reason to come to Detroit every year.” We hope that Detroit can continue holding the auto show and attracting more visitors, recognitions, business opportunities and investment in the future. We hope this chain of reaction triggered by the auto show can ultimately help Detroit become the promising Motor City again.


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