POLL: Does 'Detroit' Belong in Auto Show's Official Name?

Business columnist wants to lose 'North American' and identify the host city.

You've almost certainly heard or read "Detroit Auto Show" this week, and we bet not one friend, family member or colleague has said "North American International Auto Show." (Actually, it was tiring to just type that mouthful!)

Now a veteran local business columnist says what many people likely think: Why not shorten the name?

"It's time to rebrand the annual get-together [as] what it actually is: the Detroit International Auto Show," Daniel Howes writes today in The Detroit News. "Detroit and its annual auto show are established cornerstones of the global auto industry, and it's past time to say so, unambiguously."

When he checked Google – where else? – the search engine showed nearly 6 million results for "north american international auto show" and a whopping 109 million for "detroit auto show."

The event, which has a swanky charity preview Friday night and opens to the public Saturday, was called the Detroit Auto Show for its first 80 years. It began in December 1907 at suburban Riverview Park, hosted by the new Detroit Auto Dealers Association.

That group, now based in Troy, renamed the show in 1987 in an effort to stand out from similar events in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Patricia January 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Absolutely--Detroit Auto Show Detroit is the birth of the auto industry-let's not forget the history- let's keep it.
m January 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM
In (appx) 1990, they changed the name of "The Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade" to "America's Thanksgiving Day Parade" because the networks stopped broadcasting nationally in the late 80's due to low viewership. It was my understanding at the time that they (The Parade Company) did this in hopes the networks would be more willing to broadcast again. I think it was 1998 before they did. Nationally, whether we like it or not, having "Detroit" in the name is not good for marketing outside SE Michigan. Do what you've got to do to bring the people in. Regardless, we in the metro area all refer to it as The Detroit Auto Show anyways.
Michele Manhire January 13, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Call it what you want, but it will always be "The Detroit Auto Show" to us locals. Just like "Pine Knob" will always be "Pine Knob", no matter what you spend to change it! ;-)
Patricia January 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Everything is becoming "homoginized"., "generic". I don't think we need to loose a name because of airing events on TV--it's the content that makes it palatable. It's the content that makes its marketable and its the content of a quality production that makes people come back and attracts new market.
rolfsy January 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
True - it does depend on context. If you add 'Detroit' to 'Public Schools' even people in Hawaii know to pass it up. But it would seem that the Detroit brand is hotter than it's ever been in a generation (or more), and the Detroit=Poison effect is stronger locally than nationally. Everyone knows by now that Detroit is a troubled city, but only SE Michiganders have grown up with The Grudge (tm).


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