Automakers are expecting to sell more than 10 million vehicles at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, but the auto trade show will also mark a new era for auto dealers and the auto repair industry, as they battle to grow their business and attract new customers.
“This is the biggest show for any of the major auto manufacturers, and they have a lot to prove to their consumers,” said John W. Gildea, president of the National Association of Realtors.
“They have to demonstrate their new technology, their new services, their products, their customer service, and the quality of their vehicles.”
The show is set to take place Jan. 25-28 in Detroit, with a number of key events expected, including the unveiling of a new Ford Focus, a redesigned Chevrolet Bolt and the unveiling by Toyota of a brand-new SUV, the Prius Prime.
“I think this is the largest auto show since the dawn of the auto era,” said Dan Haggerty, chief executive officer of Hagerty Auto Group in Washington, D.C. “It’s going to be an incredible show.”
The automotive industry is already looking ahead to the next big thing.
GM will unveil its first electric vehicle in 2021, and Ford is looking to sell a mass-market car that uses a battery pack instead of a conventional gasoline engine.
GM’s electric Fusion is also in development.GM is also planning a big-screen television ad for its new Chevrolet Bolt, which will be the first electric car to hit the market.
Ford is also introducing a redesigned version of its Expedition SUV.
The biggest automotive show of the year will be held Feb. 2-3 in Los Angeles.
In 2019, the Detroit auto show will host its first major event for its newest luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-AMG has been working on a concept for its luxury sedan that could compete with Tesla’s Model 3, which is slated to go on sale in 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was expecting to unveil the new model at the show.
“It’s very exciting, but it will be very, very long before we have anything that’s going that close to the Tesla,” Musk said on a conference call last month.