Rolled out new car presentation type motor show

January 17, 2019

Wedge Infinity

Teru Nakanishi

This article has been translated from Japanese.

The North American International Auto Show, which is held in January every year in the US Detroit known as “Motor City”, opened on the 14th and was released to reporters. Approximately 5000 media from all over the world gathered and about 750 vehicles including the latest models were exhibited by automobile manufacturers in the United States, Europe, China, Korea, Japan, India and others.

In the automobile show other than Detroit, the Shanghai show backed by the Chinese market attracted attention, and the world’s largest technology trade fair (CES) held in Las Vegas on the 8th was attracted to automatic driving and “flying car” etc. Many of the latest technologies of the next generation will be exhibited and attracted interest from concerned parties. Since the exhibition of traditional car makers was the center focusing on the North American auto show that opens shortly after that, the impact was weak and the shadow became thin compared to CES.

For this reason, officials of the North American auto show with a feeling of crisis will decide to change the opening time from winter to June from 2020, aiming to restore the position as a car show. From next year I will increase the number of outdoor exhibitions etc and I will call on BMW etc. to resume exhibition and I would like to take in new technologies such as automatic driving and make it a new type of show.

Mr. Glenn Stevens, Executive Vice President of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice Chairman of the Automated Driving Council, said, “We have to turn it into an auto show to prepare for a new era of the automobile industry such as automatic driving and mobility services etc. From next year it will be summer So you can also add events of famous Detroit music and fireworks.

We need a new concept not only for automobile manufacturers, but also for people involved in automatic operation, start-up and movement, “the era when only leading traditional major automakers lead the North American auto show It is not pointed out that.

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Paul W. Smith’s Automotive Reporter Roundtable – January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019

The Paul W. Smith Show

WJR 760 AM Radio

“Paul W. Smith’s Automotive Reporter Roundtable” – Daniel Howes, Detroit News Columnist, Paul Eisenstein, Chief of and Jamie Butters, Automotive News Chief Content Officer talk to Paul W. Smith about this year show

Roundup of Top Announcements from the 2019 NAIAS

This week all eyes were on Detroit as the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked into full gear. Below is a recap of the most newsworthy stories and announcements coming out of NAIAS and Automobili-D, as well as what to look forward as you visit the show.


  • Congratulations to Genesis Motor America, Ram Trucks and Hyundai Motor Company – recipients of the 2019 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards. Announced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The awards are among the most prestigious in the industry. Winners are chosen by a panel of 54 jurors from print, online and broadcast media across the United States and Canada.
  • Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Company and Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen announced today that both company’s have decided to work together to cut the cost of new technology development in a joint alliance.
  • Making waves on Tuesday, Detroit Mobility Lab’s Chris Thomas and Jessica Robinson, who both spoke at MICHauto’s Student Summit this past October, announced the Detroit Mobility Lab is launching the Michigan Mobility Institute in Detroit. The institute will focus on educating and re-educating engineers in AI, robotics and other mobility needs. The Michigan Mobility Institute was created as a way to answer the need for the estimated 100,000 new mobility jobs to come with future mobility.
  • Techstars Mobility announced a new name, Techstars Detroit, along with a new partnership with Lear Corporation and new home at the Lear Innovation Center.
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced four pilot projects funded by the $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge that will address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans across the state.
  • Eyes on Design awards were awarded to Axalta for “Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials,” ABC Technologies for “Best Interiors” and Ford Motor Co.’s 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 for “Best Production Vehicle.”


  • Ford Motor Company: Revealed the new Shelby GT500, the most powerful street legal Mustang ever. With more features and more power, the Shelby GT500 produces more than 700 horsepower sending it from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds.
  • RAM: Making its debut at NAIAS, Ram rolled out their new heavy-duty Ram 2500. Offering advanced safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning on all versions. The Ram 1500 also scooped up as the truck of the year award.
  • Toyota Motor Corp.: Aiming to return to Toyota’s signature, performance and excitement, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda revealed the new Toyota Supra on Monday. As Toyota’s commitment to Michigan to continues to thrive, this announcement was felt throughout Detroit as the excitement around the newly unveiled vehicle increased.
  • Nissan EV: Focused on luxury, Nissan reveled the IMs concept EV. The concept is explained as a “elevated sports sedan” the concepts proportions positions the vehicle as a segment of its own due to its electric vehicle identity and unique features.

View photos and read more coverage from NAIAS.

June auto show forecast: Slow Jan., busy summer

January 7, 2019

The Detroit News

By: Breana Noble


Business is slow at the Caucus Club in the week following New Year’s Day.

Last year, it was one of the historic restaurant’s worst. A week later, the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center helped the restaurant beat its previous best week by 30 percent.

“When the press comes to town, it’s a complete reversal,” said George Sboukis, who in 2017 reopened the club on Congress Street a couple of blocks from Cobo. “It couldn’t be more extreme. It was gigantic. It kind of carries the month of January.”

Not for long. Facing declining participation by carmakers — only one European brand, Volkswagen, will be present this year — the Detroit auto show will end a 30-year January tradition. It will skip January 2020 and move to June with a more consumer-focused show. While it still will be based at Cobo, events and exhibits will spill into Hart Plaza, Campus Martius and other locations.

With the change in dates, some local businesses expect a far slower winter, and a busy summer season that will be even more hectic.

A block from Cobo on West Larned, the District Bar and Grill typically sees business increase at least 70 percent during the auto show, said Kelly Pendleton, the restaurant’s manager.

But already, it’s expecting less. In previous years, the restaurant catered events for Mercedes-Benz, which pulled out of the Detroit show.

Pendleton is looking forward to a June event. “I think that there will be more activity during than in the cold winter months,” she said. “The patio would get a lot more action.”

Sandy Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, sees the change as an opportunity to show off the city and its resurgence.

“More people will be engaged with hands-on demonstrations, rides and drives and autonomous testing in a real-world environment,” he said. “The opportunities are so much more robust with a show that includes outdoor events.”

New opportunities

Claude Molinari, Cobo general manager, said it has been fortunate that the center’s most profitable show took place in January, a month that is historically slow in the convention and trade show industry. The Detroit auto show represents more than 40 percent of Cobo’s annual revenue.

“The North American International Auto Show’s move to June certainly complicates the event schedule at Cobo Center,” he said in an emailed statement to The Detroit News. “…We are working very hard to manage our event calendar for April and May, which were already busy, and will now be ‘jam-packed.'”

Several major associations, Molinari said, had been negotiating for June in future years, though that is no longer an option. Two shows, however, have been scheduled to different months.

Over the past several years, Cobo was a part of city-wide conventions in June for the Service Employees International Union and the National Letter Carriers Union. Chinese retail e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Limited was in town in 2017.

The availability in January does open new opportunities: At least one longtime tenant is relocating to January 2020, and the authority booked another consumer show that could become an annual event, Molinari said. The group is speaking with another major convention that has never considered Detroit before because of the auto show.

Michael O’Callaghan, chief operating officer of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Center, said the organization is working aggressively to offer January dates. The move also frees up space in December when automakers traditionally have set up stands.

“There are meetings and conventions that in some cases are specific to technology and manufacturing that Detroit could be very attractive to,” O’Callaghan said. “We’re sending a great deal of our efforts in that direction. Fraternal and education meetings provide opportunity, as well.”

The new June dates will bring more people downtown during an already busy season, O’Callaghan said. Hotel occupancy during that month is in the mid-70 percent range.

“They’ll look forward to additional hotel occupancy in the month of June,” he said. “The opportunity for us to market Michigan and Detroit in one of the best times of the year really is favorable.”

O’Callaghan said smaller stands and outdoor options will be less expensive for carmakers. And that could be attractive to some who’ve quit the show.

“The fact that the expense to the auto company to build out a display will go down,” he said, “and there will be a lot of things with outdoor venues, it makes it a lot more attractive to the European auto companies.”

Looking to June

Some businesses have high expectations for a June show.

Herasanna Richards, director of the Detroit Restaurant & Lodging Association, said a June auto show would provide more opportunities for local businesses to offer creative menu styles, different seating setups and auto show pop-up stores.

“The better weather will allow people to be able to get out and go exploring, and that will trickle down to restaurants and businesses,” she said. “That’s a huge opportunity.”

Dennis Archer Jr., son of the former Detroit mayor, owns Central Kitchen + Bar at Campus Martius. Archer has hosted the annual Detroit Glamour party with BMW following the auto show’s Charity Preview gala. With the German carmaker a no-show this year, Archer has teamed with the LaFontaine family car dealerships to hold the event.

Business does slow around Jan. 2 at Central Kitchen + Bar, he said, and the auto show provided steady business. But the Motown Winter Blast and other activities in the park have boosted business up to 30 percent.

Archer said the move to June won’t bring a significant uptick, because many summer nights, especially Fridays and Saturdays, Central Kitchen already is at capacity.

“At the end of the day,” Archer said, “a healthy vibrant downtown Detroit is better for everybody.”

One restaurant already is planning for June 2020: AKtakeaway on West Jefferson plans to pull employees from its Anita’s Kitchen locations in Metro Detroit to meet the expected higher demand.

The Caucus Club has some concerns about the move to summer because it features a heavier menu and doesn’t have outdoor seating. But owner Sboukis hopes the move is successful.

“We hope the move means growth and more participation from the industry and not less, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it from our perspective,” he said. “A high-profile show like that with international attention is a natural magnet for the downtown area to just strive. We hope it’s a smart move.”

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Omron to Demo Traceability, Flexible Manufacturing and Mobility Solutions at NAIAS AutoMobili-D

Industrial automation solutions provider Omron Automation Americas will showcase its wide-ranging technology portfolio for the automotive industry at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) AutoMobili-D event on January 14-17 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Omron’s solutions help manufacturers boost productivity and flexibility while minimizing downtime and warranty costs and also help manage recalls more effectively.

Omron’s multiple areas of expertise – including traceability, flexible manufacturing and mobility – will be featured in three demos. The traceability demo will mimic an automated manufacturing process using the Omron’s Sysmac machine automation platform, components laser etched with the Omron’s Laser Marker and several key traceability products, including an RFID reader/writer, the compact yet powerful MicroHAWK barcode readers for 2D optical code recognition and the FH Series Vision System for advanced color inspection and error-proofing. The demo will showcase solutions that can help manufacturers improve process control and product quality, keep the impact of recalls as small as possible, and ensure part traceability in challenging environments.

Data collected throughout the traceability demo will be stored to a database, manipulated and visualized in a dashboard for high level tracking and trending. Visuals can be easily manipulated to meet user requirements, and data can be easily exchanged with cloud-based systems or in-house databases. Improved data visualization and exchange helps manufacturers keep better tabs on the status of their flexible production lines.

The company’s popular LD series of mobile robots will also be on display at the event. These robots provide a unique and innovative solution for manufacturers seeking to add flexibility to their production lines without needing to rearrange heavy and cumbersome conveyors. Capable of self-navigating through dynamic and peopled environments, the LD robots are a safe and effective way to deliver materials amid constantly changing requirements.

In addition to the Omron Automation demos, Omron Automotive Electronics products will also be featured in the booth to complement the company’s offering for the automotive industry. Omron Automotive Electronics recently created a new solution for NVIDIA’s autonomous vehicle platform, “NVIDIA DRIVE,” and this innovation will be featured in another demo at AutoMobili-D. Known as 3D-LiDAR, this solution helps make autonomous driving more reliable and better suited to various road environments.

The detection distance for long-range 3D-LiDAR is an impressive 150 meters, and it maintains the vertical high resolution at the same level characteristic of the short-range version. This increased its ability to recognize not only distant obstacles, such as four-wheeled vehicles, two-wheeled vehicles and pedestrians, but also low obstacles like curbs and falling objects on the road surface and road surface shapes.

Automotive industry professionals seeking to learn more about the latest advancements in mobility, traceability and flexible manufacturing should be sure to visit Booth AD02b at NAIAS AutoMobili-D to see exciting new technologies in action and speak with leaders in the field.

Flashpoint 1/21/18: Examining Detroit’s lacking Amazon campaign Watch Flashpoint at 10 a.m. on Local 4

January, 21, 2018

WDIV Local 4 – Flashpoint

Devin Scillian – Anchor

On Tuesday, Detroit learned it wouldn’t be the location for Amazon‘s second world headquarters. This week’s Flashpoint examines what can be taken away from the city’s lacking campaign.

Also, this year’s North American International Auto Show is about trucks and SUVs, but why?

Flashpoint is hosted by WDIV Local 4 anchor Devin Scillian. Watch Flashpoint on WDIV at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

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MICHauto Convenes Industry Experts, Educators to Share Insight on State’s Talent Challenges

MICHauto hosted 55 automotive industry experts and regional educators Wednesday to discuss the status of Michigan’s automotive industry and next-generation talent needs. The event kicked off with four presentations focusing on the state’s talent pipeline and the convergence of technology and mobility. Presenters provided startling facts regarding mobility, manufacturing and the growing talent gap:

  • Every job in manufacturing creates another 2.5 new jobs in local goods or services
  • “Software developer” was the top manufacturing job posting from 2010 through 2015
  • Michigan is responsible for 80 percent of the nation’s automotive research and development
  • 65 percent of children entering kindergarten today will work in jobs that are not yet defined

Following the presentations, Square One Education Network Chief Technology Officer Michael Tucker moderated a town hall discussion that explored key issues regarding the growing talent shortage in Michigan’s automotive sector and ways in which local industry leaders can collaborate with educators to promote exciting, well-paying careers in the automotive and mobility field.

Techstars Alumni: Detroit is Built for Entrepreneurs

Detroit is the place to be for aspiring entrepreneurs. That was the message a panel of three Techstars alumni emphasized during a candid discussion about their experience participating in the three-month startup accelerator program. The panel was part of a week of programming at the North American International Auto Show’s new Automobili-D exhibit.

“The media doesn’t do a good job telling Detroit’s story. I fell in love with the city immediately and I know others did, too,” said Rohith Varanasi, co-founder of the cell phone startup, Lunar.

Varanasi was joined on stage by Chris Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Revio; and Greta Cutulenco, CEO and co-founder of Acerta. All three alumni credited their experience with Techstars with invaluable connections to investors, industry mentors and training.

“Learning how to interact with investors and walking us through step-by-step on how to grow our business was very helpful,” Bailey said.

Revio offers cutting-edge safety and security products for the power sports industry, while Acerta focuses on machine-assisted anomaly detection and root cause analysis.

When asked by an audience member whether the startups have become profitable since exiting the Techstars program, all three alumni expressed affirmation for the coming year.

“We’re still growing,” Cutulenco said. “We wouldn’t be where we are without Techstars helping us make connections.”

For more information on Techstars, visit

Maven’s Julia Steyn: Technology is ‘Enabler’ for Michigan’s Mobility Future

Closing out programming for this year’s Automobili-D exhibit at the North American International Show, Daniel Howes, columnist for The Detroit News, sat down with Julia Steyn, General Motors’ vice president of urban mobility and Maven, to discuss car-sharing and the future of mobility in Michigan.

“(Mobility) technology keeps moving forward, so you can either look at it as a disruptor or enabler,” said Steyn about the forthcoming challenges facing the automotive industry with the increase of autonomous technology and mobility-sharing platforms. “I prefer to see it as an enabler while continuing to innovate.”

Steyn also spoke on GM’s leadership in car-sharing and mobility as a service during panel discussions earlier in the week. Read the Detroiter’s in-depth interview with Steyn about Detroit and GM’s long-term mobility vision here.

Legal Experts: Liability, Privacy and Cybersecurity Challenges Ahead for Autonomous Technology Adoption

As more automated and driverless technologies are brought to market, questions regarding liability, privacy, data management and cybersecurity could present myriad legal challenges for automakers and suppliers in the not-so-distant future. That was a key message legal experts stressed in a candid conversation on “rights and regulations” on the Automobili-D stage at the North American International Auto Show on Thursday.

Kicking off the discussion, Patrick Seyferth, partner at Bush Seyferth & Paige PLLC, cautioned that the use of loaded language, specifically promoting autonomous vehicles as “saving lives,” should be used sparingly. Citing examples like the death of a Tesla autopilot driver, Seyferth said there is a common misperception that autonomous vehicles will totally eliminate human error and reduce accidents from texting, drunkenness, and other forms of distracted driving. In reality, according to Seyferth, automated vehicles shift human error from the driving to the programming and design.

“I’m not suggesting that autonomous technology is bad, I just think we need to pay a little more attention to what safety advocates are saying,” he said.

Tom Manganello, partner at Warner Norcross & Judd, disagreed with Seyferth’s analysis of safety, stating autonomous tech will be a key catalyst to improving safety on roadways across the world.

“Fatalities have gone up 6,000 per year at a time when cars are the safest they’ve ever been from a passive protection standpoint. So what’s the problem? The problem is people. Will automated vehicle technology prevent all deaths? No. What we will see is a rapid reduction in serious injuries and deaths the more the driver can be taken out of the system,” he said.

Discussion also focused on cybersecurity risk and data protection.

“When you think connectivity, you have to look at your vulnerabilities,” said Jennifer Dukarski, attorney with Butzel Long. “Imagine a nefarious person being able to hack a fleet of police vehicles to learn their exact location.”

Despite the challenges, Dukarski said Michigan is well-positioned to lead in the testing and development of connected and autonomous vehicles with the passage of the Safe Autonomous Vehicles (SAVE) Act.

The panel was moderated by Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto.