Detroit auto show home gets new name

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DETROIT — The home of the Detroit auto show since 1965 was renamed TCF Center on Tuesday, with the first sale of its naming rights, after a years-long movement to disassociate the convention center with racially-charged policies of a 1950s Detroit mayor.

TCF Bank, which recently merged with Chemical Bank to form Michigan’s largest bank by deposits, bought the 22-year naming rights to Cobo Center for $33 million from the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

In an interview with Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, TCF Bank CEO Craig Dahl said imprinting the name of a bank on Detroit’s convention center is more than a branding and marketing strategy.

“I want to make sure everyone understands … this is not a stadium-naming deal,” Dahl told Crain’s. “There’s tons of stadiums being built and they’re all getting sponsors. This is really a transformational community change and it’s supported by our bank. And that’s a wonderful differentiation from the strictly dollars-and-cents of the branding that goes on in a lot of them.”

Summer schedule

The 2020 Detroit auto show, for the first time, will be held in the summer instead of its traditional schedule in mid-January.

Detroit’s outdoors will play a much bigger role. Companies want to showcase new technologies outside such as autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing apps, and get audiences more comfortable with them through hands-on experiences.

The summer show is also expected to drive down costs for automakers by reducing the amount of time they have to erect displays and move in products to around three weeks.

The 2020 show schedule:

  • The Gallery: Saturday, June 6
  • Press preview: Tuesday-Wednesday, June 9-10
  • Industry preview: Wednesday-Thursday, June 10-11
  • AutoMobili-D: Tuesday-Thursday, June 9-11
  • Charity preview: Friday, June 12
  • Public show: June 13-20

For more coverage from Crain’s, click here.

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